Pixel Tracker

Monday, March 25 , 2019, 10:37 pm | Fair 51º

 
 
 
 

State Supreme Court Declines to Review Ruling In Lompoc Illegal Sports Field Case

The California Supreme Court has denied a request to consider a lawsuit filed by Lompoc City Councilman James Mosby over his sports field, which Santa Barbara County says is illegal.

Without comment, the Supreme Court denied the petition for review, according to judicial officials.

Mosby sought the review after the Second District Court of Appeal ruled Santa Barbara County acted properly in denying a permit for Mosby to operate a sports field just east of the Lompoc. 

“We conclude that the denial is supported by substantial evidence, after examining ‘all relevant evidence in the entire record,’” appellate judges decided in an opinion released in January.

“Mosby’s small site adjoins agricultural operations that use pesticides, and his project degrades the soil and lacks public services. The county drew a line and refused to approve an urban-type facility hosting up to 780 patrons per weekend day in a rural area. This was not a prejudicial abuse of discretion,” the ruling said in affirming the decision.

Mosby, who was represented by Kate M. Neiswender, has operated on his land an unpermitted commercial recreational facility with a paintball field, a remote-controlled car track, and soccer fields, in violation of county zoning laws, since 2006. 

The site also has greenhouses, a residence, a warehouse, aquaculture ponds, and a parking lot for 150 cars.

The county received a complaint about the unpermitted activity in 2011, but has rejected his efforts for a permit, and Mosby sued, prevailing in that case.

During its reconsideration of the request, the county again denied the conditional-use permit, leading Mosby to file another lawsuit.

This time, the Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge denied the petition, leaving him to appeal the matter.

Mosby and the county have been in a multi-year battle over the recreational fields, saying its the sports enthusiasts who will be affected if he has to end the recreational activities.

Reached by phone Friday, Mosby said he was not aware of the denial. He said the petition for review was a long shot, and called the denial unfortunate, saying there's "always other options."

Santa Barbara County spent approximately $91,500 in salary, benefits and overhead costs in support of the legal action, according to officials’ estimates. Prevailing in the lawsuit also means the county does not have to pay Mosby’s attorney fees.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

Email
I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • 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.