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Monday, March 25 , 2019, 11:21 am | A Few Clouds 59º

 
 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: Gaviota Coast at Stake in Board of Supervisors Election

The future of the Gaviota Coast is at stake in the Third District Supervisor election.

Joan Hartmann has been a thoughtful and consistent advocate for the preservation of the rural character of the Gaviota Coast during her three year tenure on the Planning Commission. She understands the irreplaceable character of the coast and the forces that threaten it.

The same cannot be said for her opponent, Bruce Porter. Mr. Porter said at the SB Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum that “outsiders”- non-residents/non-owners – should not have played a role in developing the nearly completed Gaviota Plan, the community plan that regulates development on the coast. As a member of the GavPAC planning process, but an “outsider” in Mr. Porter’s view, I can say with confidence that the six year endeavor was fair, honest, and complete. Landowners or their representatives comprised 8 of the 11 GavPAC members: hardly a stacked deck.

Furthermore, Mr. Porter stated at a candidate forum in Vandenberg Village that “the planning community views community plans as a religion”. Mr. Porter has a profound misunderstanding about the character of land use regulations that community plans develop. These regulations are formed under long-standing state law, interpreted by the Supervisors and created by the expressed desires and visions of the communities they serve. Community plans are a fundamental building block of the local democratic process, allowing all citizens of the County input into developing the character and quality of their region.

Joan Hartmann understands this and I am convinced that she will work tirelessly, listening to landowners and “outsiders” and wisely interpreting the provisions of the Gaviota Coast Plan for the benefit of our coastal homeland, its residents and all of us “outsiders”.

Phil McKenna
Santa Barbara

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