Urge denial of project with severe environmental impacts and oppose change to critical county policy

Please join Santa Barbara County Action Network in urging the County Planning Commission to protect endangered species, creeks, and wetlands by denying the housing development project known as The Neighborhoods at Willow Creek and Hidden Canyon.
 
On Wednesday, Feb. 10, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission will decide whether to approve The Neighborhoods project, which proposes to develop vacant land between the fairways of Rancho Maria Golf Course west of Orcutt.
 
Within the same item, the commission will consider changing County policy to remove the requirement for a specific plan to be prepared for an entire key site prior to approval of a project within that site. This change would set a hugely consequential precedent that would allow individual projects to be considered outside of the context of the surrounding area. 
 
 
SBCAN is opposed to this development because the revisions do not adequately address the environmental and other concerns raised by the community at previous hearings, including: 
  • Two new access roads through wetlands
  • No buffers between development and wetlands
  • Direct impacts to endangered and threatened species habitat of the California Tiger Salamander, California Red-Legged Frog, and Western Spadefoot Toad 
  • Direct impacts to native grasses and eucalyptus trees that serve as a monarch habitat
  • Leapfrog development in a high fire hazard area
  • The developer did not first process a Key Site Specific Plan that would have identified developable areas, buffers from onsite resources, resulting in fewer and reduced environmental impacts.
All of the opposing comments at previous hearings, except those from staff and members of SBCAN, came from owners and patrons of the neighboring golf course or nearby property owners who were primarily concerned with increased traffic, water demand, conflicts with agriculture, and disrupted views of open space. 
 
Please call into the Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 9 a.m. to express your opposition and ask them to deny this project and to not change County planning policy.
 
You can register for the virtual meeting at this link: https://countyofsb.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_atqcWxCKRau2C9EYKwBRcA
 
You can also submit written comments to [email protected] by Monday, Feb. 8 at noon. 
 
We hope you will be able to weigh in on this environmentally damaging project and on the potentially disastrous policy change. 
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Santa Barbara County Action Network
Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN) works to promote social and economic justice, to preserve our environmental and agricultural resources, and to create sustainable communities.