I’m supporting Joan because she’ll support policy that grows our local economy without damaging the desirable rural character of Santa Barbara, the character that draws all of us to live here and tourists to visit.
Joan has a record of supporting agriculture and responsible development while protecting the interests of Santa Barbara residents versus the desires of people who don’t live here.
Her opponent, on the other hand, aligns himself with the Central County Coalition (CCC) as an Executive Board member. The coalition was founded by a major Porter financial backer and has goals that include expansion of wedding, events, and party tourism in residential and rural neighborhoods.
The CCC has been pushing for expansion of short-term rentals in rural neighborhoods. Their efforts include blocking reasonable restrictions to prevent the most egregious and ridiculous “party house” operators from the negative impacts borne by neighbors.
Their influence has also negatively impacted needed changes to our winery ordinance. I’m confident most of Santa Barbara embraces our expanding viticulture. Our agricultural emphasis is an important attraction to both visitors and residents.
Unfortunately, “parties for profit” is mixed into the winery ordinance debate by Porter and his CCC backers. The winery ordinance update isn’t just about updating the rules in support of agriculture or the making of wine. The debate has become about some vintners desire to expand into the entertainment business to include weddings, events, concerts, unrestricted numbers of visitors without consideration of impacts on local residents.
I’m hopeful we all recognize more casino-like ventures, more party buses, more loud music on formerly quiet evenings, and more strangers invading our once close-knit neighborhoods is not the future that improves Santa Barbara. That’s why this conservative will vote for Joan Hartmann.