Did you know that Venoco’s Ellwood Onshore Facility (EOF) located next to the Bacara Resort has been operating as a “nonconforming use” since 1991? It’s been that way since the zoning for that area changed from industrial to recreational use in 1991. Did you know that a “nonconforming use” can be terminated after the owner recoups a reasonable return on investment? The County of Santa Barbara did an Amortization Analysis in 2001 that concluded that Venoco would recoup a reasonable return on investment by 2016 and that the EOF could be terminated.

Shortly after the Amortization Analysis was done, Goleta became a city and EOF fell under its jurisdiction. In December 2014, the City of Goleta hired the county’s consultant to update the EOF Amortization Analysis based on the most recent data. The results have not been released to the public yet. I would like to request that the City of Goleta finish the analysis and make the results public and hold one or more meetings to discuss the findings.

After Venoco recoups a reasonable investment, wouldn’t it be amazing to turn the EOC into an open space or park that can be used by all? As a Goleta resident, I appreciate all of the beauty that is found in the area near the Bacara Resort and spend many hours there walking and taking it all in. Opening it up further would be fantastic for people living here now and for our children and grandchildren.


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