The California Coastal Commission on Thursday approved a coastal development permit for Goleta’s San Jose Creek Multipurpose Path project, which will construct a Class I/Class II bike path from Hollister Avenue to the Atascadero Creek bike path at Goleta Beach.
The northern segment of the path will be about 2,400 feet in length, while the southern segment is set to stretch about one mile to connect Old Town Goleta to Goleta Beach Park and UCSB.
“The purpose of the project is to complete two important path segments to close the gap in the regional active transportation network,” senior project engineer Teresa Lopes said during a June City Council meeting. “The project will provide continuous active transportation connectivity to Goleta Old Town to and from the north and south.”
With parts of the project within Coastal Zones, affecting about 0.58 acres of environmentally sensitive habitat areas and coastal wetlands, the City of Goleta is required to get a coastal development permit from the California Coastal Commission.
Considering the mitigations the city has identified for the project, the commission approved the permit with some conditions.
For example, one of the conditions requires the city to preserve restored sites as open space, and another requires the city to submit a revised mitigation plan that ensures no development occurs in habitat mitigation areas, other than what already has been approved.
“If conditioned as recommended, the proposed project will minimize impacts to coastal resources and expand recreational opportunities and maximize coastal access for pedestrians and bicyclists,” the commission’s staff report said. “The impacts to [environmentally sensitive habitat areas] and wetlands are relatively minor, minimized to the maximum extent feasible, and are fully mitigated.”
The San Jose Creek Multipurpose Path’s northern and southern segments are estimated to have a total cost of more than $33 million, and some funding sources include state and federal Active Transportation Program grants, Transportation Development Impact Fees, Measure A and Measure A grant funds, and more that are discussed on the city’s website.
The project’s conceptual phase has been completed, and past staff reports state that the construction bid award is scheduled for late 2024.