In June of 2016, the Santa Barbara Trails Council submitted an application for a Coastal Development Permit to the California Coastal Commission. This application was deemed “Incomplete” on December 19, 2016. Since then, the Trails Council has been working with City Planning staff to address each of the incompleteness items and concerns raised by the Coastal Commission staff to revise and resubmit a complete application in December of 2018 or in early 2019.
The City will continue to update this page after future milestones are reached, or as needed, in order to keep the interested public up-to-date.
The proposed Ellwood Mesa Coastal Trails and Habitat Restoration Project would improve approximately 2.1 miles of existing coastal trails on the Ellwood Mesa/Sperling Preserve Open Space (Ellwood Mesa). This would include improvements to 1.56 miles of existing trails as well as drainage improvements to direct surface flows off of trails and improvements in trail tread surface such as leveling and eliminating ruts or ridges within the trail. In addition, approximately 0.54 miles of trail would be realigned around sensitive areas in conformance with the City of Goleta General Plan/Coastal Land Use Plan. The proposed Project would also include improvements to three drainage crossings, and two existing beach access points. Additionally, habitat restoration is proposed for approximately 12-13 acres adjacent to the trail and coastal blufftop as envisioned and planned for in the 2004 Ellwood-Devereux Coast Open Space and Habitat Management Plan.
Purpose and Need
This project would make improvements at Ellwood Mesa, including portions of the California Coastal Trail and Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, along with restoring wildlife and other natural habitats along the trail corridor, blufftop areas and two beach access points in order to improve overall accessibility throughout Ellwood Mesa, enhance public safety, and protect and restore the sensitive biological resources within the area.
Funding obtained by the Santa Barbara Trails Council from the Coastal Conservancy and the Goleta Valley Land Trust in 2012, and from the County of Santa Barbara and the University of California Regents in 2014. This funding provides a unique opportunity to begin improvements that will help maintain valuable natural resources, improve recreational access, address safety issues and support the long-term sustainability of Ellwood Mesa.
On June 16, 2014 the Planning Commission approved a resolution adopting the Final Mitigated Negative Declaration (Final MND) and the Monitoring, Monitoring, and Reporting Program (MMRP), and approving the Development Plan for the Ellwood Mesa Coastal Trails and Habitat Restoration Project.
For information on the Planning Commission hearing, please see the Public Outreach and Hearings section. The Final MND and MMRP is posted directly below.
Public Outreach and Hearings
Workshop #1 – September 6, 2012
Workshop #2 – December 5, 2012
Environmental Hearing – April 16, 2014
Planning Commission Adoption Hearing – June 16, 2014
For a recording of the hearing, visit here.