A Brief History of The Sea Ranch:
[Excerpt from wikipedia.org] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Ranch,_California
The first people known to be at The Sea Ranch were Pomos, who fished and gathered kelp and shellfish from the beaches.
In 1846, Ernest Rufus received the Rancho German Mexican land grant which extended along the coastline from the Gualala River to Ocean Cove. The land was later divided. In the early 1900s, Walter P. Frick bought up the pieces to create Del Mar Ranch, which was leased out for raising sheep. In 1941, the land was sold to Margaret Ohlson and her family.
Architect and planner Al Boeke envisioned a community that would preserve the area’s natural beauty. Boeke first surveyed the land in 1962. In 1963, Oceanic California Inc., a division of Castle and Cooke Inc., purchased the land from the Ohlsons and assembled a design team. Principal designers who were recruited by Boeke included American architects Charles Moore, Joseph Esherick, William Turnbull, Jr., Donlyn Lyndon, Richard Whitaker and landscape architect Lawrence Halprin. Halprin created the master plan for Sea Ranch, which grew to encompass 10 miles of the Sonoma County coastline. The principal photographer for the project was the architectural photographer Morley Baer, a friend and colleague of both Turnbull and Halprin.
The project met opposition that led to notable changes in California law. While the County Board of Supervisors initially regarded the developer’s offer to dedicate 140 acres (0.57 km2) for public parkland as sufficient, opponents felt more coastal access was necessary. The site, containing 10 miles (16 km) of shore, had been available to the public but would be reserved for private use under the developer’s plan. Areas below high tide were and would remain public property, but the plan provided no access through the development. In addition, California’s coast at the time was only open to the public along 100 of its 1,300 miles (2,100 km).
Californians Organized to Acquire Access to State Tidelands (COAST) was formed in response to this issue, and their 1968 county ballot initiative attempted to require the development to include public trails to the tidelands. While the initiative did not pass, the California legislature’s Dunlap Act did pass that year and required that new coastal development dedicate trails granting public access to the ocean. This episode led to the establishment of the Coastal Alliance, an organization of 100 groups similar to COAST, that placed Proposition 20 on the statewide 1972 ballot. The initiative passed, and it established the California Coastal Commission, which continues to regulate land use on the California coast.