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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 9:21 am | Fair 52º


Letter to the Editor: Vote Against More ‘Party House’ Tourism

My hot button issue in the 3rd district race is the continuing expansion of tourist serving activities under the guise of short term rentals (STR’s).

There’s a party house (STR) next door to me and I was surprised to learn how widespread this problem has become, particularly in the Santa Ynez and Goleta Valleys and Montecito.  I was also surprised, and dismayed, to see how many other folks have been similarly impacted, whether by party houses, or just the unlimited activity and negative impacts described in recent STR discussions.

You should pay attention to this because it could happen to you.

Imagine how you’ll feel when the home next door becomes an events center and you have no recourse other than calling the sheriff.    Historically, our county has refused to use its zoning tools to regulate the “bad actors”.   The zoning you rely on doesn’t count.

Investors are buying property to convert to STR’s and Ag owners may naturally focus on events rather than crops.  Is this the future we want for our community?  Is this what you want next door to you?

Unless there’s a change in direction, don’t be surprised if a party house pops up in your neighborhood, or we continue to see conversion of agriculture to the more lucrative “parties for profit”. 

Avowed fiscal conservative, Bob Field, has been a tireless advocate for sensible restrictions that would shut down the “bad actors”.  I like his common sense views and advocacy for quality of life issues in Santa Barbara County and trust his commitment to protect our neighborhoods.  He’s been front and center on many of these issues for years and you owe it to yourself to hear him out and learn the facts on his positions.

Candidate Bruce Porter and some of his backers have been relentless in their effort to continue the status quo so that weddings, events, parties and tourism can grow unchecked, anywhere and anytime.  They will continue to peddle their “good neighbor ordinance”, the carefully crafted proposal of the tourism, wine, wedding and events group.

Michelle Malkin, conservative commentator said it best: “You can read the lips of the candidates till the cows come home.  But you’ll get to the truth much faster when you learn where power brokers have placed their bets and hitched their wagons.”

Ken O’Keefe
Los Olivos

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