For over eighteen years (1986-2005), Mr. Baucke, founder of NURA was Project Director and served as the Owners Representative responsible for the master planning, feasibility, entitlement, land management, and governmental relations for the Bixby family’s nearly 24,000-acre Cojo-Jalama Ranch. Stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the foothills of the majestic Santa Ynez Mountain, the Cojo-Jalama Ranch is a natural wonder on the Gaviota Coast. Located in northern Santa Barbara County surrounding Point Conception, the Ranch, has more than nine miles of pristine beaches that give way to over 38 square miles of rolling grasslands and ancient oak forests. It is a vast expanse of open land that affords many private scenic locations overlooking the Pacific Ocean, as well as sweeping panoramic views of the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. Over the years, Mr. Baucke led a number of entitlement efforts for the property, including the landmark Bixby Ranch Specific Plan Project.
The Bixby Ranch Specific Plan took into account a complex mix of environmental, regulatory, economic, and cultural resource issues, and includes the following: a 23,000-acre agricultural and habitat conservation district; 490 residences; a 250-room lodge; two Scottish link-style golf courses; a village center; a 20-acre expansion to an existing public beach park; and, an equestrian center. This entitlement effort was terminated by the purchase of a significant portion of the development rights by the United States Department of Defense on December 24, 1992 for $22.5 Million dollars.
In the fall of 2004, the Board of Directors of the Bixby Ranch Company decided to liquidate its holdings and close its doors after being in the real estate development and land management business for over 100 years. The Cojo-Jalama Ranch was sold in January 2007, to Boston-based $23-billion hedge fund, the Baupost Group for approximately $140 million, a record for non-commercial real estate in California.