This enforcement action addresses unpermitted development activities that were conducted across a large coastal property, known as the Cojo and Jalama Ranches in Santa Barbara County, which occupies an 11-mile swath of coastline on either side of Point Conception. The unpermitted development includes the installation of thirty seven water wells and significant sensitive habitat destruction in several locations, all done without approval under the California Coastal Act.
In October of 2017, after many years of concerted efforts to reach an amicable settlement of the issues on the Ranch, and more specifically over the last six months, the property owner agreed to the terms of the proposed Consent Orders. The Consent Orders require full restoration of all remaining areas impacted by unpermitted development, undertake two separate mitigation projects totaling approximately five hundred acres: 200 acres of oak tree planting, and 300 acres of ice plant removal from coastal prairie.
Notably, the owners will also transfer approximately 36 acres of coastal property located between Jalama Beach Park to the county park to expand the campground and park area and will pay $500,000 to the Commission’s Violation Remediation Account. The approved settlement agreement will result in improved habitat protection and restoration of public access to a large portion of historically inaccessible coastal land in Santa Barbara County.