Sphere of Influence History

Concerned about the need to diversify Solvang’s tax base, an Economic Development Committee, with business interests as the only stakeholders, asked City Council to annex land to expand sources of taxes. City staff’s implementation of this goal resulted in a Sphere of Influence study so City could annex the existing industrial Sphere of Influence and the agricultural “sunny fields” surrounding the City – the definition of Solvang. This would have increased the City’s size by 30% and destroyed the rural setting of our Danish village.

Save Our Solvang (SOS) is a citizens’ action group that was originally formed to oppose the City of Solvang’s Sphere of Influence Study which:

• Proceeded without adequate justification or meaningful public discussion and input, and
• Could have expanded Solvang’s geographic area by about one third and encouraged major new housing developments.

At the Solvang City Council meeting of February 26, 2018, the final vote was 5-0 against continuing the Sphere of Influence Study! Mayor Richardson said those of us who opposed the study changed his mind from being 100% in support of it.

Save Our Solvang, after considerable research, determined that the best way to protect the agricultural land surrounding Solvang, was to work for an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). This tool provides Solvang residents with a vote on any developments proposed outside the UGB for twenty years.

Final Annexation and Sphere of Influence Study