View from Baron Ranch
Speak up for the Gaviota Coast!
For the update on what's possible and what's at stake, please check our recent Op Ed in the Independent, in collaboration with Sigrid Wright of Community Environmental Council. Also, here's our GCC Letter to the Planning Commission, sharing what we see could be possible and why it's a good time to reconsider this astronomically-expensive project.
Here's the skinny: The Gaviota Coast is a nationally significant open space and natural area. The County Public Works Department (PWD) operates the 350-acre Tajiguas Landfill 26 miles west of Santa Barbara in what was once a coastal canyon on the Gaviota Coast, now filled with trash.
In 1999, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to close the Tajiguas Landfill by 2015, but instead, PWD proposed a trash processing facility to extend Tajiguas Landfill to 2036 or beyond. The trash processing facility will be constructed and operated by an investment group from San Luis Obispo, Mustang Investors, LLC. While the County originally required the facility to be privately financed, they later agreed to use municipal bond financing to borrow around $122 million to build the facility. This puts the County, and all ratepayers, on the hook if the facility fails. According to leading experts in the solid waste industry, the facility is poorly designed and may never operate as promised. Even if it does fail, approval of the project means that Tajiguas and the Gaviota Coast will continue to serve as a hub for all South Coast solid waste for 20 or more years.
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GCC has long opposed expansions of the landfill and opposed the Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project (TRRP). Despite this opposition, the County approved the TRRP in 2016 but used the wrong coastal zone boundary line. Landfills are not allowed in the coastal zone, so the County is trying to revise and re-approve the project. The County is now proposing to expand the Tajiguas Landfill and site the TRRP’s anaerobic digester on the adjacent Baron Ranch and make a series of other changes to the project.
GCC has recently been working on developing an alternative approach to South Coast solid waste management that has substantially better environmental benefits at considerably less cost while embracing a progressive, long-term vision for the South Coast’s waste streams. This vision cannot proceed if the TRRP is approved.
The County is desperate to re-approve the TRRP, but to do so, must get approval for steeply increased trash rates. Those rate increases will be considered on September 5 by the Goleta City Council. The Rate setting hearing will follow a hearing on the fate of the Ellwood Butterfly grove, which GCC is involved in supporting the Friends of the Ellwood Monarchs.
Thank you for your support for the Gaviota Coast
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Gaviota Coast Conservancy played a major role
Caltrans has officially designed the Gaviota Coast as a State Scenic Highway. Over the past year, Gaviota Coast Conservancy worked tirelessly with Caltrans, County staff and the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors to make this happen. As stated by the Director of Caltrans, "the scenic qualities of this well-deserved section of California's coast will be preserved, so that they may continue to be appreciated and enjoyed by all."
Gaviota Coast Conservancy, along with Supervisor Doreen Farr, have long pushed for this overdue designation. The new Scenic Highway will extend along a 21-mile stretch of Highway 101, from Goleta's western boundary to Highway 1 at Las Cruces, where it will connect with another scenic route on Highway 1 between Las Cruces and Lompoc. For more detail, here's an article on the Gaviota Coast Scenic Highway designation in the Lompoc Record
. Check out Noozhawk
coverage as well.
Your Gaviota Coast Conservancy board continues to work diligently to help preserve the Gaviota Coast. This is one more step in that pursuit. We are most proud and pleased to have taken a leading role in this project, and look forward to continuing our work in the coming year. Special thanks to board Vice President Steve Forsell for his dedicated efforts.
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Visions of the Gaviota Coast
The board of the Gaviota Coast Conservancy
(photographed at the event, to the left) would like to thank everyone who participated for another successful fundraiser (especially our sponsors and partners). A fabulous time was had by all who attended. Please enjoy and share this photo album of the event!
The Fifth Annual SCAPE Art Benefit for Gaviota Coast Conservancy and Naples Coalition, Visions of the Gaviota Coast,
was held at the stunning Bacara Resort and Spa (8301 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117) on Friday, 4/14/17, 2-8p, with a reception on Friday (5-8p), and silent auction (2-7p) and Saturday, 4/15/17, from 10a-4p, with a film screening of Shaw Leonard's Gaviota: The End of Southern California
The admission-free benefit art sale went from 4/14 at 2pm through 4/15 at 4p. The two-day art show featured a reception on Friday (5-8p) with live music, silent auction, appetizers and wine with a donation. The silent auction had products by GCC's 1% for the Planet sponsors, Patagonia and SeaVees, as well as local gift certificates, two tickets to see Jack Johnson at the County Bowl, a night with spa treatment at El Encanto, a night at Circle Bar-B Ranch, Zapotec weavings from Anomaly Imports, wines and fun packages... plus much more! Bacara Resort provided a one-night stay and spa treatment for the raffle.
For more info on Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment, please visit www.S-C-A-P-E.org