Arguing that the Gaviota Coast is a special region that requires specific policies to respect that uniqueness, Gaviota Planning Committee (GavPac) Chair Kim Kimbell on Wednesday provided members of the California Coastal Commission with an overview of the draft plan that will be forwarded to the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission in May for review.
“One facet we hope you will take away from today’s meeting,” Kimbell told the commission, “is the critical importance of keeping our farmers and ranchers on the land, and we beg your attention to the special circumstances to which our plan is adapted. Gaviota is a unique region that requires unique solutions.”
The Commission also heard from a number of public speakers who wanted to share their perspectives and concerns. Area photographer Reeve Woolpert spoke of the incremental provisions made to the Gaviota Coast to accommodate what he termed “endless needs and more people.”
“There is this little place with little space and no more,” he told the commission. “Nibble by nibble, change is gnawing away at this special place.” Others were concerned about the need to align the Coastal Trail as close to the bluffs as possible, worrying that the GavPac Plan fell far short in this respect.
The public will an opportunity to learn more about the plan in May when it is presented to the Planning Commission. The goal is to have the plan in the hands of the County Board of Supervisors this July and initiate environmental review by August. If things go as expected, the completed plan and environmental review will be forwarded to the California Coastal Commission by September 2014.