On Wednesday, May 31 the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission is scheduled to consider final approval of its earlier tentative decision to deny a proposal to subdivide 4,000 acres of farmland and ranchland, known as Rancho La Laguna, into 13 parcels for upscale estates.
Last month the Commission rejected the staff recommendation to approve the proposal and directed that the staff prepare “findings for denial” of the project. The Commission will consider those findings as the second agenda item Wednesday morning. We hope you will join SBCAN in urging the Commission to deny the project.
SBCAN is represented by the Environmental Defense Center, which has raised a myriad of objections to the project. These include that the land—full of rolling hills, deep canyons, and oak forests—is home to amazing biodiversity. Fifty-six rare wildlife and plant species call this quintessential Santa Barbara landscape home and currently coexist side-by-side with cattle grazing and farming.
Splitting this land into smaller lots for development will undermine both its agricultural integrity and nearby farms, and will eliminate many of the natural resources that make this area so beautiful. As the findings for denial state, it would be in violation of the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Perhaps most importantly, approval of this subdivision would set a precedent that could lead to conversion of other large agricultural parcels to upscale estates.
Agriculture is our county’s number one industry and sustaining that is one of SBCAN’s top priorities.
Please urge the Commission to deny the project by either emailing the commissioners via David Villalobos at [email protected]
or by testifying at the meeting, either in Santa Barbara or remotely in Santa Maria; details at: http://sbcountyplanning.org/boards/pc/cpc_documents.cfm?DocID=19704
Please contact SBCAN’s staff at 563-0463 for more information.