Opinion: Chumash Tribe aggressive in pursuit of land-into-trust

"Most valley and south coast folks have paid very little attention to the battle royal that is brewing in the Santa Ynez Valley, pitting Valley residents who wish to maintain the pastoral beauty and open spaces the agreed to Valley Community Plan has laid out against the casino-driven Indian tribe which recently purchased a 1,400-acre parcel in the center of the gateway to the Valley.

On the one side, you have the tribe, which wishes (by any means possible) to take the 1,400 acres, which were purchase as “fee title property,” property like the typical person or business would buy who would then work within the the Valley plan guidelines as they relate to development for agriculturally zoned property. On the other side, is the tribe, which wishes to enact a “fee to Trust conversion,” thus taking the property out of the community plan, turning it into an independent nation and eliminating any of the requirements of the community plan.

I must say that I believe the Tribe’s ancestors must seriously be pained by the thought of taking such beautiful, open land and developing it in any form that would adulterate the very natural world they sought to preserve. Think about a very large casino, high-density housing, big box shopping mall, and on and on, and you get the radically different outcomes that will occur depending on how this all plays out. Now things get interesting.

The tribe is aggressively pursuing an agreement with the county CEO (new to Santa Barbara County, no dog in the game) with a short-term revenue deal that leaves the Valley, and the county, holding the bag for whatever impacts their ideas of development will have."

Get the Story:
John Wilczak: Santa Ynez Valley development crisis (The Santa Ynez Valley Journal 8/25)

Also Today:
Meeting scheduled Friday on reservation expansion (The Santa Maria Times 8/25)

Related Stories:
Opponents to host meeting to discuss Chumash land-into-trust (8/12)
Opinion: Stop Chumash Tribe from placing new property in trust (8/5)
Group seeks field hearing on Chumash Tribe land-into-trust bid (7/28)
Chumash Tribe wants to discuss land-into-trust bid with county (6/30)
Opinion: Enough is enough with Chumash Tribe's land grab (4/14)
Opinion: Evidence shows Chumash Tribe's legitimacy in doubt (4/8)
Column: The Chumash Tribe and a fix to land-into-trust ruling (3/31)
Letter: Rep. Gallegly plays politics on Chumash land-into-trust (3/24)
Editorial: Chumash Tribe should forego land-into-trust process (3/17)
Opinion: Chumash Tribe lobbying Rep. Gallegly on land-into-trust (3/10)
Local official claims Chumash Tribe doesn't need land-into-trust (3/8)
Opinion: Groups fight Chumash Tribe land-into-trust application (2/24)
Groups claim Chumash Tribe can't follow land-into-trust process (08/23)
Groups question BIA review of Chumash land-into-trust (4/29)
Opinion: Chumash Tribe wields influence on land-into-trust (04/08)
Chumash Tribe purchases ranch property for reported $40M (4/6)
BIA reaches MOU for California land-into-trust consortium (4/1)
Groups claim BIA wants to study Chumash land-into-trust (3/29)
Groups file first brief over Chumash land-into-trust (02/22)
Groups battle BIA over Chumash land-into-trust (11/12)
California a battleground after land-into-trust ruling (3/6)

Join the Conversation