Renewed Public Pressure Aims to Make Hollister Ranch Coastline Accessible to Everyone

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Signs warn of trespassing at Hollister Ranch Road. Mounting public outrage has fueled multiple new efforts by state officials to open a coveted stretch of California coastline. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Signs warn of trespassing at Hollister Ranch Road. Mounting public outrage has fueled multiple new efforts by state officials to open a coveted stretch of California coastline. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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When California ordered property owners to provide beach access for all, Hollister Ranch made the case that the pristine coastline west of Santa Barbara deserved an exception.

With 14,500 acres connected only by private roads, ranchers argued it was impossible for each of them, as required by law, to provide a public route to the beach every time they sought a permit to build. So lawmakers allowed owners to pay a fee instead — with the money going toward a ranch-wide route to be built by the state “as expeditiously as possible.”

But decades later, no one has held up that end of the bargain.

The fees? Still sitting in the bank — and amounting to a lot less than the state envisioned.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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