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Coalition Makes Progress in Signature Drive for Goleta Farmland Preservation Initiative

The Goodland Coalition says it gathered more than 800 signatures, half of what is required to put a measure on the fall ballot

Fairview Gardens, at 598 N. Fairview Ave. in Goleta, is popular with shoppers but has had to weather financial and other recent challenges. Officials say the nonprofit organization is on the path to sustainability and assert that the property is needlessly included in the proposed Goleta Heritage Farmlands Initiative restricting agricultural land.

Fairview Gardens, at 598 N. Fairview Ave. in Goleta, is popular with shoppers but has had to weather financial and other recent challenges. Officials say the nonprofit organization is on the path to sustainability and assert that the property is needlessly included in the proposed Goleta Heritage Farmlands Initiative restricting agricultural land.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk file photo)

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper |

Goleta residents hoping to strengthen regulations for farmland conversions announced Wednesday that they have half the signatures needed to put the item on this fall’s ballot.

The Goodland Coalition revealed the details of the Goleta Heritage Farmlands Initiative earlier this year.

If approved, the initiative would require voter approval of any re-designation or change in the intensity of Goleta agriculture land use, and it would apply only to properties that are 10 acres or more in size. It would be in effect for the next 20 years.

The group has gathered more than 800 signatures in five weeks, half of what is required to put the initiative to voters. Volunteers have been going door-to-door and staking out shopping centers for the signatures.

“It’s very clear that many Goleta voters want to have the final say before Goleta agricultural parcels can be rezoned,” said Bob Wignot, who is spearheading the effort for The Goodland Coalition. “This is just one more indication that Goleta residents want to preserve our valuable agricultural resources.”

Click here for the group’s website to find locations to sign the petition.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.




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» on 04.26.12 @ 01:05 PM

Having been a student at SMHS when there wasn’t a Turnpike Overpass, and lemons all around I would love to see this parcel left open and ag.

BUT, why do those wanting this ballot issue, continue to use government to take property rights? 

The City of SB just learned the hard way permanent taking of development requires compensation.  There is the rub.  Instead of using the years they have fought development to have fund raisers, and look for donations to “buy” either the fee title or development rights, they want to use the heavy hand of government. 

Ironic it is to see the anti establishment heirs of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s using the very type of actions they and their predecessors vowed was nothing less then the spawn of Satin.

Unfortunately this is the historic legacy of the left.

» on 04.26.12 @ 02:30 PM

This measure is not a taking. In fact, it explicitly states that if the land cannot be used for anything else, then the initiative does not apply.

What this IS is a way to make sure that the wishes of the people to keep land zoned for agriculture from being re-zoned with just a 3-2 vote of the council on any given Tuesday.

The measure only says that if the council votes to rezone any of the 6 remaining ag parcels of 10 acres or more, Goleta citizens get a say.  That’s called democracy, not heavy handed socialism. 

Zoning is important and no one has a right to keep or change their zoning. You wouldn’t want your neighbor to open a drive thru at their house, would you?

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