Undeveloped coastal properties rank among the most valuable commodities in California, and protecting them is a battle often lost. Carpinterians, however, have triumphed not once but twice, as this week the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County announced the completion of its $7.9 million campaign to preserve the 21-acre Bluffs III property on the east end of Carpinteria Avenue.
Toro Canyon’s Hay Hill is home to a win-win-win land deal as John Gabbert, the new owner of the 88-acre property, recently shook hands with the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Their agreement further restricts the property’s limited development potential through a Land Trust–crafted conservation easement, which falls in line with the wishes of former owner Ann Koepfli, who gifted the property to the Botanic Garden in 2005. Gabbert — a Botanic Garden trustee — will get a modest tax break and be “allowed to renovate and expand one existing residence,” according to the Land Trust. “But the vast majority of the property’s coastal sage scrub, live oak woodland, chaparral, and grassland will remain untouched.”
For the article in the September 28, 2017 Santa Barbara Independent, click here.