The Santa Ynez Valley in Southern California brands itself as bucolic wine country, a mix between grape-covered hills and Old West charm. The Chamber of Commerce touts the hospitality and diversity of the valley's few thousand residents, but one thing that isn't mentioned in the Chamber's materials is the Chumash Casino Resort, a business run by the government of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians that made a reported $366 million in revenue in 2008.
The government of the Tribe, which claims 249 on-reservation members, is attempting to acquire relatively autonomous federal trust status for a greater proportion of the Tribe's historic land.
The Court of Appeal has upheld an environmental impact report dealing with mining in a dry riverbed in Santa Barbara County.
Troesh Materials, Inc. submitted an application to the County of Santa Barbara ("County") to operate a new mine within the dry bed of the Cayuma River. The mine would be positioned away from the active streambed and roughly 1,500 feet upstream from an existing, active mine. Potential excavation could proceed to a maximum depth of 90 feet, with an average production of 500,000 cubic yards per year.
A State Lands Commission policy prohibiting development seaward of the most landward historical position of the mean high tide line was an invalid underground regulation because it was not promulgated as a regulation pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act, the Third District Court of Appeal has ruled.
An appellate court has blocked a proposed Santa Barbara housing subdivision because the city did not receive of voter approval of an access road and bridge on city-owned open space land, as required by a 1982 initiative.
In the 100 years since the initiative and referendum powers have become part of the local land use planning and development legal framework, voters have used these populist elements of democracy to shape growth. The case from the City of Santa Barbara illustrates a variation on the intersection of planning and voter control.
After nearly a decade of conflict, Adam Bros. Farming, Inc.'s quest to receive compensation from the County of Santa Barbara has finally come to an end with a Ninth Circuit ruling in favor of the county.
In 1999 the county had ordered Adams Bros. to cease farming on 95 of its 286 acres near Orcutt because those 95 acres had been designated as wetlands. Adam Bros. originally brought suit in California Superior Court claiming that the wetlands designation was faulty, that it decreased the value and usefulness of their farmland, and that it violated the federal Equal Protection, Due Process and Takings clauses. Adam sought damages and declaratory and injunctive relief.
What appeared last fall to be a major win for property rights advocates may have been a fleeting victory. Earlier this month, an en banc panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided to rehear a rent control case from the City of Goleta, meaning the earlier ruling in favor of the property owner is wiped out.
Two separate California Environmental Quality Act lawsuits over unrelated measures that raised revenue for transportation purposes have been thrown out by the state Court of Appeal. One case involved a half-cent sales tax in Santa Barbara County. The other concerned a Los Angeles bus fare increase.
The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments did not illegally campaign for a ballot measure to fund transportation projects, the Second District Court of Appeal has ruled. By preparing a transportation plan and making presentations to member agencies and the public about the benefits of a proposed sales tax extension, the Association of Governments was simply performing its duty, the court determined.
A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit has dismissed as moot an animal rights group's challenge of the environmental review documents for a program in which the National Park Service eradicated feral pigs on Santa Cruz Island.