On 12/10, a standing-room-only crowd gathered for three hours in the Santa Barbara County Administration Building to voice their concerns about plans to put large-scale luxury homes on the pristine Gaviota Coast. Part of the Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report (RDEIR) process, the hearing saw several dozen speakers pick apart the recently released 1,400-page RDEIR document for once again falling short in its analysis of the impacts associated with Orange County developer Matt Osgood’s plan to build as many as 72 homes on some 3,200 acres encompassing the historical Naples site and adjacent Dos Pueblos Ranch.
While the document identifies several significant, unmitigatable impacts resulting from the project, public comments identified still more areas of concern; such as toxic metals in the soil, water availability issues, the inadequate exploration of Chumash archeological sites, and the lack of high-tide public access points. The original DEIR was sent back for more work after being deemed inadequate last year-an occurrence that both Naples Coalition lawyer Marc Chytilo and Environmental Defense Center counsel Nathan Alley feel is likely to repeat itself given the areas still left untouched by the new document. County staff announced an extension of the public comment period through 1/23/08.