Several Solvang residents have formed a group opposing Solvang City Council’s move toward annexing 17 parcels of land, a “Sphere of Influence” increase of almost 30 percent (450 acres). We feel this growth would be to the detriment of Solvang’s small town character and surrounding rural lands, major reasons we have chosen to live in the Santa Ynez Valley and specifically in Solvang.

We were surprised to learn that ordinary Solvang residents would have no vote about the soon-to-be-made-public Sphere of Influence Study, adoption of the Sphere of Influence, or eventual annexation and development of these lands. The only voters would be Solvang City Council (five residents), LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) with Mayor Richardson serving on LAFCO as well as City Council, and potentially the 17 landowners involved.

Our group is distributing flyers throughout Solvang to explain the Sphere of Influence and annexation process and scope to residents so that all of us can attend the public hearings on the issue. This is the only avenue available to Solvang residents to voice their opinion on growing Solvang from 1,550 acres to 2,000. We have been gratified at the number of responses we have received. If you want to be kept informed about the process or have questions, please send your email address to or


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