Before 2017, Santa Barbara County was a staunch opponent of both the proposed redevelopment of Camp 4 and fee-to-trust status. In fact, the County was so strongly opposed it filed both administrative and judicial challenges against the BIA Camp 4 fee-to-trust decision and testified in opposition to Congressional legislation that would have ratified that status.
However, in the fall of 2017, the County’s position on Camp 4 changed. As the Chair of the Board of Supervisors repeatedly stated during several public meetings in 2017, Congressional leaders effectively demanded that the County sign an agreement with the Tribe, or they would enact onerous legislation that would provide few restrictions on the Tribe’s use of Camp 4.
As a result, the County was forced to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Tribe on Camp 4 that was of far too limited duration, and provided anemic payments for utilities and other infrastructure related to the Tribe’s development on this parcel and in no way replaced the lost tax revenue from the parcel being placed into trust.
In fact, the MOA required the County to lobby members of Congress to pass legislation it previously opposed. Obviously, the Federal Court decision combined with the BIA steps to reopen the environmental analysis on Camp 4 fee-to-trust render the County/Chumash MOA presently moot