Public Comment Over for Las Varas Ranch Project

The public comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Gaviota Coast’s Las Varas Ranch project officially closed this week. The project, which essentially works to rezone and merge nine existing agriculture parcels on the longstanding family ranch just east of El Capitán State Park into seven new buildable lots, has been met with concern and criticism from, among others, the Gaviota Coast Conservancy and the Surfrider Foundation. According to the DEIR, the current incarnation of the proposal creates two Class I impacts (significant impacts that are unable to be adequately mitigated) and more than a dozen Class II impacts (significantly adverse but able to be mitigated). Highlights of the potential impacts include damage to red-legged frog habitat, view-shed destruction, public access issues, and degradation of agricultural activity. The project now moves on to the final EIR phase, which is expected to last several months.

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