Long considered to be key in the fight against the mansionization of Naples, a Transfer of Developments Rights (TDR) ordinance was approved by the Santa Barbara County supervisors this week. Ironically, according to those struggling to preserve the ranch at Gaviota’s eastern end, the ordinance won’t have any real bearing on Matt Osgood’s plan to put 72 luxury homes on the property. Speaking just before casting the lone vote against the ordinance, 2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf explained, “I read the ordinance and I don’t think [it’s] going to work and I think anyone can see it’s not going to work.”
A complex dance of money, building rights, and urban density that potentially paves the way to transfer some of the rights to develop a rural area like Naples to somewhere like downtown Santa Barbara, the TDR program adopted has drawn criticism for being a voluntary program that would raise significantly less money for coastal protection than a mandatory program would. Osgood on Tuesday officially withdrew a longstanding offer to hold any sales at Naples for 18 months so that the program-which goes into effect in 30 days-can get going. The developer’s decision came despite pleas from board Chair Salud Carbajal for a “show of good faith.” Osgood will return before the board on October 13, when his project will be up for final approval.