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Hollister Ranch Settlement Deemed Invalid

Beach at Hollister Ranch | Credit: Kathleen Sawyer

On Monday, Judge Colleen Sterne doubled-down on her January tentative ruling that the California Coastal Commission and the State Coastal Conservancy failed to protect the public interest when it quietly settled a coastal access lawsuit with the Hollister Ranch Owners Association (HROA). 

The settlement, reached privately between the agencies and the HROA, gave up the public’s right to visit Cuarta Canyon beach, a right that extended from a 1982 agreement with the YMCA. Sterne vacated the “closed-session approval of the HROA settlement” in a 48-page ruling that found in favor of the Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance, which sprang up to fight the settlement. 

The parties meet before Judge Sterne again on December 16.

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