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Monday, October 27, 2008

71 Mansions OK'd by Santa Barbara County Politicians for Gaviota Coast




As expected, by a three to two vote, the Board of Supervisors last Tuesday gave away a huge piece of the Gaviota Coast to an Orange County developer. The Board approved 71 mansions sprawled across nearly a thousand acres of highly valuable agricultural lands. The Board also adopted revised project conditions and development agreements that operate to tie the hands of future Boards of Supervisors and constrain the Coastal Commission’s ability to fully review the project. Supervisors Carbajal and Wolf voted against the approval of the project. Over 100 different approvals were granted in Supervisor Firestone’s motion to approve the project as proposed. A deeply flawed environmental impact report was accepted as adequate by the three supervisors, even though the project description was substantially revised in May after the final EIR was released, and in the face of a last minute letter from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service voicing substantial concerns over the project’s impact analysis. What did the Board of Supervisors Accept? The Board accepted a policy consistency analysis that principally deferred to the developer’s threats as a reason to overlook policy inconsistencies. The Board agreed to sign two lopsided development agreements that tie the hands of future Boards by insulating the developer against revised conditions, new circumstances or changes in law. The Board made last-minute changes to the conditions allowing the developer to delay or avoid mitigating the impacts of a portion of the development. Naples Coalition President Phil McKenna started: “Democracy was the biggest loser with the approval of the Naples development. The three north county supervisors ignored the unanimous community testimony opposed to developing Naples , delivered through years of public hearings.” He continued: “the north county supervisor's vote to develop Naples , particularly after each trumpeted their affection and devotion to the Gaviota Coast , was shameful and hypocritical. They demonstrated a complete lack of political leadership and imagination in blindly approving the developer’s dream project without question.”

What's Next? The Naples Coalition announced that it will appeal the Supervisor’s actions to the Coastal Commission and the Superior Court. “In their haste to get this project approved before Supervisor Firestone left office, gross procedural errors were made. These errors and violations of law provide a fertile field for challenges to the Board action and keep open the door for a far superior outcome at Naples ” stated the Coalition’s attorney, Marc Chytilo.

The Naples Coalition works in collaboration with the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and their attorneys, the Environmental Defense Center . Appeals will be filed at the Coastal Commission within 10 days, followed by a lawsuit filed within 30 days of the Board’s action.

What Can You Do? Continue to stay informed through regularly visits to: or

Help the Naples Coalition fund the upcoming appeal. Checks payable to: Naples Coalition, PO Box 1099 Goleta, CA 93116 or credit card donations can be made through paypal at

Visit: for a sneak preview of the Naples Coalition's upcoming ad in the SB Independent

For further information contact: Marc Chytilo, Esq. Law Office of Marc Chytilo, Phone: 805-682-0585, Email:

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