Open Fields and Wildlife

Why would you have a wonderful write up on San Marcos Growers and not mention their future with the Housing Element plan?

The county is required to zone for 5,664 additional units in unincorporated areas. Its draft Housing Element proposes rezoning local agricultural land in the Patterson to Turnpike neighborhoods along Hollister Avenue and near Highway 101. The proposal calls for allocating 4,798 high density housing units (20-23/acre) in the area and potentially tens of thousands more residents.

I live in the Santa Barbara County area that backs up to the property owned by Montessori Center Schools next to San Marcos. I have lived in my home for almost 40 years, raising two sons and a grandson. I chose this home because the neighborhood here is quiet and friendly, and because of the open fields and wildlife that are here. Our neighbors are all on a first name basis.

With a monthly mortgage of less than $2,000, I know I cannot afford to leave and buy anywhere else in Santa Barbara if I want to move. My home estimate has increased significantly but will probably decrease with the development of the surrounding properties. This is not an issue that any of the planning process cares to discuss.

The common concerns in our area include school overcrowding, water usage, road maintenance, traffic, and property values. The development alone would be a nightmare to live through. Most of the residents are very long term, and we face the same issues.

Most highly regarded is our quality of life. You cannot put a price on that.


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