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06/10/2010 - As SCNA continued to campaign for the return of the clothing-optional section of Bates Beach at the Ventura/Santa Barbara County line, we stumbled across an under-publicized plan by the city of Carpinteria to spend over a million dollars to build up the hiking trail above where our beach would be.

Was this a sinister plot to increase foot traffic there and thus destroy the isolation we prefer? We needed to find out. Last week Gary and Walt visited for an hour with Mat Roberts, Carpinteria’s Manager for Parks and Recreation. Roberts is the man behind the plan.

It seems the state of California has been purchasing land for a coastal walking/bike path from San Francisco to Mexico for many years, but there remains many gaps including the one south of Carpinteria. Money is set aside to build this path along the 101 freeway between the city of Ventura and the Santa Barbara county line when that stretch of freeway is improved during the next 2 years, so a Trail extension through Rincon is inevitable. Therefore, since the project cannot be stopped, SCNA sees its job as to make sure the plans are compatible with our own needs, if not work to our advantage.

The plan is to widen the footpath just above Bates from the parking lot west to about where the concrete barrier is on the beach below (our area), then cut back inland across a new railroad foot bridge to about the 101 freeway and parallel the freeway west to the end of Carpinteria Avenue (where the Veneco Oil plant is located).

We asked Roberts to fill in the rest of that walking path above the beach (where the voyeurs hang out) so people can no longer be hanging out there. He said that would be a good idea. He also wants to destroy or fill in the little hiding places up on the bluffs where sexual activity has been known to occur, depriving the Sheriff of his strongest argument against the nude beach (the old “nudity causes lewd behavior excuse”). He also agreed there should be fencing and signage to prevent people loitering too close to the cliff’s edge (especially if they want to look and admire the nudists below?) In the meeting we also discussed the use of the beach as a dog run and for horses, which he agreed should be controlled better. We did not discuss the nude beach at the meeting because we did not want to divert attention from getting as much info about the Rincon Path as possible. He is very much into “family use” of the beach and opening it to as wide a use as possible, so we may have a problem and we may not.

We did impress upon him the need for a public hearing with residents at Rincon Point at the appropriate time, and he thought that was a good idea. It seems likely we will be able to attend that meeting. The next step, however, is the dreaded Environmental Impact Report, which will take another 6-9 months to complete. Roberts said he expects the report to be favorable and for the Coastal Commission to endorse whatever we propose, so it is important that our ideas get included into the final draft.


February 2010 - As of this writing the EIR had not yet been completed. SCNA will be contacted when the city is ready to take the next step.

SCNA 23679 Calabasas Road Suite 940, Calabasas CA 91302 Messages: (818) 225-2275 Email: