An effort to preserve more than 20 acres of rare undeveloped oceanfront land on the South Coast is heading into the home stretch. The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County spearheaded efforts to buy the 21 areas of land on the Carpinteria bluffs zoned for a resort, to preserve it instead of seeing it developed. Now, final talks are underway to sell it to the City of Carpinteria, which will own and manage it.
The Trust stepped up because there was a big, but brief opportunity to buy, and preserve the land. The trust and the community rallied to raise $7.9 million dollars to buy the land, and set up an endowment to help with projects like trails.
The final step in the process is underway now. It’s working out the paperwork to place the land in a zoning status to permanently preserve it, as well as creating language for the City of Carpinteria to take over the land’s endowment.
The Carpinteria Planning Commission this week ruled that the preservation plan is consistent with the city’s general plan. The goal is to have it rezoned from resort space to open space.
Much of the land at one point had been stripped bare because of development plans. But, it’s largely bounced back to its natural state. Land Trust officials say they are hoping to have all the pieces in place by this fall so the Carpinteria City Council can take a final vote on the plan, and officially buy the scenic property.