Buellton, Ca–At the latest Ad Hoc Committee meeting of the County and Chumash Tribal Governments, Third District Supervisor Candidate Joan Hartmann proposed a dramatically new approach for resolving the differences over Camp 4.
Ms. Hartmann announced the concept by saying “The Tribe, the County & the community have an opportunity to resolve our differences and start working together.” Subsequent speakers from the community expressed enthusiastic support for the concept.
The proposal is to use the 350 acre property already owned by the tribe adjacent to the town of Santa Ynez to meet the Tribe’s expressed needs instead of leapfrogging miles out to the Camp 4 property. Eliminating major conflicts with State and County policies, this property could be rezoned for the Tribe’s requested urban uses, thus eliminating the need to transfer the land into Trust to accomplish their stated goals.
Ms. Hartmann added: “This would provide the County with confidence that gaming will not be expanded to other Valley locations. And it would eliminate the threat of removing even more land from the County tax rolls, which would place a large financial burden now and on future generations.”
Ms. Hartmann pointed out that benefits to the Tribe include that it is contiguous with water and sewer districts and is closer to the Reservation, schools, shopping, and transportation.
Subsequent speakers from the community pointed out that it would enable the tribal housing to be built much sooner, and that the County’s rezoning would create tens of millions of dollars of new property value for the Tribe.
Ms. Hartmann outlined that the five principles of such an agreement would be : 1) supporting the Tribe’s stated needs for housing and Tribal Center, 2) minimizing infrastructure costs for the Tribe and the public, 3) any development would be consistent with the goals of the Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan, 4) acknowledgement that the Tribe’s housing needs can be met without expanding gaming operations beyond the existing Reservation lands, and 5) Tribal agreement not to annex any new land to the Reservation.
Later in public comment, Ms. Hartmann’s main rival acknowledged the merit of moving the housing the tribal center development to the 350 acre parcel, but stopped short of saying he opposed fee to trust.
Ms. Hartmann has consistently opposed more fee to trust for the Tribal Government Enterprise.