A week after receiving unfavorable feedback from Santa Barbara
County supervisors, the authors of a Transfer of Development Rights
(TDR) feasibility study for the Santa Barbara Ranch found far more
sympathetic ears at the Santa Barbara City Council meeting Tuesday
night. With a pending application to build between 54 and 72 luxury
estates on the oceanfront hills of Naples, open space advocates and
environmentalists are urgently seeking a way to protect what many
consider the gateway to the Gaviota Coast. The TDR plan would
exchange some development rights from the 800-acre Naples area to
city-owned property in downtown Santa Barbara and some county
holdings. While county supervisors quickly dismissed the idea, city
councilmembers were optimistic, offering advice on how to make TDR
more palatable to the public and asking the county to reconsider
it. Although the study identified four specific city areas as
possible receiver sites — the Cota Street commuter parking lot, the
Haley/Anacapa parking lot, the Wright Property, and the
Redevelopment Agency property near Calle César
Chávez — councilmembers agreed that more Naples land could be saved
if more valuable receiver sites were chosen, such as hilltop or
oceanfront areas. According to the study, 70 units built on the
Cota Street parking lot site would generate $20 million, which
would preserve 29 inland lots at Naples, or just two of the mansion
bluff-top sites. Would-be Naples developer Matt Osgood has offered
an 18-month grace period for a TDR process to be established. The
county’s draft Environmental Impact Report on the project is
scheduled for release in early May.


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