“Naples” is commonly referred to as the “crown jewel of the Gaviota Coast”. This iconic curved coastal bluff with grasslands carved by arroyos and rolling waves offshore is a familiar image in our collective conscience.
Naples has a rich and storied history – adjacent to the Chumash “dos pueblos” of Mikiw and Kuya’mu, long the subject of real estate speculation dating back to an 1888 subdivision, and enjoyed by generations of surfers and nature lovers accessing the stunning views across a working agricultural landscape.
During the 2000’s the Santa Barbara County community rallied to preserve the rural character of the Gaviota Coast and protect Naples from being transformed into a luxury residential development. Although the 71-unit project (called the “Santa Barbara Ranch Project”) was ultimately approved by the County Board of Supervisors, the developer, Matt Osgood of Orange County, never obtained approvals from the Coastal Commission and lost the property in foreclosure.
Now a new luxury residential development on the coastal bluff at Naples is moving forward through the County’s review process. DMF Fund, LLC controls an inholding of lots within the larger Santa Barbara Ranch, including those proposed for the DMF Fund Seaside Ranch Project. The DMF Project proposes a 9,025 sq. ft. residential development on the coastal bluff west of the main Naples access road (Langtry Ave). Story poles showing the proposed development were reviewed by the Central Board of Architectural Review (CBAR) on October 13, 2023, and will be onsite until at least Friday October 20th.
Photo credit: Phil McKenna, taken on CBAR Site Visit, 10/13/23
Photo with Story Poles enhanced for clarity
The DMF Fund Seaside Ranch Project has not yet obtained County approval. Planning approval (by the County Zoning Administrator, appealable to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors), and preliminary and final CBAR approval, are still required. Additionally, a restoration project is required following illegal on-site habitat destruction that occurred in 2020, that is anticipated to be processed concurrently with the residential project.
GCC will endeavor to alert the public in advance of opportunities to comment on this project that would forever transform this iconic and sensitive coastal bluff at Naples. Along with our partners including the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) and the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, GCC will weigh in at every opportunity to protect the sensitive resources of this iconic area, and to preserve the current and historical public recreational experience of the undeveloped coastal bluff at Naples.
GCC has attempted to establish a relationship with the owner of the DMF lots to see if common ground can be reached, but have been unable to communicate with him directly. Our primary question for the owner, given the beauty of the property, its sensitive cultural and biological resources, and the importance of the property to the community, “Would the owner be interested in being compensated in a deal that conserves this property forever in its natural state, for present and future generations to enjoy?”
For more information about the Naples property and its history, see https://www.gaviotacoastconservancy.org/santa_barbara_ranch_naples/.
For an insightful visual history of Naples, thanks to Tom Modugno, visit; https://goletahistory.com/naples/