Latest Campaign News:
Great News ! Urban Growth Boundary adopted by Solvang City Council:
What a great feeling, after years of work, when Solvang City Council voted to adopt Save Our Solvang’s Urban Growth Boundary as a City ordinance on June 8, 2020! We won’t have to wage an initiative campaign and the added expense to urge citizens to vote yes in November.
Solvang residents will now be able to vote on most zoning changes outside and adjacent to the UGB that would allow urban development. City Council will be allowed to work with LAFCo, without a vote by residents, to further develop the western industrial area at some point in the future. This is because it is already in the City’s Sphere of Influence, is partially in the city partially in the county, and is already partially developed and zoned Industrial.
We started in 2017-18 when the Sphere of Influence Study that would have enlarged the City by more than 30% came before Council. You signed petitions. We studied and researched, we recruited, decided we needed a UGB, and finally became a campaign committee.
We created a brochure and fundraising appeals.
You met with us and hosted events.
You wrote City Council and went to CC meetings.
You donated to make the work possible.
You called neighbors, walked neighborhoods again with the UGB petition.
Thanks to your help, we had more than the number of signatures needed to qualify the Urban Growth Boundary for the ballot. Now, after a huge thank you for every bit of help, we are almost, almost done!
Our Environmental Defense Center attorneys and those they consulted at a San Francisco legal firm which specializes in election related documents, perfected the initiative’s language. EDC then worked with the Solvang City Attorney to develop the initiative’s summary, as legally required.
EDC also stood by us during the complex and difficult petition gathering process and worked with the City through early June, including being present at the June 8 City Council meeting via Zoom to answer any questions. At this point we need to raise at least $3500 to finish paying for all of the legal help.
If you have been waiting for results to donate, we really need your help NOW. Once we have paid these bills, all of us will be able to celebrate a successful conclusion to this campaign – an Urban Growth Boundary and its protections for Solvang in place for the next 20 years without the added expense of an election campaign.
Please donate before June 30, by sending your check payable to Save Our Solvang. Mail to Save Our Solvang, c/o Susan Bott, PO Box 2, Solvang, CA 93464.
Thank you so much.
On Tuesday, June 2, we received word that our petitions were certified as sufficient to get the Solvang Urban Growth Boundary initiative on the ballot.
Monday, May 4, at 1:00 p.m. we delivered petitions containing 516 signatures to the City Manager at Solvang City Hall! Yippee!
We have high hopes that the total of 365 valid signatures will be achieved.
Thank you to all of you who signed and submitted to help us meet our goal of getting an Urban Growth Boundary Initiative on the November ballot.
Letter to the Editor from Teri Shore, Greenbelt Alliance, Santa Rosa, CA
Bravo to Save Our Solvang for moving forward to collect signatures for a voter measure to establish an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) for the Nov. 3 ballot. The challenge of qualifying in the midst of the coronavirus is great, but doing so will reward the city and the residents in the long term.
As Susan Bott wrote in her opinion piece, a voter approved UGB will encourage compact development and infill while protecting Solvang’s character and the rural lands that surround the city.
Greenbelt Alliance has been following the campaign from afar for about a year now and have been impressed with the locals organizing this effort. We passed many of the original UGBs in the San Francisco Bay Area 20 to 30 years ago. Back then the UGBs were controversial. Today, most have been renewed for another 20 to 30 years by City Councils and huge voter support as they have served us well in holding back sprawl and keeping open space intact. The most recent renewal in Rohnert Park, CA, passed with 93 percent of the vote!
UGBs are more important than ever to ensure that we grow climate-healthy communities near schools, jobs and services and thereby solo driving. The UGBs also make us safer from wildfires by keeping greenbelt buffers around our cities. We saw this first hand in Sonoma County last year when the Kincaide fire was stopped at the edge of the UGBs in Healdsburg and Town of Windsor.
Greenbelt Alliance urges community leaders, elected officials and the people of Solvang to help get the UGB initiative on the ballot this year to help ensure a climate healthy future.
Teri Shore, Greenbelt Alliance Regional Director, Santa Rosa, CA
Initiative Petition Signing to go on
When we receive our properly formatted initiative petition forms soon from the EDC, probably before April 1st, we will be reaching out for signatures from Solvang registered voters. Understanding the concerns of all regarding the coronavirus, we will institute measures to protect signers as well as circulators.
The challenges to our effort are unprecedented. Who would have thought we would need to factor in a pandemic?! Crazy times, but we can rise to this obstacle and go on to get Solvang residents the vote on their future with an Urban Growth Boundary Initiative.
On Monday, March 9, 2020, we submitted our ballot initiative to the Solvang City Clerk, starting the process which hopefully will place our initiative on the November ballot. After the City gives us a title and summary for our initiative we start gathering petition signatures of registered Solvang voters. If you are able to help please contact Susan Bott at [email protected] .
https://saveoursolvang.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Initiative-as-filed-03-09-2020.pdf Click this link to view the initiative as filed.
Welcome! Save Our Solvang formed when we learned of Solvang City Council’s consideration of adding 17 land parcels to Solvang’s Sphere of Influence. We opposed such annexation, and successfully organized citizens to convince City Council to drop the study and annexation plans.
Knowing we needed a way to give citizens a vote on development outside the city, Save Our Solvang determined that an Urban Growth Boundary, which requires that residents vote on expansion beyond a city’s border, was needed. It benefits not just Solvang but the rest of the Valley while encouraging citizen involvement.
Save Our Solvang has hired the Environmental Defense Center to assist it with the legal aspects of an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) initiative drive and election campaign. Gathering registered voters’ signatures to put this initiative on the ballot will begin in April 2020 and the project will conclude with the November 3 election. Save Our Solvang’s goal is to educate and involve our diverse residents in the UGB initiative drive and the election.