& Answers: What
Happens After We Buy the Bluffs?
How much will the Bluffs parkland
cost to maintain?
of the Bluffs property will remain as a natural, open space preserve
dedicated to passive recreation (hiking, biking, etc.).
The costs for upkeep of the Bluffs as passive open space will
be a minimal $5,000 to $15,000. The largest cost will occur
if a restroom becomes incorporated into the project. A restroom
will cost approximately $5,000 to maintain. The second major
cost is mowing the large grassland areas of the Bluffs prior to
the fire season. We estimate that the mowing would cost
the city $2000. Trash pick up at the Bluffs will be free,
if the city continues its contract with Harrison.
softball field occupies approximately 1.4 acres, depending upon
league size. One adult soccer field occupies 1.6 acres.
We can estimate the maintenance costs for the 6 ½ to 8
acres of playing fields we are allowing for the Bluffs by looking
at similarly sized recreational park areas already managed by
the city. The city presently spends around $800/month (=
$9,600/year) on mowing, maintenance and landscape services for
the 8.8 acres of ball fields at El Carro Park. Water costs
are $18,000/year. Add $5,000 as a safety margin for occasional
incidentals such as tree trimming services and the importation
of grading materials, and the annual costs at El Carro total approximately
$32,600. We estimate that 8 acres in active recreation
and 44 acres in passive use would cost between $20,000 and $35,000
a year depending upon the nature of the recreation.
the playing fields go in)
||44 acres (passive/preserve)
||8 acres (active
||52 acre total
||$5,000 to $10,000
In Phase #2, a restrooms would be constructed as part
of the active recreational component]
Will the Bluffs need an endowment
In an earlier
application for CREF funds from Santa Barbara County we agreed
to continue our fundraising efforts until enough money is raised
to create an endowment for at least five years of maintenance
and operation of the site. We are proceeding in our acquisition
efforts on the premise that an endowment of $500,000 will be needed
to maintain the property in its present natural state. We
already have raised $150,000 of the endowment fund.
In September of
1998, the City Council of Carpinteria adopted a resolution conceptually
supporting public ownership and management of the Carpinteria
Bluffs with the intent "to preserve the property's value as scenic,
natural open space; to protect and enhance existing Bluff Habitats;
to provide for the restoration and expansion of native plant communities;
and to provide the community the opportunity for passive and active
recreation." The Council agreed that acceptance of
public stewardship of this property would include the establishment
of an on-going endowment fund.
We know Carpinteria
citizens clearly value their open space and parkland; the Parks
Maintenance Fund was recently put to the voters of Carpinteria
and passed by a three-fourths majority to assess annually each
residential unit $36 for parks. We also understand that
the City has access to funding sources which are not available
to Citizens for the Carpinteria Bluffs, and we are working with
City staff to secure additional funds that might go towards the
What about sports on the Bluffs?
to 8 acres of playing fields will be allowed on the Bluffs and
will be developed by the city once the land is transferred.
Such active recreation incorporated into the park development
plans eventually could generate some revenue to offset a portion
of the costs or pay for additional park staff such recreational
activity might require.
a larger endowment fund could be created through additional fundraising.
Who pays for title insurance?
the insurance coverage falls under the policy held by the Land
Trust for Santa Barbara County. When ownership of the Bluffs
is transferred to the city, the city will assume responsibility.
The city belongs to the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority
involving a number of other cities who have pooled their insurance
premiums. The premium the city pays is not tied to any maximum
amount or acreage of parkland. Carpinteria recently added
7 acres of parkland to their inventory which did not affect their
premiums. The addition of the Bluffs property to the city's
inventory of parkland would be covered in similar fashion under
the city's current insurance program.
premium will be required, unless improvements are made.
According to city staff, the recent $200,000 development of a
restroom and facility for the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve caused
an insurance premium increase of only $60. We can assume
that any improvements proposed for the Carpinteria Bluffs will
be modest in nature and have similarly insignificant impacts upon
the city's annual insurance premium.
Will major donors face any personal
liability if the Bluffs property is acquired and deeded to the
City of Carpinteria?
Donors to the Carpinteria Bluffs acquisition campaign do not become
liable for any events or activities affecting the property.
Upon the close of escrow, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County
became the new landowners, pending the transfer of the property
to the city. For this iterim period, the Land Trust assumes
the risks of ownership, which is an insurable risk and covered
under insurance held by the Land Trust.
How can we guarantee that the
Bluffs will remain in open space or parkland in perpetuity?
Bluffs will be deed-restricted at the close of escrow to prevent
it from being sold or developed in the future. Even if the
city or other landowner were to go into bankruptcy, the property
would remain subject to the deed restrictions. Future city
councils or landowners could not unilaterally remove the
What will be allowed on the Bluffs?
Land Use Task Force of the Citizens for the Carpinteria Bluffs
recognizes that different members of the community value different
opportunities presented by the public acquisition of the Bluffs.
guiding the following list is to create a conservation easement
that allows for a balance of active and passive recreation uses.
All uses should be sensitive to the Bluffs' coastal environment.
Passive uses would involve the enjoyment and appreciation of the
present habitat values and also allow for the enhancement and
restoration of native plant communities. The following is
excerpted from our Local Coastal Plan:
|Native Plant Communities:
Natural ecological systems composed of native plant species
serve many essential functions. They serve as wildlife
habitats and provide nesting sites and feeding resources for
many animals. Native plants, due to their adaptation
to the local environment, use less water than most introduced
species and contribute to the stabilization of soils on bluffs,
hillsides and watersheds. In addition, native plants
are an integral component of the landscape that makes the
Santa Barbara County coastal Zone a visual resource of more
than local importance. Native plant communities include,
coastal sage scrub, chaparral, coastal bluff, closed pine
cone forest, California native oak woodland (and individual
trees), endangered and rare plant species as designated by
the Native Plant Society, and other plants of special interest
such as endemics. Oak trees need special attention as
they are long-lived, relatively slow growing and are easily
harmed by surrounding land uses.
Coastal Act Policies
state in part:
(a) Environmentally sensitive habitat areas shall be
protected against any significant disruption of habitat
values, and only uses dependent on those resources shall
be allowed within those areas.
(b) Development in areas adjacent to environmentally
sensitive habitat areas and parks and recreation areas
shall be sited and designed to prevent impacts which would
significantly degrade those areas, and shall be compatible
with the continuance of those habitat and recreation areas.
activities may be incompatible with habitat areas, that is the
reason why we propose that one or two areas or envelopes be designated
as "active recreation area". With the exception of the Coastal
Plan required hiking-biking path that will run relatively near
to the railroad tracks, active recreation uses (playing fields)
would be limited to the area nearest Carpinteria Avenue.
recreation area (being considered conceptually at this point)
could accommodate one adult regulation soccer field and one regulation
baseball field (or a number of smaller youth league fields), the
final configuration will be determined by a qualified expert hired
to advise on the best way to accommodate the fields with the least
disruption to the local topography and least intrusion into the
passive recreation areas. It is our intention that only
such designated active recreation areas be authorized in perpetuity
for the construction and use of playing fields for soccer, softball
and other compatible sport activities.
use should not be so intense as to become inappropriate to the
location. The present topography should be respected as much as
possible. Parking is limited to the presently paved areas
(as well as possible offsite parking in the "Cal-Trans" or "the
Farmer parcel", both located directly opposite the bluffs on Carpinteria
Avenue). Support structures such as bathrooms and small
storage structure would be allowed, but their location would be
intensely scrutinized to avoid obstruction of views.
be noted that while we are presently dealing only with 52 acres
of the bluffs, in the context of: What is to be permitted or disallowed
in perpetuity? Some members of the Task Force identified the Brown/Serena
parcel or even the Chevron parcel (both to the West) as a better
place for locating playing fields, bathrooms and parking areas.
If those areas become available, it will be up to the city to
decide where it will be more appropriate to have construction
and use of playing fields.
Third Draft of permitted and prohibited
uses for the Bluffs
Trust for Santa Barbara County will use the following list (after
it is reviewed by the board of directors of the Citizens for the
Carpinteria Bluffs) in order to write a Deed of Conservation Easement.
Compilation of list is the result of months of Task force Meetings.
Note. Extensive use was made of the easement prepared for La
Cumbre Mutual Water Company. (There is a lot of associated
language after each heading that, for the sake of brevity, will
not be copied here. Please refer to original document to
enhance your understanding.)
Fields (Soccer, Baseball, Softball etc. No hard surfaces.)
on present paved areas plus an additional strip of pavement of
10 feet or less on east of property if needed only.
/ restoration of local California native species
horses on designated paths
created with approval only in active area native grasses preferred
but if necessary/desired non-native grasses to be reviewed
by designated botanist*
(for passive and active recreation, restoration, education, scientific
study purposes and approved special events consistent with easement
of Animals and Plants. Minor
grading as required for permitted uses. Prohibited Uses:
* = Only in area
designated in map and by description as active recreation area.
(except for Bailard turn around and existing paving on eastern
edge of the Bluffs)
/ roads or parking areas. Permanent fencing, other than required
vehicles except authorized
exploration and/or drilling and mining
or Industrial Uses. (including commercial signs or billboards)
putting greens and the like
except for those specifically permitted (i. e. bathrooms at playing
fields and goals, goalposts, backstop at playing fields)
of occupied buildings either temporary or permanent Camping
or disposal of wastes, refuse or debris
of Topography (except minor grading as required for permitted
or uses that cause significant degradation of topsoil quality
or manipulation of watercourses /Creation of new water impoundments
or watercourses for any purpose other than permitted uses of the
of present mature Trees
for the Carpinteria Bluffs has received endorsements from numerous
organizations for our public acquisition efforts of the Carpinteria
- Land Trust for Santa
- The League of Women
Voters of Santa Barbara,
- Carpinteria Seal Watch
- Carpinteria Beautiful
- Environmental Defense
- Small Wilderness Area
- Preserve Rural Carpinteria
- Sierra Club Coastal
- Surfriders Foundation
- Santa Barbara Chapter
of the Surfriders Foundation
- City Council of Carpinteria
(by resolution conceptually supporting public acquisition and
eventual stewardship of the land)
- Santa Barbara County
Board of Supervisors (Coastal Resources Enhancement Fund)
- Carpinteria Chamber
- Villa Del Mar Homeowners
- Carpinteria Mobilehome
Owners Association (CAMOA)
- Carpinteria Valley
- California Lifesaving
- Santa Barbara County
Chapter of the California League of Conservation Voters
- Santa Barbara Audubon
- World Concerts Fund
for Coastal Preservation
- Coastal Conservancy