Is Hollister Ranch For You?
Hollister Ranch is unique among property developments along the
coast of California. Buyers of the 100 acre parcels are advised
to be completely aware of all of the aspects and characteristics
of Hollister Ranch.
The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) of the Hollister
Ranch Owners' Association (HROA) are very complete and specific. Unlike
other planned developments with CC&Rs, the Hollister Ranch CC&Rs
are enforced vigorously and equally. Intended to retain the natural
beauty that has been lost in other parts of the California beach front,
these controlling factors are embraced by some, but not all, who are
looking for coastal acreage.
If you are willing to live within the protective CC&Rs in order
to be assured that the areas surrounding your property will not be
insensitively developed and utilized, Hollister Ranch could be just
what you are looking for. However, some who buy large acreage want
complete control with what they may do with their property and are
not concerned with the impact of neighboring development. If this
is your philosophy, the Hollister Ranch may not be for you.
Hollister Ranch Design Committee
Since the beginning of the Hollister Ranch community the Hollister
Ranch Design Committee has been very effective in retaining the coastal
California cattle ranch ambiance that existed prior to subdivision
in 1971. Guided by extensive rules, owners and professional architects
comprise the Design Committee, and they review all development with
an eye toward protection of the natural environment.
"The owners of Hollister Ranch respect the beauty and the serenity of
this unique coastal ranch. They realize that it is their common good to preserve
the natural advantages of this unspoiled environment, and that by so doing,
the enjoyment of the Hollister Ranch may be shared by the future owners and
their visitors for years to come. There is a strong desire to encourage freedom
of individual expression in the preservation of the land and the development
of building, limited only to those 'protections' which preserve the character
of the land. The Hollister Ranch Owners Association Declaration of Restrictions,
Covenants and Conditions has assigned the task of administering these environmental
controls to the Hollister Ranch Design Committee (HRDC)." (HRDC Rules,
"The goals of the HRDC are: 1. To assist the Ranch owners in developing
their parcels in conjunction with the preservation, protection and enhancement
of the natural environment of the Hollister Ranch. 2. To promote high standards
of architectural and landscape design, and the construction of improvements
that are sympathetic to and harmonious with the surrounding environment and
are aesthetically pleasing. 3. To encourage the protection of public and private
views." (HRDC Rules, Section 1.3)
Santa Barbara County zoning prohibits any further subdivision of Hollister
Ranch parcels and permits agricultural and residential use ONLY of
property at Hollister Ranch. Hollister Ranch owners appreciate these
limitations. They anticipate increased value not through subdivision
but due to the fact that Hollister Ranch will eventually be the only
natural part of the California coast to remain in tact.
The Hollister Ranch CC&Rs limit the number of owners of a Hollister
Ranch parcel to 12 individuals, and those 12 individuals can be part
of no more than 3 separate families. Without prior approval of the
board of directors, each parcel is limited to no more than 12 guests
per day. Hollister Ranch owners understand that large numbers of people
have a negative impact on a natural environment including the presence
of wildlife. The limits on the number of people is the reason why
one will find more shorebirds and marine mammals at Hollister Ranch
than at the nearby state beach parks.
As a private, gated community, the HROA is obligated to maintain the
entire 100+ mile common road system within the Ranch. A portion of
each parcel's monthly assessments is allocated towards the maintenance
of the road system. Rancho Real (the main ranch road) is a winding,
two lane paved roadway. Roads into the back country are either dirt
or shaled; some sections have also been paved. The owners in some
canyons have participated with the Association to cooperatively improve
back country roads with gravel and/or pavement. These cooperative
projects assist in providing the maximum period of access to each
Assessments and Taxes
The HROA has an annual operating budget which is financed by equal
monthly assessments to the 133 parcels. By virtue of a resident cattle
herd owned by the Hollister Ranch Cooperative, all Hollister Ranch
parcels are in the Agricultural Preserve which results in substantially
reduced county property taxes.
Electricity and Telephone
Electric and telephone service runs along the length of the front
of Hollister Ranch. The extension of those services must be underground.
As in the case of road improvements, the owners in some canyons have
taken it upon themselves to jointly extend electric and/or telephone
service into the back country. The cost of underground electricity
has resulted in solar electric solutions for a number of Hollister
Ranch owners who are distant from existing Edison electric service.
There are no stores at Hollister Ranch. The nearest shopping is in
Buellton which is approximately 12 miles from the Hollister Ranch
gate. About a half hour from the Hollister Ranch gate, one can find
malls and more extensive upscale shopping in Santa Barbara.
Vista de las Cruses elementary school (K-8) is located about 5 minutes
outside the Hollister Ranch gate. The school bus picks up the children
at various points along Rancho Real as far inside the Ranch as Bulito
Canyon. Vista de las Cruses, an extremely contemporary facility, was
built in the late 1980's by the Chevron oil company when the old school
was absorbed into Chevron's processing plant in Gaviota.
Santa Ynez Valley High School serves the Gaviota area. It is located
approximately 20 minutes from the high school bus stop at the intersection
of Gaviota State Park Road and US 101. There are a number of fine
private schools in Santa Ynez Valley and in the Santa Barbara area.
Fires are rare at Hollister Ranch. Unlike the public areas in and
around the Santa Barbara area (and the rest of California for that
matter), fire bugs (who intentionally start fires due to some very
disturbing pathological urge) cannot gain access to the Ranch. In
addition to the very well trained volunteer fire department at the
Ranch, a county fire station is located in Gaviota.
During the summer of 1997 Southern California Edison lines arced,
and a fire was started at the Ranch that consumed approximately 500
acres. It had been over 40 years since a fire of that size had been
seen at Hollister Ranch. Because of cooperation between the volunteers
and the county fire personnel, the fire was knocked down with no structures
lost. This "drill" demonstrated how well prepared the Ranch
is to deal with fire. In addition, lessons were learned that will
allow residents to be even better prepared to deal with any fires
that may occur in the future.
The Santa Barbara Municipal Airport is located next to the University
of California at Santa Barbara approximately 25 minutes from the Hollister
Ranch gate. Scheduled flights to many parts of the country are available.
Santa Ynez Airport is located in the Santa Ynez Valley and is also
about 25 minutes away.
The weather at the Ranch is very similar to that of Santa Barbara.
Other than a lack of air pollution at Hollister Ranch, the primary
difference is the amount of wind. Due to proximity to Point Conception,
Hollister Ranch can at times be breezier than the Santa Barbara/Goleta
area. Just as the urban pollutants are kept away from the Ranch, the
coastal fog that engulfs Santa Barbara and other locales south of
Hollister Ranch is less prevalent at the Ranch. On many clear days
at Hollister Ranch one can see the marine layer covering the coastal
areas to the south.