*View this blog post as a PowerPoint presentation with active links to more detailed information…or, scroll to bottom of this page.*
Modoc Preserve is…
“The 25 acre Modoc Preserve along Modoc Road is owned by the La Cumbre Mutual Water Company, which serves Hope Ranch and nearby neighborhoods.
The Water Company granted a Conservation Easement to the Land Trust of Santa Barbara County to keep this land open and undeveloped in perpetuity for community benefit.
This protected nature preserve is a valuable greenbelt and wildlife habitat corridor. It also acts as an important barrier to rapidly increasing urban encroachment.”
CAMP – Who we are…
- Mission Statement – We are a grassroots group of neighbors and like- minded citizens committed to honoring in perpetuity the conservation values of the Modoc Preserve’s Conservation Easement.
- Problem Statement – The County of Santa Barbara in 2022 decided to abandon the “scope” of an approved 2018 California Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant for $5.35M by not constructing the Class I Bike Path on Modoc Road in County right-of-way, compromising the Modoc Preserve’s legal boundaries.
100 Years of History and Heritage
Harold S. Chase, brother of Santa Barbara’s “First Lady”, Pearl Chase, was the majority owner of over 2000 acres of Hope Ranch and surrounding area including the Modoc Preserve and directed the forestation of Modoc Road’s Canary Palms. In 1925 the Hope Ranch Park Water Company became the present day La Cumbre Mutual Water Company (LCMWC), owner of the land that is the Modoc Preserve. Harold S. Chase was it’s first president.
Equestrians, Pedestrians, & Dog Walkers
Historically, the Modoc Preserve has always been limited to equestrians and pedestrians…nature lovers…dog walkers…
CAMP’s equestrian supporters do not want an equestrian trail that is shared or adjacent to any trail or path with mechanical transportation devices.
As spelled out in the Conservation Easement: The only allowed uses in the Modoc Preserve are open space, equestrian, pedestrian, and education…plus, water company maintenance.
Bike Safety: SB County ATP Grant
From 2018 $5.35MM ATP Grant Application:
- “Removing the need for westbound travelers to cross midblock at the Obern Trail”
- “The replacement of the westbound bike lane with the path on the same side as the Obern Trail will ameliorate the problem of visibility and poor driver yield compliance.”
There are 24 potential serious collision points on this ¾ mile long segment.
CAMP recommends sticking to the original language and intent of this bike project as proposed by SB County PW.
A common sense solution can solve this simple problem and save money. SB County estimated construction cost now at $8MM+.
Upgrade the existing Class II bike lanes by replacing them with a much safer Class I MUP separated from vehicles in existing County ROW (right-of-way) on Modoc Road saving ALL of the trees.
CAMP: Obern Trail Extension Conceptual
CAMP is for alternative transportation modes and welcomes a safe and lawful common sense bike path solution in this essential nature corridor.
A new Class I MUP entirely on Modoc Road is the best solution. Over ½ of 1217 yard MUP already is.
- Allows for eliminating the dangerous existing westbound Class II bike lane on Modoc Road. This Modoc Road reconfiguration is safer.
- Minimizes safety hazards for pedestrians, bicyclists, motor vehicles, & ADA (currently 24 serious collision points).
- Eliminates any encroachment in the Modoc Preserve and expensive lawsuits.
- Preserves all natural vegetation, native and non-native, including the historic Canary Palms in this wetlands area.
- Best climate change solution. Keeps ALL trees sequestering carbon. Integrates native plants.
- Path of least resistance and reduces cost to taxpayers. Heals community divisions.
- CAMP has ~5900 petition signers.
Community Call to Action Items
- Better understand the problems and challenges of preserving the Preserve in order to take a stand. Read over 200 petition comments.
- The County is being sued by CAMP for CEQA violations. Needless tax payer dollars are being spent. If CAMP prevails attorney fees will possibly be awarded to the plaintiffs. This can be avoided by the County simply sticking to their original MUP proposal.
- Visit the CAMP website for further information (BLOG).
- Write to CAMP for further information.
- Join our Save Modoc Road Trees petition and donate to our Modoc Preserve Legal Fund.
- 1000’s of new housing units are being proposed within ½ mile of the Modoc Preserve!
- Write to your SB County District Supervisor (2nd District for this project is Laura Capps)
Your Support is Vital to This Cause!