CPA joins with WE Watch regarding Hoop Structures Ordinance

October 18, 2018

TO: Santa Barbara County Planning Commission

RE: Hoop Structure Ordinance

Citizens Planning Association has been following the development of the Hoop Structures Ordinance since it was first proposed. For more than 50 years, CPA has promoted and participated in many community plan processes, to include the Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan.

The Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan “updates the Comprehensive General Plan and provides policy direction for issues and development trends specific to the Plan Area.” The section, Visual and Aesthetic Resources, specifically addresses protection of townships and public viewing areas.

CPA suggests the SYVCP be the guiding document as policies regarding agricultural hoop structures are written. Mitigation Measure VIS 2 and 3 protect certain areas in the Santa Ynez design overlays from visual impacts. If hoop structures are allowed along roadways such as the 246 or 154 in the plan area, they should be screened and setback to be the least obtrusive as possible. When dealing with cannabis cultivation, we support enforcement of that ordinance’s policies requiring fencing and screening from public view.

CPA has studied the public comments and reviewed the recent hearing. We agree with Third District Supervisor Parke that protections must be provided for tiger salamander migration. We support the additional policy that night lighting will be prohibited. We remain concerned about hoop structures being allowed too close to the Santa Ynez riverbed. MM-BIO-3 requires a setback of at least 50 feet.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on these issues. While CPA realizes that hoop structures are now considered a necessity in local agriculture, we also know the importance of honoring community plans and other existing regulations which have been created after much study and environmental analysis.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Ellen Brooks and Betsy Cramer

Co-Presidents, Citizens Planning Association

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