Environmental Defense Center and Santa Barbara County Action Network Celebrate Big Win for Farmland in Lompoc

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Almost 150 acres of prime farmland near the City of Lompoc will be protected from development following a successful campaign by the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), its client the Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN), and local agricultural partners. 

On Thursday, April 6, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) voted 6-1 to deny the City of Lompoc’s application to expand its Sphere of Influence to include 148.3 acres of farmland adjacent to Bailey Avenue. The expansion would have been the first step towards potential massive development that would have paved over another piece of California’s shrinking farmland and undermined local agricultural production.

“This is an important win for farmland and our agricultural partners,” said SBCAN Executive Director Ken Hough. “It’s critical that we protect this land as an important natural resource and as part of the unique character of this community, and we urge the city to redouble its efforts to incentivize housing and other development within its current boundaries.”

EDC, SBCAN, and their partners have worked for years to protect farmland in the area. The groups also successfully opposed a prior planned development along Bailey Avenue that would have transformed a 270-acre piece of farmland into an urbanized development consisting of nearly 2,700 homes.

“We have a real need for affordable housing, but the solution isn’t suburban sprawl that fails to take advantage of infill development and paves over even more farmland,” said EDC Chief Counsel Linda Krop. “Thank you to SBCAN for its advocacy and to everyone who spoke up on this important issue.”


The Environmental Defense Center, a non-profit law firm, protects and enhances the local environment through education, advocacy, and legal action and works primarily within Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. Since 1977, EDC has empowered community based organizations to advance environmental protection. EDC’s focus areas include protection of the Santa Barbara Channel, ensuring clean water, preserving open space and wildlife, and addressing climate and energy. 

 Santa Barbara County Action Network works to promote social and economic justice, to preserve our environmental and agricultural resources, and to create sustainable communities. SBCAN advocates a holistic approach to community planning that integrates housing, open space, and transportation to meet the needs of all members of our community and future generations. Learn more at www.sbcan.org

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