RMA-ridge-trailRancho Monte Alegre, Carpinteria

The largest conservation easement ever created in Santa Barbara County was negotiated by the Land Trust with the owners of Rancho Monte Alegre, a 3,109 acre historic ranch in the Carpinteria foothills. Since the late 1900s, the land has been used for cultivation of olives, citrus, loquats, figs and apples, as well as dairy farming.

The conservation easement permanently limits development to 24 home sites on the ranch. The homes are required to be located and designed to minimize their visibility from the Carpinteria Valley. Outside of the 24 home sites, which cover less than one percent of the property, about 300 acres are in an agricultural easement, mostly where orchards now exist. All of the land outside the farm areas and home sites, about 2,750 acres, are governed by a conservation easement that allows no agricultural, residential or other development. The upper watershed of Santa Monica Creek and Sutton Canyon Creek, made up of coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and riparian woodland habitat, will be protected in perpetuity as natural, scenic open space.