Hollister Ranch Public Access Program

Aerial photo of Hollister Ranch. Photo credit: Commission staff

Sep 24, 2021 | Public Access

Coastal Access Program Update

On September 24, the state agency team released a draft Coastal Access Program for providing public access at Hollister Ranch. The team which is comprised of senior staff representing the Coastal Commission, State Coastal Conservancy, State Lands Commission, and the Department of Parks and Recreation, completed an extensive public outreach program and a resource inventory that is the basis for the draft public access program. 

California’s iconic coast is home to many of California’s precious natural, cultural, and historic resources. The public policy of protecting, expanding, enhancing, and promoting public access to the State’s coast, tidelands, and waterways is embodied in California’s Constitution, numerous laws, and the common law. California is a world leader in protecting its coast and advancing the right of all people to access and enjoy our beaches and ocean.

Hollister Ranch is a 14,500-acre gated subdivision in Santa Barbara County that includes 8.5 miles of publicly owned shoreline, though no public access. The Gaviota Coast, of which Hollister Ranch is a significant part, is the least accessible stretch of coast in California, with less than 2 miles of publicly accessible shore in more than 60 miles of coastline.

In 1981, the California Coastal Commission adopted an initial Hollister Ranch Public Access Program, which was updated a year later. The final program called for a phased and monitored approach to opening and managing access to the Ranch. Despite numerous legislative, legal, and administrative efforts over the past few decades, there is still no public access to the 8.5 miles of coast at Hollister Ranch.

In 2019, State Parks, the California Coastal Commission, the Coastal Conservancy, and the State Lands Commission entered into an interagency collaboration agreement to achieve public access to and along the coast at Hollister Ranch. In 2019 and 2020, the agencies will work collaboratively and in conjunction with the public to update the Hollister Ranch public access program to finally provide long-delayed public access to this stretch of coastline.

For additional information, please see the Coastal Commission’s Hollister Ranch website or the State Coastal Conservancy Hollister Ranch website.

If you would like to be included on the State Coastal Conservancy email list for the public access planning process, please email trish.chapman@scc.ca.gov

Hollister Ranch Informational Update

Below are slides that accompanied a presentation by Joseph Porter and Philip Schlatter at the April 2019 Commission meeting. The presentation highlights some of the fabulous survey and drone work our staff performed in late 2018 and early 2019. The presentations include information about the mean high tide line, drone imagery, and some of the products generated with Drone2Map photogrammetry software. Videos of drone flights and generated 3D Models are available through the Commission’s YouTube account and are at the bottom of this page.

Staff Report Meeting Webcast

Hollister Ranch Informational Presentation (PDF)

Topographic map of the beaches of Hollister Ranch on the Santa Barbara Channel

The beaches of Hollister Ranch on the Santa Barbara Channel

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about Hollister Ranch can be found below in both English and Spanish.

Updating the Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Program

Recorded Public Worksop on Draft Conceptual Components held June 16, 2021.
Passcode: C!134Dq%

In 2019, the Coastal Commission began the task of updating the Hollister Ranch Public Access Program. We invite you to read the original plan and send your suggestions and ideas for how it could be improved.

Working Group Member Statements of Interest

Working Group Principles of Participation

Public Survey #1 – Summary of Comments

Drone Overview

alt="Hollister Ranch Drone Overview in Support of California State Lands Commission Survey Work" /

3D Models

alt="Hollister Ranch 3D Models Generated in Support of California State Lands Commission Survey Work" /

3D Model with Preliminary Mean High Tide Line

alt="Hollister Ranch 3D Model with Preliminary Mean High Tide Line - Generated in Support of Survey Work"/alt