SANTA BARBARA COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION TO DECIDE ON HOOP STRUCTURE ORDINANCE
Published on behalf of Judith Stauffer
A critical meeting of the SB County Planning Commission will be held on Wednesday, November 7, starting at 9AM at the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room in the Betteravia Government Center, 511 East Lakeside Parkway in Santa Maria.Below are a few reasons this proposed ordinance needs to be tossed out and the Planning Commission needs to start afresh:
1. While this Ordinance is intended to be an economic benefit for agriculture, its impacts on our communities has not sufficiently been taken into consideration. Unlike the community outreach involved in the Winery Ordinance, there have been virtually no community meetings or good community outreach regarding the broad-based implications should it be approved.
2. A Hoop Structure Ordinance needs meaningful mitigations, not the inadequate ones originally proposed . . . It needs to mitigate the economic impacts of the Ordinance on other sectors. It needs to mitigate the quality of life impacts on citizens as well as our communities. It needs to mitigate the water resource impacts.
3. Contrary to what some agriculturalists say, hoop structures are not “temporary” farm implements. They are reflective white plastic structures, and cumulatively ruin the picturesque quality of Santa Barbara County’s rural landscape and aesthetic.
4. The Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan calls for “protecting prominent scenic view sheds form extensive structural development” — which includes hoop structures — “through proper siting, design, landscaping and/or screening, and use of colors and materials that are harmonious with the natural environment.” Clearly, large expanses of white plastic on hillsides, scenic corridors and our river watershed does not meet this criteria.
5. Millions of tourists make Santa Barbara County their get-away destination. In fact, revenue from tourism throughout our County far exceeds that from agriculture.
Come to the SB County Planning Commission meeting and tell them to slow this process down — hold public meetings that are broadly advertised to hear what residents throughout County have to say, and write a well-balanced Hoop Structure Ordinance.