President of the Trails Council Otis Calef (on the right) discusses location of the CA Coastal Trail as they walk along the proposed route with representatives of the Paradiso del Mare applicant.

Ray Ford

President of the Trails Council Otis Calef (on the right) discusses location of the CA Coastal Trail as they walk along the proposed route with representatives of the Paradiso del Mare applicant.

Trails Council Reaches Agreement With Paradiso Developers

Will Provide $500,000 in Seed Money for a Segment of the CA Coastal Trail

Sunday, February 2, 2014
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A few days before the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hear an appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of the Paradiso del Maré project a half mile west of Bacara Resort, the Santa Barbara County Trails Council and Brooks Street, applicant for the project, reached an agreement that could help realize the dream of constructing a blufftop trail along the Gaviota coast.

In exchange for the Trails Council dropping the appeal project, approved in December 2013, Brooks Street has offered to provide $500,000 in seed funding for the improvements needed to construct a parking lot, build a bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and convert the existing road that stretches from Eagle Canyon on the east to the western end of the Paradiso property into a trail. Total cost of the improvements needed to open this section of the CA Coastal Trail are estimated to be at least $2 million dollars, much of that for the bridge construction and spanning one drainage where the road has been completely washed out.

“When we sat down with Otis Calef, President of the Trails Council and Mark Wilkinson, its Executive Director to discuss the appeal, it became really clear to us that having a substantial amount of seed funding would be invaluable in obtaining the additional funds,” April Winecki, an environmental planner for Brooks Street said. During their meeting last week, one of the Brooks Street principals, Chris Yelich, announced that his firm was ready to offer the funding in exchange for dropping the appeal. The funds would become available to the Trails Council at the time when the first building permit is approved by the County.

Winecki noted that getting to construction could take quite a bit of time, acknowledging that the project will almost certainly be subject to legal action. Both the Gaviota Coast Conservancy and the Naples Coalition have also appealed the project to the County Board of Supervisors. The appeal is scheduled for review by the BOS on Tuesday February 4th.

The Santa Barbara chapters of Surfrider and the Audubon Society have also joined in the appeal along with noted marine mammal specialist Peter Howorth. “Without a thorough impact analysis and realistic protective measures for the seals, I am convinced that the project will have an extremely detrimental effect on this site” Howorth explained in joining the appeal. “This project could even cause the seal rookery to be abandoned, resulting in the permanent loss of one of only two seal rookeries along the mainland coast of Santa Barbara County that is accessible to the public.”

Marc Chytilo, attorney for the Gaviota Coast Conservancy, noted that the appeal will focus on three significant impacts relating to the coastal estate that he feels were missed in the EIR. “First of all, the environmental document only provided a cursory review of the impacts the construction and operation will have on the rookery,” Chytilo explained. “Second, it minimized the impact of construction on a white-tailed kite nesting site located 75 feet away from the proposed home site, an impact that would almost assuredly cause the birds to abandon this nest. And third, it did not address the loss of a popular beach access trail used by surfers for years..

“We feel that if the County had properly considered those three things as significant impacts they would have been required under CEQA to identify alternatives that could meet the basic project objectives and yet avoid any of those significant impacts. And if there were no alternatives then CEQA should have disallowed the County from approving the project.

Both County Planner Nicole Lieu and resource specialist John Storrer, who was hired by the County to review the impacts of the project on both the kites and the seal rookery, feel confident that the conditions placed on the project along with improvements to the kite habitat, seasonal beach closures during critical seal breeding periods and the establishment of a “seal watch” program similar to that at the Carpinteria Seal Preserve will provide adequate protection for both.

Should the appeal be denied, the next step for the applicant would be to submit an application to the CA Coastal Commission for a Coastal Development Permit. Chytilo would not comment on what action his clients might take if the appeal is not successful.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Ah, the "divide and conquer gambit." The Trails Council gets their trail, which means the surfers get their access and a parking lot!!! (another surf spot ruined by crowds). The kites get evicted and the annual closure on the seal rookery will become another cat and mouse game between the surfers and the some hired rent-a-cop. The rich get their isolated bluff top mansion and the rest of us get the crumbs: Same old story.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
February 2, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If the rich paid for their bluff top, it is theirs. It would be yours too if you want to pay for it. Were you ever taught the concept of private property rights? How about even the concept of gratitude when someone shares what it theirs with you?

foofighter (anonymous profile)
February 2, 2014 at 7:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Foofighter , there are hundreds of miles of spoiled coastline for you to gloat over just to our south. The results of the mentality you support are on full display there. This is rural ag land that money grabbers are bending and tweaking zoning laws and bribing their way to another pot of gold .
For those who value existing zoning laws and want to help , show your support by helping groups like Gaviota Coast Conservancy , Land Trust Santa Barbara County , Surfrider and other groups advocating for conservation of this unique coastline.

geeber (anonymous profile)
February 3, 2014 at 2:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

OK Foo let them build it just don't give them water.
In the drought article you gnash your teaath and tear your hair out over dwindling resources going to "stack and pack", but once it's members of the class you fancy yourself part of it's suddenly it's a constitutional crisis.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 3, 2014 at 8:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Gnash, snarl, grrrrrr …. new salivating progressive buzz words: private property rights. Works almost as well as Halliburton.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
February 3, 2014 at 8:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The issue here is not 'property rights'. Rather it is the obligation of the property owners to comply with the law. Accordingly, by law, the owners can build two homes, but they must be in a place on the parcels that have the least effect on the environment. The chosen place does not meet this requirement. Instead the County has falsified the EIR to support the owners desires. Why? Because, like the Trails Council, they have been bribed. The owners have 'offered' trails and easements but ONLY if their project is approved. Should the County determine that the homes should be in another location on the properties then the 'offers' go away. Pure and simple, it is bribery.

dontoasthecoast (anonymous profile)
February 3, 2014 at 9:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

A gentle correction to Marc Chytilo: no matter how many significant impacts may be found in an EIR, the lead agency (SBCo, in this case) still can make findings of infeasibility for rejected mitigation measures, and then reject project alternatives and approve the unmitigated project with "Findings" and a "Statement of Overriding Considerations."

The much-maligned CEQA process is informational, not regulatory. Of course, if the findings and SOC are factually bogus, approval can be overturned on those grounds by a court with jurisdiction--but that's a tough row to hoe.

GregMohr (anonymous profile)
February 3, 2014 at 9:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If the law affects the property, it becomes part of that bundle of private property rights. No issue there.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
February 3, 2014 at 9:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If the law affects the property, it becomes part of that bundle of private property rights. No issue there.

I do support coastal conservation and make donations on the behalf of acquiring such land - as a private property real estate transaction.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
February 3, 2014 at 9:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It is not briery to make a qualified offer in this situation. The presently proffered easements may not make sense, if the present homes locations change.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
February 3, 2014 at 10:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Another part of settled law that must be taken into account is "implied dedication," sometimes incorrectly called "inverse condemnation." If the public "openly and notoriously" have used private land for public purposes for a long time, and not been challenged by the fee landowner(s), then there may exist the implied dedication of land for that public use. It's a long and difficult process to establish this through court proceedings, but "That's the way it is," Monday, February 3, 2014. (After Walter Cronkite, rest his soul.)

GregMohr (anonymous profile)
February 3, 2014 at 12:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I believe in California to gain proscriptive easement rights you need to show proof you also paid your appropriate share of property taxes, during that period of usage. Seems fair.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
February 3, 2014 at 12:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You know Foo, I don't begrudge the owners of the property a house. If I owned that property, I'd build a house there. My problem is that this is shaping up to a situation where beach access is apparently being provided but will be severely restricted during certain times of the year while at the same time, a parking lot will be constructed that will encourage the hoards to descend from LA and other points south. It is just a recipe for conflict. My idea is to build the house (or a couple of houses) and provide an unimproved and rustic pathway to the beach without signage and that requires athletic ability and an adventurous spirit to find and navigate. There is currently plenty of parking available (if you know where to find it), so there is no need for a parking lot. Providing access but not improving accessibility would protect the traditional access to the surf spot, protect the kites and seals from hoards of LA surfers and local dog-walkers, and provide the property owners with the isolated enjoyment of their little private bluff-top enclave. Seems like a win-win-win to me. However, I have a feeling that absolutely nobody except me and few local wave sliders would love this idea.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
February 3, 2014 at 8:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I do hope that some how that place ends up just as described by Eckerman.

As much I like the idea of ensuring that owners of large properties allow coastal access either through a the property or on the edge of the property, foofighter actually brings up a good point with property taxes and forced easements.

Hey foofighter - do you think that maybe if we didn't have property taxes then people who owned large amounts of land wouldn't have such a vested interest their land and could potentially provide the city with more trusts to keep more land open?

With all that money we all save in property taxes, no doubt we could have used it toward some fine private educational institutions as well as perhaps some investments in acquiring land for open public use.

Property ownership of land is one of the more difficult concepts to define and regulate. In a truly free society I think to own land you have to use the land in some way to keep ownership. However when you create laws that preclude property owners from using their land and then charge them property taxes, it makes it difficult to argue that they don't own it. Then you get what we've got here - nice empty open land with beautiful beaches surrounded by security guards for no apparent reason.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 4, 2014 at 10:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Keep investing your future in bit coins, loonpt. They match your keen sense of property, finance, security, and economics.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
February 4, 2014 at 11:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Eckerman, you are essentially saying rights are for me, but not for thee? And ..shhhhhhhh … you're not telling. Get back to me when you get the job as official Horde-Keeper-Awayer at this property.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
February 4, 2014 at 11:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I wouldn't recommend investing your future in bitcoins, though having some is certainly a good idea considering the enormous potential upside. Personally I have a 401k with matching employer contributions, though if I could get more of my income tax free no doubt I would be holding a larger portion in silver and gold because, well, I don't know if you've been watching the Dow Jones lately but it is over 1,000 points in the hole over the last month. We might be headed for a crash, especially if the Super Bowl Half Time show was any indication (AMERICA: PREPARE!)

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 4, 2014 at 11:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

US Postal Service Explores Adding Bitcoin Exchanges

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 4, 2014 at 12:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Loonpt, next suggestion once you get rid of property taxes, do you cut the state and local budgets proportionally, or do you generate additional state and local revenue elsewhere?

From wiki:

California Property tax rates are ranked 17th highest in the nation having been capped by the Proposition 13 overwhelmingly passed in 1978.

Property taxes in California amounted to over $54.0 billion (2011) and are one of the largest taxes in California of which about $12.0 billion of the $54.0 billion collected was for voter approved "extras".

The Property Tax, despite being used primarily to finance local governments, has a significant effect on the state budget.

The state’s convoluted education finance system attempts to "equalize" school district property tax revenue for K–14 districts by using the states general funds collected mostly from income and sales taxes.

The state has changed the laws regarding property tax allocation many times to attempt to limit its extensive education costs. …...

foofighter (anonymous profile)
February 4, 2014 at 12:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Actually Foo, I don't want any rights not available to any person. I want the access to the property (which the owner has agreed to by the way), but I don't think that the access has to be so accessible as to require no effort. One of the great aspects of wild places is that they are, well, wild and lonely and not littered by hordes of people. Just as one of the quaint things about a large metropolitan city like Paris or London or New York is the vibrancy and diversity of the teaming masses. Making a place like the Gaviota Coast too accessible to the teaming masses would ruin the wild aspect of it. I don't want any special favors and I don't mind that someday I will be too old to scramble down a steep slope to get to the beach. I just think that we should have access to some places but to keep the wild aspect we should make the access physically challenging and inconvenient.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
February 4, 2014 at 3:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ray, a correction about the next steps in the process - this project is within the Coastal Commission's appeals jurisdiction, and as such can be appealed to the Commission within ten working days of the Commission receiving a Notice of Final Action from the County.

excitare (anonymous profile)
February 4, 2014 at 6:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I still think foo and loon and maybe others are the same person (the subject of several probably reliable emails I have received on who this weirdo is). We have sympathy for the seriously mentally ill.

sbreader (anonymous profile)
February 4, 2014 at 7:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you for this info, Ray, I'm all for extending the CA coastal trail.
foo-loon or loon-foo often argue despite their community of interest and thus it must be fun inside that single cranium of ?theirs? both love their bitcoins!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2014 at 6:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

sbreader, you wrote something very interesting. In other threads I've challenged him-her-them (and JohnLocke) to disclose whether or not he-she-they get paid to write what he-she-they post, and to identify him-her-themselves. So far, only sneers and growls have been offered in response by this-these coward(s), who won't put a personal stamp of affirmation on his-her-their abundant pronouncements and pontifications.

Back to the Makar project: yes, the Coastal Commission will have a say on the permit approvals, and the county's certified EIR, Findings and Statement of Overriding Considerations probably will be challenged in court. I've been watching this project from near (when I still worked for the county) and far (since leaving county employment almost seven years ago), and it'll be fascinating to see how it all turns out.

GregMohr (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2014 at 7:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I've always suspected there are some paid misanthropes lurking here. Would love to access the Indy's servers to check out some IP addresses.

There's always a silver lining. I might write a web scrapper to filter their comments to minimize the amount of mouse-wheeling my index finger needs to do :)

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2014 at 9:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ok, back to the grown up conversation.

"Loonpt, next suggestion once you get rid of property taxes, do you cut the state and local budgets proportionally, or do you generate additional state and local revenue elsewhere?"

The biggest problem with property taxes is that it means you don't really own your property, you are renting it from the government. It's like being a serf. Poor people have historically been able to overcome poverty much better when they are able to ACTUALLY own their own property. It gives them much more stability because they always have a home to go to. Property taxes are really insidious.

The biggest problem with income taxes is that it discourages production and this merely makes it more difficult for poor people are able to increase their standard of living. Income taxes are insidious.

The optimal tax, if you need a tax, is a consumption tax, aka sales tax. If rich people consume a lot, then they pay high taxes. Poor people consume less. You can even have a consumption tax where energy and food are not taxed which helps poor people be able to better afford their basic needs. But if a rich person merely produces a lot and they live in a small hut on a small piece of property, why tax them when they aren't even seeing the benefits of their work yet by consuming more goods and services? So far all they have done is serve society, and you want to tax them on that? It doesn't make much sense economically.

Although it's one of the last things I would get rid of, I'm philosophically opposed to public education so that would significantly reduce the state budget right there. People would get their property taxes back and have more than enough extra money to spend on private schools. These could be religious schools, non-religious, oriented toward technology, art or classic education or be some sort of adaptation of these. It would all be up to the parents and students to decide what type of school would work best for them.

I don't think the states need to be involved in very much. I don't think they need to be involved in building and maintaining roads, but that isn't the worst government function either and not something I would transfer to the private sector until some other things are in order. I would prefer to see social welfare go back to the states rather than the federal government. A significant reduction in federal taxes and federal spending would give the states more lee-way in what we are able to do at a local level.


loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2014 at 11:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)


The Constitution outlines exactly what the Federal Government is supposed to do, and 99% of what they do today is not written in the Constitution, but is some perverted interpretation of the general welfare clause. Everything that is not specifically outlined in the Constitution is supposed to be done by the states. Really the main function of the Federal Govt. is to protect our rights from outside foreign threats through defensive measures. They can also use gold and silver to make money among a few other things (of course today they don't even do that, all they do is print worthless paper that isn't backed by anything).

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2014 at 11:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm getting pretty sick and tired of some of the lefties on this site dismissing those who promote liberty and free markets as some sort of fringe, crazy notion of how we can go about improving prosperity for everyone, poor or wealthy.

You know what? YOU are the crazy one. You want to know why?

Check out this image:

If you can't see it, or chose not to click, it shows a picture of a IV bag of saline solution that hospitals charge up to $800 for, which only cost $1 to manufacture.

It is a perfect representation of why health care is so expensive and also why you are crazy. There is no way a free market would allow a product that costs $1 to manufacture to be sold for $800 because free markets are competitive. The reason why people pay up to $800 for a $1 product is because government has created so many rules and regulations around the health industry that there is literally no competition.

Government is responsible for most working people being on corporate insurance plans because they subsidize them. It doesn't mean they are cheaper, it means we all have to pay for these plans. They give you no options on your level of coverage, very little options regarding which doctors you can visit and there is no ability for you to go and shop around for a better doctor or a cheaper doctor or even cheaper pharmaceuticals.

There is literally no free market function left in medicine because it is so highly controlled and regulated by government. And what is your solution? You want more control over our health care industry by government. Some say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Who cares if the government doesn't control or pay for everybody's health care if overall health care costs went down 10x, 20x or more?? It would be such an insignificant cost for most people and it would make it much easier to help provide care for the poor because we don't have to pay $800 for an IV bag for a person who collects change on the street so somebody else can get rich selling IV bags. THAT is insanity.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2014 at 11:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

-sigh- Let me just say that it's a good thing most people don't pine for a libertarian Utopia. Regulations exist because, among other reasons, left alone, the unfettered market kills people: with car crashes (unrestricted at-grade intersections); tainted food and water; tainted and poisonous drugs and medical quackery; dogma passed off as fact in private schools including at-home "schools"; need I go on?

Now, back to Makar: the owners bought the land for a very tidy sum, with an expectation of enjoying reasonable use of the land. I have no quarrel with that. However, the future reasonable use needs to account for the "bundle of sticks" that came along with the land when they bought it: possible prescriptive easements for public access; legitimate use restrictions due to biologic, geologic, hydrologic and other resource concerns; the existing Hwy. 101 and UPRR transportation corridors; and a host of others. Every property owner assumes a "bundle of sticks" whenever land is bought--that's settled law. How many sticks are in that bundle, what kind of wood they are, how long and thick they are, what color they are, how strong they are--all vary from situation to situation and may be subject to interpretation and reasonable debate. What's not open to reasonable debate is whether or not a fee owner has unfettered rights to do whatever they please; they don't.

GregMohr (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2014 at 1:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

like foo, loon's a free market fundamentalist,as if the "market" will solve all...get real, and accept complexity. When you write, "I'm philosophically opposed to public education" you are just to the right of foo who is far FAR right. Without public ed...ahh, you are fringe and way out of touch, dude.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2014 at 1:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Greg that is bologna.

"the unfettered market kills people: car crashes"

This statement doesn't make any sense. Roads can most certainly be restricted in a free market and in a much more efficient and reasonable manner. There is nothing the government can do in a the realm of design or construction that the free market cannot. Rather than being restricted by a monopoly entity roads would be restricted by an entity that has competition with other roads AND methods of transportation. You have to see the irony in leftists supporting government to build roads and then railing against people who use cars. The reason people use cars is because the government stole people's money and built the roads, they were not built out of genuine market demand and so they were foisted on us with no better alternatives.

"tainted food and water"

Why? I would argue that they would be LESS tainted. Look at all the crap that gets put in our food today, it is because it is all FDA approved and most people don't do any research on what they are eating because they figure if the government says it is ok to sell it, then it must be "ok". See: Moral Hazard

As far as water, you don't seem to understand free market environmentalism and why it is so much superior for the environment to government regulated environmentalism. Big corporations go to DC and lobby government to create environmental regulations that benefit their company and drive out their competition. They pass liability caps so that companies can only be liable for X amount of damages. In the free market, if a company damages property by poisoning a water supply then they would be 100% liable for all damages. It is a regulated market where the government allows businesses to pollute our rivers and oceans, and you can't sue the company for damages because they are following the environmental regulations!!

"tainted and poisonous drugs and medical quackery"

In my opinion, most of the drugs big pharma sells are poisonous and medical quackery. Most of the food that the FDA approves is poisonous and causes all sorts of health problems that could easily be avoided if we ate organic vegetables, pastured meats and fruit and cut down on the grains and processed foods. Not to mention, you obviously didn't read my paragraph about the $1 bag of saline solution being sold for $800. If you want to pay those kind of prices then go join your own demented private medical association and don't force ME to be apart of that kind of stupidity.

"dogma passed off as fact in private schools including at-home "schools""

You mean like the anti-freedom bullcrap dogma that you keep preaching that is taught in public schools and universities??! Because that is way worse than believing in a God or a flying spaghetti monster. I am just as opposed to Christian fundamentalists destroying my right to live my life the way I want as I am opposed to you forcing your poorly thought out economic system on me.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2014 at 3:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This is an EXCELLENT video about how big government is in fact beholden to large corporations and how it holds down the little guy and the poor:

Everybody should watch that and think about it.

"Without public ed...ahh, you are fringe and way out of touch, dude."

DrDan, you try to paint me as being against education when I'm merely against public education. That is because the vast majority of politicians that control the system are sociopaths and I don't think children should be learning from curriculum that is controlled by sociopathic dictator types.

There is a city, I believe Camden, NJ where I posted a little while back that only 3 or 4 kids in the entire district are "college ready" according to their SAT scores, yet they spend about $23k/year per child on education!! That would never fly in the free market, each child in that district should be receiving a $23k check from government and be able to find their own educational institution and not be forced to go to a crappy public school where the money gets siphoned off into administrators. On top of that, they would have money left over for food, school supplies and iPads.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 5, 2014 at 3:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Libertarians are Selfish - They won't let me decide how their money is spent

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 6, 2014 at 2:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

ahh, loon, now I get it, you're merely "merely against public education" -- and this has the merit of honesty, as well as being such a friend of the common good.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
February 6, 2014 at 5:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

loonpt - The US has (probably) the only for-profit medicine system in the world and is the most expensive. This is because corporations call the shots not the government. The ACA is supposed to increase "free-marketness" and lessen the "monopoliness" of the corporate healthcare system.

Corporations have to use at least 80% of their income on medical services, and the exchanges are supposed to introduce competition.

Btw, can you give an example of where free market medicine has been successful in the world?

tabatha (anonymous profile)
February 6, 2014 at 6:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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