Hi Jeanne –
On Tuesday, August 29, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will consider the appeal of its Planning Commission's denial of a proposal to subdivide 4,000 acres of farmland and ranchland, known as Rancho La Laguna, into 13 parcels for upscale estates.
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 Board to reject the project by either emailing the supervisors at [email protected] or by testifying at the meeting, either in Santa Maria or remotely in Santa Barbara; it is the last item (Item #4) on what is expected to be a short agenda. The meeting starts at 9 am and the item is expected to come up by mid-morning.
Please contact SBCAN’s staff at (805) 563-0463 for more information.