Tuesday, October 16 , 2018, 1:06 am | Fair 54º

 
 
 
 

Goleta Voters Approve Agricultural Land Initiative, TOT Measure; Easton, Farr Win Council Seats

Goleta voters overwhelmingly approved the Agricultural Land Protection Initiative in Tuesday’s election, receiving 71.05 percent voter approval of 9,566 votes cast.

The measure requires majority approval from voters before the city can redesignate certain agricultural parcels larger than 10 acres.

There are only six parcels within the city limits that apply, but about 120 parcels in Santa Barbara County are within the city’s planning area, so they could also be impacted.

The initiative was written by the Environmental Defense Center and advocated by the Goodland Coalition. 

Supporters argue that the General Plan is subject to the whim of future councils, and are primarily concerned with the 240-acre Bishop Ranch property where developers have tried to build large residential and commercial complexes. Opponents argue that the measure is unnecessary and interferes with the city’s existing planning process.

Concern over the Bishop Ranch project clearly remains for many, even after developer Michael Keston severed his agreement with the property owner in October, ending a contentious, years-long debate over the open space’s future.

The property owner, University Exchange Corp., is withdrawing all development-related applications for the property and has no immediate plans to pursue another project there. UEC owns 3,200 acres of ranch land in Santa Barbara County.

In other news, Goleta Mayor Ed Easton was re-elected Tuesday night, receiving 49.11 percent approval, and resident Jim Farr, 48.56 percent, won a seat on the City Council.

They were the only two candidates running for the two available seats, and the race appeared on the ballot only because of the city’s local initiatives. Resident Leslie Lund announced her write-in candidacy about two weeks ago, which most likely was too late for many absentee voters.

Goleta voters also approved a proposed bed tax increase, from 10 to 12 percent. The measure received 71.54 percent of the vote.

Buellton, Carpinteria and Solvang also had transient occupancy tax increases on their ballots, which also were passing handily. The increases raise the tax rates to the level that of the City of Santa Barbara.

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.

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 using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • 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 >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.