Multi-Generation Family Ranch

~ Level 1 – Site Assessment ~

Level 1 – Site Assessment

Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Project Scope: 7th Generation Design was invited to perform a Level 1 – Site Assessment for a 100 acre ranch property set in the hills above Santa Barbara. The property is an active horse boarding ranch, with multiple dwellings and many outbuildings. The family is looking to create multiple income streams from rental dwellings, horse boarding, and some agricultural production in addition to getting off the annual erosion damage treadmill that they inherited upon purchasing the property.

The Land: The 100 acre property is draped across the valley through which Maria Ygnacio creek runs. Over 400′ of elevation change from ridge to valley bottom creates a range of very different microclimates. Wind and fire are major design factors that influence all structure placement, orientation and construction. Severe erosion issues from access routes with poorly designed drainage systems has created an annual erosion mitigation treadmill that needs to be addressed before additional elements can be layered in.

Steep terrain on the property created a number of drainage and erosion challenges.
Ridge top view overlooking the Santa Barbara Channel.

Work Performed

  • Level 1 Site Assessment report with Full Site Work Up and evaluations of existing conditions for Water, Access, and Structures.
  • Particular attention was paid to:
    • Existing drainage patterns and resultant erosion problems (see gallery right).
    • Access routes to rental dwellings, including additional proposed units.
    • Suggestions for re-patterning water flows with minimal changes to dramatically increase infiltration, decrease run-off and de-energize erosive flows.
    • Economic opportunities linked with shifts in land use to improve the ranch’s financial security going forward.

Existing Conditions Basemap

Site Assessment Maps