Draft EIR Released for Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan

Public Meeting for Future of Three Unincorporated Areas Scheduled for July

The County has released its draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan earlier this week. The plan encompasses large portions of the unincorporated county, including three townships - Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Ballard - and a total of 72 square miles, ranging north from the Santa Ynez River to the Woodstock Ranch and Oak Trails neighborhood, and east from the western part of Buellton to the Rancho Estates neighborhood. The area hasn’t been reviewed for land use and zoning designations since the countywide update to the Comprehensive Plan in 1981, but has changed immensely in that time because of new growth and an expanding tourism industry.

According to an announcement from Santa Barbara County Planning and Development, the DEIR points out significant impacts on the environment that are anticipated in several areas, including parks and recreation, public services, traffic and circulation, biological resources, air quality, fire hazards, noise, seismic, soil and landslide hazards, water quality and visual and aesthetic resources, among others.

A public hearing will take place at the Assembly Hall of the Solvang Veteran’s Memorial Building, 1745 Mission Dr., at 6:30 p.m. on July 9. Written comments can also be submitted to Justin Feek, 30 E. Figueroa St., 2nd Floor, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, through July 25.

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