|Summary|| Item Th18.1 and 18.2 Enforcement Report - Cojo Jalama Ranch Consent Cease and Desist Order No. CCC-17-CD-03 and Consent Restoration Order No. CCC-17-RO-01
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 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. Through the Consent Orders, the owners agreed to apply to Santa Barbara County for after-the-fact authorization to retain some or all of the water wells, to remove any wells for which such authorization is either not sought or is denied, and to restore areas impacted by the aforementioned wells.
Additionally, 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.
Environmental Defense Center, California Native Plant Society, Surfrider Foundation, California Coastal Protection Network and Gaviota Coast Conservancy all supported the proposed consent order and settlement agreement. Commissioners unanimously approved the cease and desist and consent restoration order.
|Outcome Description||Commissioners were supportive of staff’s recommendation, noting this as a monumental decision that will improve coastal access and stewardship. During deliberation, Commissioner Donne Brownsey expressed concern over the number of wells and potential future planned uses.Commissioner Mary Luebano motioned to approve both the cease and desist order and the consent order. Commissioner Mark Vargas and Commissioner Eric Howell seconded the motions, respectively. The motions passed unanimously.|
|Why You Should Care||The approved settlement agreement will result in enhanced public access, improved habitat protection and restoration for a large portion of historically inaccessible coastal land in Santa Barbara County.|
|Decision Type||Cease and Desist and Consent Restoration Order|
|Opposition to Project|
|Coastal Act Policies||Chapter 3|
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