Keep cannabis retail out of our towns

If there was ever a time to show up and voice your opinion, now is that time. There is a movement to establish cannabis retail storefronts in the Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan Area. The County of Santa Barbara is currently considering the applications taken from cannabis proprietors and have identified potential storefront areas in the towns of Santa Ynez, Los Olivos and Los Alamos. 

The Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition has worked steadfast to provide community education and to implement prevention strategies to address the increasing harm of youth use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs, engaging all community sectors to seek local solutions for healthier youth, families and community. 

Restricting youth access to harmful drugs is a research-based, proven prevention strategy to reduce youth substance use. This is why the Coalition strongly opposes the establishment of cannabis storefronts in the valley. At the very least, we have asked Santa Barbara County to keep cannabis retail shops in industrial zones only, where children and teens are not exposed on a daily basis. 

If you share this concern for our youth, we invite you to contact Supervisor Hartmann and the County Board of Supervisors to voice your concerns and help support the health and well-being of our youth and families. Let’s keep our townships cannabis retail free! 

Molly Carrillo-Walker

Community Advocate


Expanded traffic on quiet road bad idea

A developer wants to build as many as 11 homes on a 1½-acre lot in Los Alamos with access from a quiet road that is less accustomed to vehicular traffic than to walkers, joggers, dog walkers, children on bikes and parents with infants in strollers.

The county planning department is in the process of granting the developer’s request for access from this road even while two other possibilities would be less problematic. If allowed, the community’s enjoyment of this section of road would be significantly influenced by a considerable increase in vehicular traffic and this impact would be unmitigable. 

The county planning department has not taken sufficient account of the one-lane bottleneck at the end of this road that, with greatly expanded vehicular traffic, is more likely to result in accident and injury. To this, add the transportation planning supervisor’s complacent remark that the county need not be concerned with accident and injury here because “liability is covered by design immunity as long as we follow adopted county/federal standards and guidelines.” Further, this supervisor woefully underestimated the increase in road traffic arising from an additional 11 homes and from the draw resulting from widening the road.

The planning department has zigged and zagged on its commitment to hearing concerns of the town’s residents in a forum that could make a decision that would have weight in the deliberations of the county’s planning commissioners. And, mystifyingly, the planning department sees no need for a traffic study that would require it to justify its contested estimates.

Many townsfolk have spoken up in favor of a change of access road to one of the other two possibilities and there is concern about the planned density of the development. The first issue could be resolved if the developer was willing to compromise and request a design exception. We look forward to being able to speak up in a forum that would allow residents a say in the outcome of a project that could have major consequences for our wonderful little town.

Seth Steiner

Los Alamos


Thank you, Solvang, for being involved

Never during the entire process from the first citizens meeting to preserve the Veterans Hall and stop the Solvang 2.0 — until the election — was there any personal animus from me towards any of the individuals on the Solvang City Council — including Mr. Djernaes. My involvement was aimed to protect our town from what I believed was detrimental to our community. I wish every person leaving the council well and hope their future is a good one.

I am grateful for those who stepped up to run for office and are committed to making a positive difference in our city government. Thank you to every person who helped with the recall efforts and the election of our new officials.

It was rewarding to exercise our legal rights as citizens, to follow proper procedures and work together to achieve what we felt was a worthy and important goal. Thank you citizens of Solvang (and our neighbors as well) for caring enough to be involved.

Joanne Clark