We just wanted to send you a quick note to remind you about the public meeting TOMORROW, Thursday, Oct. 5, at 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Solvang Veterans Memorial Building 1745 Mission Drive Solvang. The County has released the draft Camp 4 agreementand you should review it.
We know how valuable your time is, but these public meetings are important and we hope you will attend.
At the Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday, the community was promised answers at this meeting to the questions previously asked. Below are key questions about the proposed agreement for your consideration. The community deserves answers to these and the other questions at this meeting – not at some point in the future on a website.
- What happens after 2040? The agreement expires in 2040. What happens then? Is the Tribe then allowed to do anything it wants on Camp 4, including building the massive amount of commercial development like it proposed in March 2016 and/or another Casino?
- What guarantees do residents have that open space and ag land will be protected?The agreement references the land uses spelled out in Alternative B of the Environmental Assessment (EA) and notes that land will be preserved as open space and ag use. Once the land is in trust, as indicated in the agreement, then under tribal sovereignty anything can be changed even before 2040.
- What happens if federal legislation is not enacted? The agreement assumes that H.R. 1491 will be amended to incorporate the terms of the agreement. What happens if H.R. 1491 is neither appropriately amended or is not enacted, is the agreement moot or subject to change by a future County Board of Supervisors and Tribal Council?
- Where is the prohibition on future casinos? The agreement contains no specific prohibition against gaming on Camp 4. Has the County given up on opposing the expansion of gaming in the Santa Ynez Valley?
- How can residents be sure that this agreement will be enforced? The agreement lacks assurance for residents that it will be enforced. The agreement provides that “Tribe and County may agree to reopen negotiations related to Camp 4 if the circumstances of the Parties change during the term of this Agreement.” What circumstances would apply here? Could these circumstances include a change in political leadership? Or possibly a change in the economic or fiscal condition of either party?
- Does the small amount the Tribe is required to pay to the County cover potential costs to taxpayers? The agreement provides that the tribe will pay to the County a flat fee of $178,500 annually as “approximate offsets to the potential losses and impacts to the County and are intended to support an approximate level of County services to Camp 4, and affected communities.” How was this amount determined? Was it based on planning and engineering of needed infrastructure or delivery of services?
- How is the modest amount of funding the agreement requires that the Tribe pay a source of additional funds to meet new demands? The agreement specifically says that the $178,500 the Tribe will pay will be deducted from the amount it Tribe currently pays to the County pursuant to its gaming compact to mitigate impacts from its Casino operations. How is this a new revenue source to address the additional fiscal needs that will result from this agreement? In other words, isn’t this a ‘bait and switch?”
- Why are County taxpayers forced to pay the extra costs of public safety and other services? The agreement acknowledges that additional fiscal impacts of “law enforcement, fire, and traffic/roads, will be mitigated solely by the County at no additional cost to the Tribe for the term of this Agreement.” So is it correct that these additional costs are the sole responsibility of current and future non-tribal county taxpayers?
- How does the agreement limit the exporting of groundwater water from Camp 4? There are no provisions in the agreement concerning water consumption. According to a study undertaken by Santa Barbara County, Camp 4 lies on top of a major aquifer that contains a significant amount of the County’s best quality water. Aside from a minor limitation regarding landscape watering in a drought, there is no meaningful restriction on water consumption on Camp 4 and presumably, the Tribe could export it out of the valley for its own profit to the detriment of non-Tribal residents.
- How does the County reconcile its previous legal arguments against the Camp 4 Environment Assessment (EA) to now supporting an agreement with the Chumash that relies on it? The proposed agreement reflects an absolute and complete reversal of the County’s previous position on Camp 4. In fact, the County has gone to court on behalf of residents and taxpayers asserting that the environmental analysis undertaken by the federal government on Camp 4 is wholly inadequate. Now, the proposed agreement incorporates this flawed analysis. The County provides no justification for this complete flip-flop. Was there any legal, technical or economic analysis undertaken?
- Will there be a height restriction for the development occurring on Camp 4? The agreement relies on alternative b on the EA which spells out the land uses on Camp 4. However, the EA spells out that tribal housing would be constructed along with a 12,000 square foot tribal facility with that would accommodate 400 people. There is no height restriction nor indication of the size of parking for the tribal facility.
If you have any questions or need further information, please let send us a note.