Hollister Ranch Access Legislation Fails at Governor's Desk

AB 2534 Sought to Implement 'Outdated' Access Program

Paul Wellman (file)

Hollister Ranch owners were happy to hear that Governor Jerry Brown rejected Assembly Bill 2534, proposed legislation by Assemblymember Monique Limón that aimed to created an account controlled by the State Lands Commission to expand public access in the 14,500-acre gated community, including an existing plan that never materialized.

"While well intentioned, this bill relies on the implementation of a coastal access program adopted in 1982," Brown wrote on September 30. "Although this program could have been completed over three decades ago, it was not and it is now outdated. Before raising any money, as envisioned in this bill, the relevant state agencies should be required to work together to craft a sensible and fiscally responsible plan."

In related news, Hollister Ranch owners late last year settled litigation with the state, allowing for limited daytime public access to Cuarta Beach but only via watercraft. A team of environmental groups have challenged that settlement and hope to establish a coastal trail to Cuarta Beach and beyond. A pivotal court hearing is scheduled for November 19.