The genesis of the GavPlan began in 1999 with the initiation of the National Park Service study of the creation of a National Seashore on the Gaviota Coast, https://www.nps.gov/pwro/gaviota/. While this study found that the Coast was suitable for inclusion in the National Park system, George Bush and local landowners felt otherwise and the creational of a National Seashore on the Gaviota Coast died a contentious death in 2004.
The opposition to the National Seashore formed around the “Common Ground” process, a process led by landowners that failed to find much common ground in a series of boisterous meetings, but did agree on the concept of “local control” as the fundamental organizing principal.
As the Common Ground process was proving to be fruitless, a group of its members and stakeholders formed the Study Group in 2001. The 14 members of this group meet twice a month for a number of years, ultimately issues a report “Respecting Our Heritage, Determining Our Future” in the fall of 2005, http://ocpc.msi.ucsb.edu/pdfs/GCSG.pdf. The report offered a comprehensive plan for the long-term preservation of the Gaviota Coast and its agricultural productivity. This report fell on deaf ears at the Board of Supervisors under the leadership of Brooks Firestone.
Doreen Farr, an advocate of the Study Group process, replaced Brooks Firestone and in 2009 initiated the Gaviota Planning Advisory Committee (GavPAC) to prepare an updated to the local coastal plan. The Committee produced a balanced plan offering a fair compromise on environmental, agricultural, public access, and development issues. It should serve the public well in the coming decades.