"It could take years."
Any California surfer worth her salt is certainly aware of Hollister Ranch. The 14,000 acre parcel of pristine land, hovering just north of tony Santa Barbara, is owned by a handful of fat-cats and long been closed to the public. That same surfer, though, is likely enterprising and has likely been on a boat once, or twice, tasting those forbidden-esque waves, knowing how fine they are.
Well, two years ago, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that was supposed to open that stretch of coastline to poverty-stricken beach lovers, surfers, who both couldn’t afford million dollar real-estate nor boats and there was much rejoicing in various Hoovervilles and French Laundries.
But the über rich don’t just lie down like that, now, do they and The Hollister Ranch Owners Association got together to declare that public access “threatens to eliminate the ranch’s right to privacy and will upend the longtime conservation efforts, destroying a host of constitutional rights in the process.”
Lawsuits, legal wrangling, hullabaloo and now an April 1st deadline for completion of coastal access is set to be blown right through, being replaced by a “full programmatic environmental impact report” that could take years.
Sarah Christie, legislative director for the California Coastal Commission explained how this would all be a great thing during a meeting earlier this week. “This additional analysis will not only increase the public’s confidence that access won’t harm sensitive resources, it will enable the commission to better withstand legal challenges in the likely event that program approval is litigated.”
Sen. Monique Limón, a Democrat from Santa Barbara, was made sad by the delay and declared, “The original intent of my bill was to ensure a balance between equitable access and protections for the environment. This was always the intent: to balance public access while protecting our environment.”
The 1% will likely use the delay to plot more shenanigans, possibly building that wall.
More as the story develops.