In December of 1992, three Surfrider members attended the first public hearing on the ARCO golf course project. They were there to oppose development of over 100 acres of farmland on a bluff-top mesa on the shoreline of the Gaviota Coast. The proposed project would have had significant harmful environmental impacts, including the destruction of wildlife habitats and the use of toxic pesticides, herbicides, and rodenticides which would have polluted near shore waters along nearly a mile of coastline.
the Santa Barbara chapter defeated the project as a result of a vote by the California Coastal Commission to deny a permit for the development. Since then, the Santa Barbara chapter has been attempting to find a way to raise the necessary funds to purchase the property, now owned by Makar (a real estate development company), so that the site can be permanently conserved as open space and farmland. Makar has indicated a willingness to sell the land, but has also proceeded to apply for permits to build two estates on the site, and Surfrider is once again opposing development of the property.