COUNTY CONCERNS

Over strong objections from Supervisors Susan Rose and Salud
Carbajal, the County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to finally
adopt a Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan. The plan has been six
years in the making, but amendments added on Tuesday made it
unpalatable to the two South County representatives. Insisted upon
by rural landowners, those amendments removed from county maps all
prospective hiking trails on private property. In addition, the
amendments removed all Environmentally Sensitive Habitat
designations from the document. Even though environmental
regulations would apply in Santa Ynez, their absence from the
document makes them harder to enforce, according to the plan’s
critics.

A controversial piece of art that some feel negatively depicts
McDonald’s is here to stay. The County Arts Commission, which
oversees public art installations, decided that a sculpture of an
inverted McDonald’s “M” insignia punctured by arrows will continue
to occupy the corner of State and Canon Perdido streets through
November. The sculpture came under fire from the owners of six
local McDonald’s eateries, who protested that it represents a
malicious attack on them, their businesses, and their clients.

The county has regularly permitted erection of flare stacks, oil
and gas drilling rigs, industrial silos, and other major hardware
in apparent contradiction of its own coastal and inland zoning
ordinances, which prohibit structures taller than 50 feet.
Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously agreed to follow the lead of the
Planning Commission and the advice of the Planning &
Development Department in amending the ordinances to exempt
numerous industrial structures. No one objected to the
decision.

An unvaccinated Santa Ynez horse died last week after being
infected by the West Nile virus. Last year, six horses were
infected with West Nile in Santa Barbara County; three died. Mitch
Bernstein, the general manager of the Mosquito and Vector
Management District, encouraged horse owners to have their animals
vaccinated. “But we also want to emphasize that it’s not solely an
animal and pet issue,” he warned, advising community members to
take extra precautions against mosquito bites. There is no human
vaccination for West Nile.

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