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LAND and SEA

County Supervisor Brooks Firestone is pursuing an innovative
method of preserving the scenic value of at least one key piece of
the Gaviota Coast: creating a graveyard on a
10-acre parcel which is currently for sale and zoned for
highway-oriented commerce. Firestone’s staff has been researching
environmentally oriented cemeteries that have been established
elsewhere, including some with no gravestones whatsoever; families
and friends wishing to zero in on their loved ones’ remains use a
global positioning system. On Tuesday, the Goleta Cemetery District
opened discussions on expanding its jurisdiction to Gaviota and
Santa Barbara, two regions that presently have no public
cemeteries.

The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission conceptually
approved plans last week for a large-scale luxury
home
on a 17-acre lot atop Farren Road in Goleta. The
narrow 3-2 vote of approval — carried by North County
commissioners — calls for the construction of an approximately
10,000-cubic-yard dirt berm blocking the proposed house from the
public viewshed. The berm screening decision has caused serious
concern among enviros and land conservationists because it appears
to set a precedent allowing developers to modify the building site,
rather than the building itself, in order to satisfy various county
codes.

A rock-climbing adventure went awry on Saturday
when a Santa Ana man got stuck 200 feet up the face of a Gaviota
cliff. According to fire department spokesperson Keith Cullom, the
39-year-old visitor was taking a stroll along the beach when he
decided to try to scale a portion of the Gaviota bluffs, which are
composed primarily of dirt and shale. Firefighters were able to
haul the climber up using ropes lowered from the clifftop.

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