Officials had $1 million for beach access at Hollister Ranch — where did it go?

Coastal officials knew decades ago it would take money to open Hollister Ranch to the public.

So they entrusted Santa Barbara County with $1 million to someday be spent on land acquisition, trails and bike paths while they duked it out with powerful property owners over access to some of California’s most coveted surf breaks and beaches.

After more than 30 years of stops and stalls, officials are now gearing up for what might be the most aggressive fight yet over the 8.5-mile stretch of pristine coastline.

But the money was spent long ago on other projects.

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