Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, February 20 , 2019, 8:49 pm | Fair 48º


Commentary: Has the Time Finally Come for Goleta to Discuss Bishop Ranch?

Request for city review should spur larger examination of property's best use.

Bishop Ranch has submitted an application request to initiate a Goleta General Plan amendment for potential development. Unfortunately, the hype has focused on details of a plan that has yet to be fleshed out. To be considered by the city, Bishop Ranch offered to describe the basic scope of the project, gleaned from its community brainstorming meetings. But there are no official blueprints, schematics or site plans. The project is still in its very nascent stages, far too early to debate specifics.

Kristen Amyx (Amyx family photo)

What should be debated is whether to initiate the project so there can be environmental studies, impact reports, community dialogue and policy discussion on the best uses of this property for our city’s future.

I believe the time has come — actually, it came a long while ago when the new city of Goleta side-stepped the issue.

Remember when the city was newly incorporated and the first City Council announced plans to create our first General Plan? We at the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce believed that meant we would write a blueprint for the city that included all aspects of our future and that it would certainly entertain discussions on what should be planned for the largest undeveloped parcel of land, smack in the middle of Goleta: Bishop Ranch. In fact, person after person spoke at the General Plan workshops about the need to discuss the possibilities for development on Bishop Ranch.

But the first City Council completely ignored those comments and wrote a general plan that did not include any dialogue, debate, study or analysis regarding the more than 230-acre parcel of land in our city’s midst. Last year, the chamber updated our Goleta Valley Vision, a consensus-based document outlining a 20-year plan for our community. In the plan, we recommended new housing of all varieties on strategic and appropriate sites spread throughout Goleta to be built over the next 20 years. We envisioned a new neighborhood on Bishop Ranch as part of that plan.  Moreover, Bishop Ranch lies at the geographic heart of Goleta. It is the right place for a new neighborhood.

Goleta needs a plan for housing that addresses our 20-year needs. Knowing how long the process will be, given the scope of Bishop Ranch, means that initiating discussions now can begin the process of planning for our future needs.

Kristen Amyx is president and CEO of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

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 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
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.

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 >