A who’s who of Gaviota Coast stakeholders turned out last week to the Goleta Union School District boardroom to kick off a county process that aims to develop a general plan for the region. A standing-room-only crowd of property owners, enviros, hopeful developers, park rangers, politicians, and citizens attended the July 16 event, offering input to the county staffers and talking among themselves about possible runs at a seat on the presently forming Gaviota Coast Planning Advisory Committee (GAVPAC).
Created by the Board of Supervisors when they made Gaviota a priority in the long-range work plan for the County Planning and Development department earlier this year, the GAVPAC, which is seeking applications for potential members until August 21, is designed to be a five- to nine-member committee comprised of stakeholders who will work with county staff to draft a Gaviota-specific general plan for the Board of Supervisors to adopt by 2012.
Considered by the county to be the approximately 101,000 acres bordered on the west by Vandenberg Air Force Base, to the east by Goleta and sandwiched between the crest of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the Gaviota region has never enjoyed a comprehensive general plan despite previous efforts to make one-one sanctioned by the county and the other carried out independently by a divergent group of interested parties known as the Gaviota Study Group. Ironically, the latter, which was heralded at last week’s meeting by 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr as “crafting a critically important document” that set the stage for the current county efforts, was never publicly acknowledged by former 3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone. The GAVPAC hopes to begin formal meetings in October.