New Law Advances Public Coastal Access at Hollister Ranch

Gaviota Coast Conservancy • Santa Barbara County Trails Council •

COASTWALK/California Coastal Trail Association •

California Coastal Protection Network



October 10, 2019



Marc Chytilo, Law Office of Marc Chytilo, (805) 682-0585

Attorneys to the Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance


New Law Advances Public Coastal Access at Hollister Ranch

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday signed AB 1680, a bill authored by Santa Barbara Assemblywoman Monique Limón to advance the process of developing and implementing a public access program at Hollister Ranch.  Look at the Final AB1680 here.

GCTA Chairman Phil McKenna stated: “AB 1680 demonstrates that the State of California is fully committed to implementing public coastal access at Hollister Ranch. For over 35 years, Hollister’s owners and their lawyers have prevented the public from accessing California-owned beaches at Hollister Ranch. Hollister has managed the area as a private recreational facility based on their near-exclusive use of public tidelands. California’s coast, beaches and waves belong to all Californians, regardless of their wealth and privilege. The Alliance is committed to securing reasonable public access to Hollister Ranch’s beaches and the completion of the Coastal Trail.”

Currently, four state agencies, the Coastal Commission, Coastal Conservancy, State Parks and State Lands Commission are updating a plan for public access to all 8.5 miles of Hollister Ranch. AB 1680 sets deadlines to complete and begin implementation of the access plan by April 2022, adjusts the “in-lieu access fees” for inflation from $5,000 (set in 1982) to $33,000, directs all such funds to the Hollister Ranch Access Program, directs the State Lands Commission to use their full authority to achieve access, and sets penalties for any person or entity that delays or obstructs public access at Hollister Ranch.

In 1979, and again in 1982, the State Legislature required that Hollister Ranch provide subdivision wide public access to its 8 ½ miles of coastline in exchange for developing the Ranch with homes and other amenities. The Coastal Commission prepared a 1982 Hollister Ranch Access Program, but Hollister refused to cooperate, preventing its implementation. Currently, the Coastal Commission and 3 other state agencies are updating the 1982 Hollister Ranch Access Program to establish the plan for public access to all 8 ½ miles of beaches adjacent to Hollister Ranch. AB 1680 sets deadlines for this Program’s development and implementation.

The Alliance heeds the words of the Coastal Commission’s former Executive Director, Peter Douglas. “The coast is never saved. The coast is always being saved.”

Members of the public that support this effort are encouraged to visit the Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance website to learn more, sign up to receive notifications, and make a contribution to achieve public access to Hollister Ranch.

The Alliance is an ad hoc, unincorporated association committed to secure environmentally responsible and non-discriminatory public access to beaches along the Gaviota Coast including the establishment of the California Coastal Trail within the sight and sound of the ocean. Members include the Gaviota Coast Conservancy, California Coastal Protection Network, Santa Barbara County Trails Council and Coastwalk/California Coastal Trail Association.

Post Office Box 1099, Goleta, California 93116