Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, August 31, 2007

Sphere of Influence Discussion in Goleta

Spheres of influence allows cities the ability to create boundaries for which they are interested in annexation and future development. Next week, the City of Goleta has a series of workshops related to this issue. Thanks to City Council Watcher for passing this info along.

Why is it important? The proposed sphere includes Goleta Beach Park which is run by the County of Santa Barbara -- is the City of Goleta ready to take that on? The sphere extends north of Cathedral Oaks to the Forest Service boundary, runs beyond Tecolote Creek and out to the shoreline at the Bacara Resort. These areas include two large areas of undeveloped land that is currently zoned for agriculture -- will this help or hinder keeping it that way?

A map is on the September 4th council agenda on the City's website. Here are the dates of the upcoming workshop:

Tuesday, September 4th at 6 pm
Sphere of Influence discussion

Saturday, September 15th 9 am to 3 pm
First General Plan workshop

Thursday, September 27th 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Second general Plan workshop

Friday, October 5th 9 am to 3 pm
General Plan housing element workshop

Wednesday, October 17th 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Third General Plan workshop

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Blogger MCConfrontation said...

I think it's fairly obvious that if the city is successful in annexing these tracts that they stand less of a chance of remaining the way they are. I'm guessing that that is a bad thing in the minds of most of your readers, they mostly being anti-growth. Any thoughts?

8/31/2007 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Goleta Joe said...

You can see the Goleta Staff report by clicking on and then clicking on item E1.

The problem with the proposed Goleta sphere of influence discussions is that they indicates areas that could be annexed in the future and then subject to potential development.

The current proposal includes two large areas of undeveloped land currently zoned for agriculture and actively farmed today: the Patterson Ag block, south of Hollister and the foothills up to the forest service boundary north of Cathedral Oaks Road from Patterson Avenue on the east to Ferren Road on the west.

Preservation of agricultural land is critical to local food production and other agricultural activities. Potential annexation through inclusion in the sphere of influence puts these areas at risk of development.

Potential annexation and encroachment of development up to the forest service boundary raises serious concerns regarding increased fire risk and the consequent expense and hazards of protecting structures so close to wild land areas.

Extension of the city sphere of influence west of Embarcadero creates a threat of leap-frog development up the Gaviota coast.

Goleta Beach Park and its management is a complex and expensive undertaking. The City of Goleta has neither the financial resources nor the experience to take on this project. It should remain under county jurisdiction, where the problems of the park have been studied for many years and which has the expertise to manage it effectively.

8/31/2007 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the lovefest that the current Goleta Council has with Towbes, Coastal Housing, etc certainly would expedite development on these previously undevelop[able] County parcels. the local housing developers have been trying for years to find an "in" to bulldoze what remains of the South Coast---they've tried pretending they care about poor people [remember their exploitation of Richard Ramos], pretending they care about "workforce housing" and making best buddies with former slow-growthers eg Mickey Flacks, etc; now, they can thankfully abandon all that BS and just say and do what they have truly wanted all along---BUILD BUILD and make money---cause now they have the Goleta City Council. Towbes doing a 360 on Sumida Gardens is but one example of the duplicity of these folks. So the proposed sphere is nothing but a glimpse into the future desires of the now well established partnership of Goleta City Council/Chamber/Developer troika. Imagine the hotel resort they'd have planned for goleta beach...especially once the GPAs about timeshares make it through the charade of public hearings...

9/01/2007 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The biggest feature of the sphere is the total omission of Isla Vista.

The municipal status of IV is a black eye for LAFCO... how can anyone assert that LAFCO has even come close to doing its job w/r to IV. `Orderly Development'?? What a joke.

Fire the current LAFCO and put in some people with true dedication to public service.

9/01/2007 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goleta Beach must be part of the City of Goleta or it will be left for SB City to gobble up and turn into a pay per visit tourist destination like they have done to the harbor and waterfront. The small stretch of beach below Ellwood Mesa and Haskel's is the only wet sand in the City of Goleta. Goleta can hire the current management team to help with the transition and maybe cut some County fat at the same time.
AG owners/farmers in the Patterson AG block really want to be part of SB City. The will have no trouble at all building high density on AG land under the City of SB. Look at what the City of SB did to St Vincent’s soon after annex. SB officials see this as a way to build the CA housing mandate while building high end condo conversions down town. Annex and build high density - AKA St Vincent’s - coming to an AG block near you. Moral of this story - fear SB city sphere of influence not the City of Goleta's - even with the current Towbes in the City pockets Goleta Council.
BTW- I am no fan of Towbes, his corporations rob from the needy to provide for the affluent and have done so for many years on the South Coast. Most of his projects get concessions and are only “affordable” for 15 years, then market rate. Just watch Willow Springs go for sale Condo’s under Towbes. I hope the City of Goleta did not change the “in perpetuity” clause on the affordability for the Sumida Project when the handed Towbes some six (6) million to help him build it.

9/02/2007 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The City of Goleta is not equipped to administer agricultural land contracts under the Williamson Act in the absence of adopted Uniform Rules. County governance is responsible for our rural/agricultural lands; cities are rarely charged with such responsibility. Any sphere of influence or annexation proposed over agriculturally contracted lands by a city jurisdiction should acknowledge that the city will not be able to retail these contracts as they currently stand.

10/02/2007 2:19 PM  

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