Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 4:00 – 5:30

Bren Hall 1414

“Protecting our Coast: Local versus State Control over Land Use and Development in the Coastal Zone”

Hosted by Gail Osherenko, Bren School Lecturer, Project Scientist, Marine Science Institute

Co-sponsored by UCSB’s Coastal Fund and the Environmental Studies Program


Thirty-five years after passage of the California Coastal Act, local cities and counties are still battling over the rules for coastal development and who gets to define them. Santa Barbara County is just the latest locality to come to impasse with the statewide Commission over the content of its Land Use Development Code (LUDC). In 2007, the Board of Supervisors adopted reformated LUDCs (for the County and for Montecito) after a multi-year process of hearings, but the statewide Coastal Commission would not certify (approve) the LUDC without substantial modifications to protect agricultural lands, coastal bluffs, and environmentally sensitive habitat. The modifications would require landowners to obtain permits from the County for animal keeping, agricultural grading or expansion of grazing, and cultivated agriculture. The County to date has exempted these from the need to obtain a permit. In addition the Coastal Commission wanted to prohibit the construction of new private coastal bluff stairways, which the County had allowed with the approval of a conditional use permit. The County now relies on a 1984 Coastal Zone Ordinance (referred to as Article II) to implement the County’s Coastal Land Use Plan. Landowners with homes and ranches in the coastal zone strongly opposed the modifications and urged the County to reject them. On Feb. 1, the Board of Supervisors rejected the Commission’s modifications and opted to continue to operate under the old Article II, virtually tossing out 7 years of work to reformat and update the LUDC. Dr. Russell and Ms. Krop will discuss the process, the implications of the decision, and what might happen next.


Dr. Glenn S. Russell became Director of Santa Barbara County’s Planning and Development Department in 2009. He holds a master’s degree in archaeology and a doctorate in anthropology from UCLA.

Ms. Linda Krop is Chief Counsel of the EDC and teaches environmental and planning law in the Environmental Studies Program at UCSB.

Mr. Paul VanLeer, Las Varas Ranch manager, Santa Barbara County Agricultural Advisory Committee.


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