Monday, May 21 , 2018, 10:15 pm | Fair 59º


Local News

Goleta Planning Commission Finds Fairview Gardens in Compliance

The organic farm makes progress in meeting mandated conditions

The Goleta Planning Commission on Monday found Fairview Gardens compliant with conditions set out for its operations. The compliance hearing was part of an ongoing effort to bring the urban agriculture operation up to code.

“This farm is going through a redefining period, figuring out what they want to be,” city planner Scott Kolwitz said.

The organic urban farm, at 598 N. Fairview Ave., is nestled in the middle of a residential neighborhood. While it’s popular with a community that appreciates its efforts to provide organic produce, neighbors have voiced concerns about noise, sanitation and the adequacy of housing for farmworkers.

The farm was ordered to hook up to the sewer system, reduce its noise (mainly from an on-site poultry operation) and provide better housing for its workers.

Neighbors’ outcry and the city’s orders sparked a major effort on the part of the farm to improve its conditions, a years-long effort given the farm’s continued economic dire straits.

At Monday’s compliance hearing, however, commissioners said they were satisfied with the farm’s progress.

“I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief, because this room has been filled with people who were very unhappy,” Commissioner Jonny Wallis said. “It think it’s encouraged the management to understand that they (are) in a very urbanized area, and I think they’ve taken steps to reduce the fray that these different uses may cause.”

The farm still has a ways to go as it puts together plans to build more semi-permanent housing for its workers, plans that include an upcoming fundraiser. Also in the works are plans for an improved farm stand to replace the existing one. There is also the issue of permits that need to be given out for some of its operations; they are contingent on the improvements Fairview Gardens still needs to make.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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