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Santa Barbara - South County

Protesters attempt to block start of construction project at San Marcos Preserve

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A group of environmental protesters have attempted to stop construction scheduled to begin Thursday at the San Marcos Preserve.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office confirming that more than a dozen peaceful protesters have gathered on Salvar Road near what's known as the Bridge to Nowhere. At least one person reportedly secured themselves to a chain-link fence, according to the Sheriff's Office.

So far, eight people have been arrested.

Environmental groups have rally against a development planned next to the San Marcos Preserve in the Santa Barbara foothills for years. The group wants to buy back land that's already been approved for new homes.

Developers at the Chadmar Group said they've already donated 90 percent of their land that created the preserve and hiking trails. Opponents have a series of lawsuits planned to stop any further progress.

The conflict goes back decades. As NewChannel has reported, in 2005 the Chadmar Group bought 350 acres of foothills land between Santa Barbara and Goleta. And donated 300 of those acres to create the San Marcos Preserve.

The current project is expected to be 25 acres.

California / Environment
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Joe Buttitta

Joe Buttitta co-anchors The Morning News on KEYT NewsChannel 3 and NewsChannel 12 as well as NewsChannel 3 Midday. To learn more about Joe, click here

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