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County Sets Public Meeting on ‘Goleta Beach 2.0’

Input from residents on Feb. 16 will help shape the emerging concept plan for the park

Santa Barbara County Supervisors Janet Wolf, Second District, and Doreen Farr, Third District, will host a public information meeting with County Parks on the emerging concept plan for Goleta Beach Park.

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, in the Planning Commission Hearing Room on the first floor of the Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara.

“The future of Goleta Beach is, and has always been, of great importance to me,” Wolf said. “I encourage the public to attend this workshop to learn of (County) Parks’ conceptual plans and to offer their input.”

The public will learn about the emerging concept plan for Goleta Beach Park, the most heavily used park in Santa Barbara County with more than 1.5 million visitors annually. For decades, the family park has experienced beach erosion from coastal storms, and it has been the subject of much analysis and community concern for the past eight years.

“Goleta Beach is one of the gems of our County Parks system,” Farr said. “We all care deeply about protecting it for future generations to enjoy, and I’m looking forward to hearing from our residents as they help guide us in developing plans for this treasured park resource.”

A proposal to expand Goleta Pier for natural beach sand nourishment was denied by the California Coastal Commission in July 2009. In response, County Parks began a six-month conceptual planning process — known as “Goleta Beach 2.0” — to examine other alternatives. Wolf and Farr head the county’s Goleta Beach 2.0 Ad Hoc Committee overseeing the process.

A presentation of the conceptual planning process will be the focus of the Feb. 16 public meeting. County Parks officials will highlight several initiatives, including:

» Relocation of some parking spaces from a prime erosion zone

» Creation of a new utility corridor set back farther from the ocean

» New alignment for a portion of the California Coastal Bicycle Trail

» Enhanced recreational and cultural programming for the park.

County officials view the Goleta Beach 2.0 process as an opportunity to reinvent Goleta Beach Park and make it even more relevant for public recreation and coastal access. County Parks staff is interested in hearing the ideas and suggestions that beach users may have as the Goleta Beach 2.0 planning process moves forward.

After the Feb.16 public meeting, County Parks plans to schedule hearings with the Park Commission and the Planning Commission before coming before the Board of Supervisors in the spring with the conceptual basis for a new, long-term project.

— William Boyer is the communications director for Santa Barbara County.

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