The future of the Valley
The battle lines for the future of the Santa Ynez Valley are drawn.
On one side, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians put a $40 million recorded value on a 1,390-acre ranch it recently bought from the family of the late actor and Santa Barbara County developer Fess Parker. It’s a signal that the tribe is betting it can do far more than graze horses on the rolling grasslands and might take another run at building homes, a golf course and a luxury hotel resort there.
But citizen groups that have fought the tribe’s attempts to build in the valley for years say a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court could turn the tide in their favor and prevent the Chumash from avoiding Santa Barbara County’s often tough land-use and environmental reviews.