Eastern Goleta Valley Community Plan Update
- Goal: Preserve important local farmland and wildlife habitat
- Year Started: 2008
- Clients: None
The Goleta Valley, with its ideal climate, fertile soils, canyons and hills has long been a thriving agricultural region and hotspot for wildlife. However, like agriculture throughout the country, urban development has crowded out much of the former agriculture and habitats in our region. The few farms and natural open spaces that remain are currently under threat of conversion and development.
Santa Barbara County is in the process of updating the 1993 Goleta Community Plan (CP) which will inform decision making for development and protection of land within the Goleta Valley for the next 15-30 years. EDC’s 2013 report Chaparral Removal Projects in Southern Santa Barbara County [link to Report]) describes a dozen recent clear-cuts which have eliminated over 100 acres of wildlife habitats. Over 9,000 acres of important chaparral habitat exists in Goleta but is under-protected. EDC, our client the Santa Barbara Urban Creeks Council, the Santa Barbara County Chaparral Coalition and biologists are urging the County to protect Goleta’s chaparral and the 50 rare and endangered species that call it home.
As laid out in a 2014 report released by EDC, entitled Urban Agriculture in the Goleta Valley
the draft plan update unfortunately threatens several agricultural properties with rezones to residential uses, including three valuable farm properties – the South Patterson Triangle, the Giorgi orchard on Hollister Avenue, and Hodges/San Marcos Growers. Products from these farms are available at our local farmers’ markets and in local grocery stores. Their fresh produce includes walnuts, lemons, avocados, broccoli, bell peppers, sweet corn and more. EDC is working to prevent rezoning of these important urban ag lands that provide immense environmental and human health benefits, and contribute to the County’s $3 billion ag industry.