Former mayor of Goleta Ed Easton, a longtime guardian of the Gaviota Coast, died on Wednesday. | Credit: Paul Wellman/file photo

Ed Easton, a former Goleta city councilmember, died this morning of health complications following a stroke. A councilmember as Goleta went into its second decade of cityhood – serving from 2008 to 2014 – Easton was the city’s mayor in 2012. He stepped down when he moved out of the city’s limits, which he ascribed to his wife’s desire for a new house. He had also been on the city’s Design Review Board and Planning Commission.

Easton came to the West Coast in 2000, when he and his wife, Ky, moved from the Washington, D.C., area, where Easton had started an environmental leadership company. Prior to that, he’d been with the National Wildlife Federation and had also been involved in a number of wilderness issues in the Piedmont and Appalachia areas. He had a degree in architecture, obtained at Yale University in 1965, and had worked as an architect in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to his biography. The Eastons moved to California as one of their two sons, Ed, was living here, his brother Will Easton told the Independent.

Easton held a seat on the Board of Directors for the Gaviota Coast Conservancy for many years, chairing its land use committee and playing a large role in design review issues. “He had a sharp eye for design problems,” said GCC attorney Marc Chytilo, “and could quickly identify them for applicants.” He recalled how Easton kept a highly visible “house of glass and wall of dirt” from going up on a Gaviota ridgeline and how he accomplished design reviews for dozens of house sites at the Naples project.

Easton was described by his friends as involved, engaged, and positive, though known on occasion to have an edge. “He was a hearty dude with a smile almost as big as his mustache,” said one. Easton was 83 when he died.


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