Information about the Hollister Ranch


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HROA Office Documents

Hollister Ranch Rules

Hollister Ranch CC&Rs

Hollister Ranch Bylaws - Call

Hollister Ranch Design Rules - Call

Hollister Ranch Co-Op

Information Brochure


The Hollister Ranch is a unique rural subdivision on the California coast.  It is comprised of one-hundred and thirty-six 100+ acre parcels covering 14,000+ acres.  Approximately ninety homes have been built on Hollister Ranch since 1971.  Several parcels have additional guest houses, employee houses, and barns.  About fifty families are full time Ranch residents. The Hollister Ranch Owners Association (HROA) owns three parcels totaling nearly six hundred acres for all owners’ common use.  This includes use of 8.5 miles of private sandy beach, three “cabaña areas” (showers, sinks, BBQ, lawn, and picnic tables), hiking pathways and excellent equestrian riding trails. All parcels have ocean views, though not necessarily from the building site. The Hollister Ranch has a tradition of Wildlife and Environmental Preservation

Partnership Interests & Building Rights
The most common ownership arrangement for an individual parcel is three owners/families deeded to the property, each with a 1/3rd interest and rights to build one of the three allowable structures—the “principal residence”, “guest house”, or “employee residence”.  A partnership (or co-ownership) agreement determines who can develop the various building rights and other responsibilities on the parcel. This arrangement reduces acquisition, construction, and maintenance costs, and the interest can later be sold to a new owner. These undivided interests can be purchased for much less than an entire parcel, with all owners having the same use of the Ranch common areas and beaches. Partnership interests may be available with an existing home, or as vacant land with or without permits and other approvals.  A parcel’s 100+ acres of land cannot be legally divided, but each family has exclusive use of their individual home(s) and developed property site(s).  The building rights can be transferred between that same parcel’s partners.  The County of Santa Barbara imposes certain restrictions for each type of structure built at Hollister Ranch, including maximum square footage or occupancy limits.  Please call to discuss these unique restrictions.

Full parcels may be divided into 1/3rd interests at the time of acquisition and/or can be later sold or transferred.  Prior to 1988, parcels could be divided into smaller 1/4th, 1/6th, 1/9th, 1/10th, and 1/12th interests.  These older partial interests (called “ownership” or “recreational” interests) are grandfathered in by the Hollister Ranch C.C. & R.’s and can be resold separately as a partial interest with the proportionate number of owner access rights, along with any building rights.  All interests include the use of the parcel, common areas, beaches, cabañas, riding trails, and more.

Ranch Access & Guests
Access through the gatehouse is apportioned by the ownership interest.  Each parcel may designate for access up to twelve family members, which are defined as the deeded owners’ lineal descendants. For example, if you own a 1/3rd interest, then four family members—who could be your spouse, parents, grandparents, children or grandchildren—can be registered as "designated owners" and enter through the Hollister Ranch gatehouse at any time.  All others entering the Ranch, are considered guests of the parcel owner and may be on the Hollister Ranch only when the owner is present (e.g., guests may not rent the owner’s home).  Additionally, so-called “surfing guests”, while in the ocean, must be with a designated owner at the beach.  A maximum of twelve guests per parcel (not per owner) are allowed on the Ranch at any one time.  Thus, up to 24 people per parcel (12 owners + 12 guests) may access the HR. An extended guest list, if filed with and approved by HR management, allows each parcel more guests for special occasions.

Structures & Parcel Improvements
A full time development coordinator is on staff with the HROA to answer all your questions and help complete required forms.

• Hollister Ranch Agricultural zoning status allows employee dwellings and barns, in addition to the main house and guest houses.
• Barns, storage buildings, and fencing may be built for use with agricultural projects. Some agricultural projects on Hollister Ranch include: equestrian breeding/training/boarding, brood mare, macadamia nut trees, avocado and lemon orchards, Protea and Leptospermum flower operation, oak tree regeneration, native grass seed harvesting, and apiaries.
• To make improvements on a Ranch parcel, you must first review the Hollister Ranch Design Committee requirements. A complete development guideline package is available from Hollister Ranch Office.
• The next step is to design a master plan for the parcel. Most parcels currently have a master plan on file. The HROA Design Committee meets the first Saturday of every month to review master plans and detailed architectural and landscape projects.
• Many contractors, builders, and architects live full-time on the Ranch, have extensive experience with developing HR parcels, and have produced some truly remarkable buildings, including LEED certified buildings. All parcel development plans are on file at the Ranch office.

Financing Your Hollister Ranch Parcel
Bank financing is available on parcels with 100% ownership (“full parcels”). Typically the financing is 50% of the appraised value for vacant land parcels. Unfortunately, financing from conventional lenders is generally not available for undivided partnership interests. Sellers will sometimes finance partnership interests with a substantial down payment.  Each partnership interest is unique.  Please call Rick at 805-967-0764 to discuss financing.

Santa Barbara County Property Taxes
The Hollister Ranch is in the Agricultural Preserve Zoning status (Ag-320). Most undeveloped, vacant, 100 acre parcels are taxed at a relatively low rate based on an agricultural usage formula (not sale price or market value). However, structural improvements are taxed at approximately 1% of the construction costs by the Santa Barbara County Assessor.

Utilities & Fire Protection
Water: Each parcel has its own water well.  Some parcels are also on a canyon water system, and others share with neighboring parcels if more convenient for the particular building site.

Electricity:  Electricity is provided via the main road power poles and is currently available up some of the canyons. Back parcels (farthest from ocean) often use solar electricity or propane powered generators.  Electrical and phone line extensions must be buried underground.

Gas:  Propane gas delivery is available for all parcels.

Septic:  Septic tanks with leach fields or dry wells are used for sewage disposal on each parcel.

Trash: Trash and recycling dumpsters are located on Hollister Ranch in two convenient locations just off the main road for owner household use.

Internet:  The first several canyons have broadband DSL available and most others have a somewhat expensive satellite option.  Inexpensive, but slow dial-up/modem options are widely available through online sites.  Presently, there is one informal broadband Wi-Fi “hotspot” in a common area.

Fire:  In 2010, owners established an excellent private fire company on the Hollister Ranch:  Hollister Ranch Fire Company. A relatively new Santa Barbara County fire station is located less than a mile from the Highway 101 turnoff at Gaviota.

Nearby Schools & Education
Vista De Las Cruces School (Kindergarten—8th ) is located just 3 miles from Hollister Ranch main gatehouse. Bus service is provided from within Hollister Ranch to the school.  Beautiful newly-built mission-style architecture.  See maps page for proximity.  Santa Ynez Valley High School is located 25 miles from Hollister Ranch main gatehouse. Bus service is provided outside Hollister Ranch.  Dos Pueblos High School (Goleta/Santa Barbara) is located 20 miles from Hollister Ranch main gatehouse. Bus service is provided outside Hollister Ranch.  There are is a large homeschooling network in Santa Barbara that extends to the Hollister Ranch.

Board of Directors, Committees, & Activities
All owners meet once a year in December, to review internal and external issues and vote in a new Board of Directors.  A five member Board of Directors is elected annually. The Board meets once a month to give Hollister Ranch management direction and develop Ranch policies. The Board meetings are open to all owners and owner issues can be placed on the Board Agenda.  Owners are encouraged to join committees that have been set up to help improve the Hollister Ranch. The committees are Beach Use & Rules Committee, HR Road Committee, HR Design Committee, Conservancy Committee and the HR Social Committee. These committees hold their own meetings, usually monthly, and give input to or ask support from the HR Board of Directors.

The Hollister Hawk, the HROA’s monthly newsletter, is sent to all owners to keep them informed of HR Board decisions, Committee actions, and upcoming social events at the Hollister Ranch.  It also includes personal stories and poetry about life at the Hollister Ranch.  Annual activities for all to enjoy usually include a Spring Roundup & BBQ (bring your own horse), Father's Day BBQ, summer Hoedown Dinner/Dance, and Hollister House Christmas party!  Events sometimes vary from year to year, and owners have been known to hold open house events on their parcels that are open to all.  Click here for nearby golf courses.  The Hollister Ranch has a reputation for water sports.

Hollister Ranch Owners Association (HROA)
The HROA monthly maintenance dues are over $1000 per parcel (as of 2006, this includes the special assessments of $148 per month). Special Assessments are voted on at the annual HROA meeting in December. These fees pay for the services of the 24-hour security system, a full time maintenance crew, ranch manager, bookkeeping, and outside consultants. The fees also cover the maintenance of common areas, ranch roads, the beach cabanas, limited insurance, some legal fees and other vital services.


The Hollister Ranch was part of the famous Spanish land grant known as “Nuestra Señora del Refugio”. The Hollister Family acquired the property in 1869. In the most recent 100 years this land has been a working cattle ranch. The Hollister Ranch began selling 100 acre parcels in 1971.

Ancient California Oaks stand on the hillsides and in the 15+ canyons. The canyon creeks flow out to the beautiful Ranch beaches into the Pacific Ocean. The wildflowers and rare untouched coastal flora are preserved for the owners’ enjoyment.

The Hollister Ranch is located only 30 miles North of Santa Barbara, next to the Gaviota State Beach Park. Hollister Ranch Manager and maintenance crews take care of over 120 miles of common roadway and several hundred acres of common ownership property.

Hollister Ranch beach area provides some of California’s finest in fishing, water sports, and scenic coastal stretches.

Each 100+ acre Hollister Ranch Parcel is unique. Most have south facing slopes with ocean and mountain views. In general, the parcels are rolling hills to mountains, although the terrain does vary depending on the combination of range grasses, oak tree forests, willow lined creeks, sagebrush, sandstone outcroppings, and native shrubs. The weather is typical of the Santa Barbara coastal area. Summers are warm but seldom hot, 65° to 80° depending on the season. The Hollister Ranch occasionally experiences fog and wind, but most days are clear and beautiful.

Hollister Ranch owner activities include horseback riding, unlimited hiking, and other outdoor activities due to an easement network covering the entire Ranch. These easements have been designed to not interfere with each owner's private parcel use areas. On a clear day, the views from most Hollister Ranch parcels are truly spectacular, with panoramas of the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, and the unique Santa Ynez coastal mountain range toward Point Conception. The open and vast feeling of this rare area of California must be experienced to be appreciated.


For more information and history of the Hollister Ranch, consider ordering The Hollister Ranch:  Its History, Preservation and People from us by following this link.

Nearby Lodging & Camping

Approx. time to HR Gatehouse

Gaviota State Park

5 minutes

El Capitan Canyon

15 minutes

Mariott Santa Ynez Valley

15 minutes

Circle Bar B Guest Ranch

20 minutes

Bacara Resort

20 minutes

Holiday Inn Santa Barbara

25 minutes

The Ranch by the numbers:  14,400 total acres, subdivided in 1971, 136 100 acre or larger parcels, shared 8 1/2 miles of beach, 600 common use acres, 3 beach cabañas each with showers, bathrooms, BBQs, lawn, & picnic tables, 500+ head of cattle, 24-hour gatehouse, security system, approx., 100+ miles of hiking & riding trails, approx. 75 residences now built, 15 major canyons, each with their own name and distinct character, 30 miles north of Santa Barbara, 10 miles south of Buellton/wine country

Cowboys & owners participate in the annual spring branding & BBQ at the San Augustine corrals & cabaña.  More photos.