Building a Home on The Preserve

Developing lasting relationships with the families that choose the Preserve as their home is important to achieve our conservation goals. From the start, the Conservancy engages landowners to inspire and collaborate on managing their land to preserve the rugged beauty and ecological vitality of The Preserve.  Building a home on The Preserve is an exciting process. The Preserve Design Guidelines are intended to maintain the values of the Preserve, keeping homes subordinate to the land and enhancing the experience of living in nature. Homes on the Preserve are responsive to landforms, landscape zones, and honor regional building traditions. Designers are encouraged to focus on views and privacy, and to blur the line between indoor and outdoor spaces.

The Design Review Board, a panel of expert architects and Preserve and Conservancy representatives offer guidance and suggestions to improve the architectural and natural experience of the homes, and ensure that all environmental and scenic values are maintained.

The individual residential lots within the Santa Lucia Preserve consist of two use-zones, known as Homelands and Openlands. The Homelands are smaller, less restricted envelopes within a property that are available for residential development. Uses within the remaining area of the property, the Openlands, are restricted by a conservation easement held by the Santa Lucia Conservancy.

A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified holder, such as a land trust, whereby certain rights are removed from the property, such as the right to develop, in order to protect certain conservation values, such as wildlife habitat. The Santa Lucia Conservancy holds permanent conservation easements on approximately 7,650 acres within the Preserve (known as the “Openlands”) for the purposes of protecting ecological, scenic, and scientific values for the public benefit.

Photo: Matthew Millman

Santa Lucia Preserve Design Guidelines

Each home is reviewed by a panel of architectural and landscape experts and adhere to the Preserve Design Guidelines.

Image: Hart Howerton Architects

The Preserve Design

Every detail of the Preserve design was thoughtfully considered to cultivate a harmonious mix… Read more.

Photo: Christy Fischer

The Conservancy

Established in 1995 to protect the wild characteristic and environmental quality of The Preserve… read more.

Not only ranching

The long history of the land includes Redwood logging too. Did you know that two of the tallest Redwoods south of Santa Cruz are on The Preserve?