The ins-and-outs of the lawsuit that resulted in Tuesday’s settlement are convoluted, to say the least. “The clash over property rights and public access began about 40 years ago when a group of landowners sued the Coastal Commission for requiring public easements as a condition of their development permits,” explains the L. A. Times. “They ended up paying an in-lieu fee of $5,000 that was created by the Legislature. “With Hollister Ranch essentially exempted from the typical coastal access provisions required of most beachside properties, the last shot the state had for public access by land was a rugged, difficult-to-navigate road that the YMCA had offered in 1982 as a condition of approval for a recreational center.
Property owners beg to differ. “We believe the settlement reflects an appropriate balance of interests — including managed public access to the beach and the continued privacy and security of the Ranch residents,” said Monte Ward, president of the Hollister Ranch Owners Association. “It also assures that the valuable natural resources along the coastline will be respected and protected into the future.
In turn, state officials agreed to forfeit the only public access route to the ranch via land, a move that’s being criticized by coastal access advocates. “We’re about public access for all, not just for some. … This is a lot to give up,” Susan Jordan, director of the California Coastal Protection Network, told the L. A. Times. “I’m also troubled by the whole getting there by boat. … Most people don’t have boats.
Read more here: The Inertia