Friday, December 15 , 2017, 11:45 am | Smoke 73º


Local News

Goleta Council Decides to Put Farmland Initiative on November Ballot

Residents will vote Nov. 6 on whether to approve a measure affecting agricultural lands within the city

The Goleta City Council decided Tuesday night to put the Goleta Agricultural Land Protection Initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot, a move applauded by the Goodland Coalition and Environmental Defense Council.

The council members had the option of adopting the initiative outright at Tuesday night’s meeting, but approved the impact report and unanimously agreed, with virtually no discussion, to let voters decide the issue.

If passed, the initiative would amend the city’s General Plan Land Use Map so that re-designating any agricultural land more than 10 acres in size would require approval through a vote of the people.

The ordinance would be effective for 20 years, and exempt land needed for the kind of housing the state is required to provide under state law, and wouldn’t limit public school or park development. The city estimates that it will cost about $15,000 to have the ballot in the consolidated election.

Proponents claim the measure, also known as the Goleta Heritage Farmlands Initiative, “will protect our city’s small-town character and its unique agricultural and naturally scenic setting” and ensure that farmland isn’t rezoned without public debate.

They gathered enough signatures to put the item on the ballot and received a $10,000 grant from The Fund for Santa Barbara to educate voters on the initiative, Goodland Coalition spokesman Bob Wignot said.

There are only six parcels to which the initiative would apply, including Bishop Ranch and neighboring parcels, Fairview Gardens, a parcel in Ellwood Canyon and a parcel near the Glen Annie Golf Club.

Environmental Defense Center staff attorney Nathan Alley said the group was inspired by the council’s action against the proposed Bishop Ranch project last fall. The council voted against a residential and commercial project planned for the 240 acres of open space off Glen Annie Road.

Click here to read the initiative impact report.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli 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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >