The upcoming “deal” with Hollister Ranch Home Owners Association allowing limited access to the public beaches is baloney. Beaches are public up to the high tide mark. All the beaches in California, with the exception of military bases are public. Even the beach below San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant is open to the public.
The settlement would allow access only by sea to less than one mile of the 8 1/2 miles of beaches below Hollister Ranch. Only surfboards, paddle boards, kayaks, or soft-bottomed boats would be allow to land on the beach.
The settlement was signed by the California Coastal Conservancy, the state Coastal Commission, and the Hollister Ranch Owners Association. The Hollister Ranch Owners Association is challenging the California’s landmark Coastal Act, which allows the public access to beaches. Our public beaches are for all of us, not just those fortunate enough to live on Hollister Ranch.
Thankfully, in granting preliminary approval, Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Colleen Sterne asked that the terms of the settlement be made know to the public. We must let her know that this is unacceptable. Executive director of the Coastal Commission, Jack Ainsworth, said he is looking to public feedback.
Please, let’s all let Judge Colleen Sterne, the Coastal Commission’s Jack Ainsworth, and the California State Coastal Conservancy, know we think the giving up of public beaches is unconscionable.