Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Smack Down at Fairview Gardens

The Goleta Council told Fairview Gardens this week that they had one year to take care of the housing violations that have generally been ignored for the last ten years by government officials. According to The Goleta Valley Voice, Mayor Bennet had this to say:

“You’re going to put the farm out of business” if workers are relocated offsite, he said. “You can’t have it both ways.”

He also turned to the farm, and sternly reprimanded its representatives for years of inaction and its dealings with the neighbors.

“The trust is broken, and you broke it,” he said.

He was willing to take a risk and let Fairview proceed, he said, but that they would “not get a second chance.”

I have to wonder out loud if he would be that tough talking with the owner of the Bacara...around issues like beach access?

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Anonymous augusto den said...

Sara... in fairness you should have included the preface to Bennett's first comment.... that he was addressing the homeowner/neighbors, and talking tough to them. You leave the impression that Bennett was only carping on Fairview Gardens.

Jonny Wallis also said some tough things to Fairview Gardens.

This is a thorny issue.

6/08/2008 10:26 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Point taken -- he was talking to the neighbors in the first part of the quote...

6/08/2008 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Subsidized Housing For All said...

Every employer who wants to pay minimal wages has a problem attracting enough staff at those wages in this housing market.

The real policy issue is why does Fairview Gardens get to include worker housing on the property but other commercial employers do not.

The City has to make some policy finding that agricultural land and such zoning gets to include this housing component but commercially zoned land does not. Adequate sewerage is yet another variable.

6/08/2008 8:10 PM  
Anonymous christine! said...

While I agree that Fairview Gardens has been wrong, and needs to fix their housing on their farmland issue- it is a issue the entire County needs to address- pay someone dirt pay- they need dirt cheap housing. We need cheap labor, yet we do everything possible to ingnore any other needs of the cheap labor- transportation and such.....why on earth are we hiding the facts from ourselves?

As for the Bacara- I think they suck. I bring up the point again and again- these are supposed to be high falutin' NYC folks- and they are dumb enough to let a ENTIRE hotel go up that is rife with leaks, sub standard framing gone bad- and these same brainiacs now want us to believe they have the know how to build 70 condos?

I call BULL on them, and the whole issue of Haskells could be taken care of in one meeting. STOP CLOSING THE ACCESS, period. DO NOT CLOSE THE ACCESS, period. Ever. Case closed.

6/09/2008 7:43 AM  
Blogger Greg Knowles said...

The low income housing issue will probably never go away. This is too bad it has come to this. I'm sure the people being affected are probably good folks just wanting to make what they can. Complying with the code seems reasonable to me. Let's watch the politicians do their dance and see what happens. Good Luck!

6/09/2008 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Sod houses said...

Clean up the trailer park trash and stop claiming blighted housing is "affordable". Maybe this is not the business to be in any longer.

6/09/2008 5:56 PM  
Anonymous No public duty for cheap labor said...

Excuse me, but "we" do not need cheap labor. Maybe some employers want cheap labor and it is their problem. But it is certainly not the communities duty to provide cheap housing for select employers who want cheap labor.

There was a time when large estates had maids and gardeners quarters. They took the responsibility for providing housing for the services they required at no public expense.

Take a look at the massive traffic backups going into Montecito in the mornings and you will see most of our traffic and housing problems are generated by "cheap labor" now having to commute to Montecito to provide armies of service workers while all those former maids and gardeners quarters are converted into pricy rentals for yuppies or media or fitness rooms.

6/10/2008 6:35 AM  
Anonymous Green Gene said...

We used to have a "bracero" program that worked to provide regulated seasonal immigrant labor before it was dismantled and replaced with massive ilegal immigration.

What brought this program down were the appalling living conditions provided by the growers. The housing they provided was a public shame and brought this program to an end -- to be informally replaced by the illegal program we now have.

Fairview Gardens brought its own problems on itself. If the price of "organic" produce is filthy housing and community blight, I say "organic" is just one more supertitious hoax like most of this "green" nonsense.

As always, follow the money and stop wrapping yourself up in nobler higher duties.

Sounds like a certain national politician getting more credit than he deserves running a pricey smoke and mirrors campaign on "virtue" when he stands for nothing more than personal ambition.

6/10/2008 6:41 AM  
Anonymous xyz said...

It will be interesting to watch the Miramar, whether that high-priced, large hotel gets built. If so, it will need hundreds of (low-paid) workers.

Why is there no provision required for their housing? Why are they different from Fairview Gardens which, unlike the Miramar, is a neighborhood resource!!!!!

6/10/2008 7:23 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

Bacara suffers under the East Coast (and Great Lakes Coast) illusion that they can control access to the public beach that fronts the hotel property. The pursuit of this illusion has made them into para-military villains who are reviled by the community. Bacara will never succeed in restricting the public from 24 hour access to Haskell's Beach. They need to stop trying because the attempt is only making it more difficult for them to get other stuff they want to do approved.

6/10/2008 8:25 AM  
Anonymous eggs_ackley said...

How many years did Fairview Gardens operate under the stewardship of Chris Thompson and then Michael Ableman without the management issues now faced?

Despite the fact that housing was built adjacent, the farm has the duty to conduct its operations in a manner that is responsible to the community in which it exists, something they seem to have forgotten.

6/11/2008 10:02 AM  

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