WEATHER »

Planning Commission Green-Lights County’s First Zip Lines

Property Owner Near Buellton to Build Recreational Ropes Course


The first zip line ever proposed in Santa Barbara County got the greenlight last week from the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission after commissioners concluded its development would not jeopardize nearby agricultural operations. Property owner Stuart Gildred obtained permission to build five separate zip lines, ranging in length from 420 feet to 2,100 feet on 40 of the 1,186 acres he owns off Highway 246 near Buellton.

The land in question is steep oak savannah, and Gildred would erect 20 large poles on which to hang the wire lines. In peak-use seasons, the facility will be permitted to take no more than 80 customers a day. In addition, Gildred has proposed to build a ropes course — rope ladders and bridges that would enable customers to climb up, around, and among the oaks. The Planning Commission voted 4 to 1 to approve the project; they also voted to give the development what’s known as a mitigated negative declaration on the grounds that existing — and nearby— agricultural operations would not be threatened by the encroachment of commercial recreational uses.

Gildred is proposing to build no new roads or structures; the poles will be installed on areas that have already been disturbed, and the acreage in question is reportedly too steep for anything but marginal cattle grazing. Second District Planning Commissioner Cecilia Brown voted against, arguing the development — reportedly the first of its kind in Santa Barbara — would set a bad precedent and that she was intent on keeping zip lines off the Gaviota Coast.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Steven Seagal Named Special Envoy by Russia

The former Santa Ynez resident is a Russian citizen.

County Services Transitioning Away from Montecito Disaster Center

Post-1/9 support will still be available at readysbc.org.

Goleta Limits Accessory Dwelling Units to 800 Square Feet

The city followed most of the state's ADU rules, though two large projects swept through before the ...

New Coast Guard Cutter Named After Fallen Officer

Terrell Horne III was murdered near Santa Cruz Island in 2012.

SBCC Promise a Draw for High School Grads

Program offers two free years to dedicated students.