The county supervisors voted on Tuesday to establish a permitting process for “hoop houses” that are taller than 20 feet. Previously the county code was silent. Farmers say these structures built with pipe and plastic-film save water and reduce pesticide use. They are believed to cover 5,000 acres of Santa Barbara County ag land. County supervisors Peter Adam and Steve Lavagnino dissented and argued hoop houses are merely farm equipment. But environmental attorney Marc Chytilo, retained by CLAWS (Committees for Land, Air, Water and Species), called for county planners to clearly define the zoning code and use discretion when permitting these structures.


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