To all unincorporated areas in Santa Barbara County: Incorporate!
Don’t let what is happening to the residents of Los Alamos happen to you.
A development in Los Alamos is under way that will increase the population of our tiny town by 10-20% with no concessions for improving the infrastructure of Los Alamos! Can you imagine what would happen if one developer planned on increasing the population of Montecito by 800 to 1,600 people? Probably not, but that is what is happening in Los Alamos.
Being unincorporated has left us at the mercy of Legacy Home LLC and the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, making decisions based on a 17-year-old Environmental Impact Report.
The EIR states, “The project site is not located near…steep slopes subject to mudflows, therefore these geological phenomena would not occur.” The determination in the report contradicts the findings of Santa Barbara County’s own Flood Control & Water Conservation District and Water Agency.
A copy of the report was included in the EIR and stated, “Both the Solomon and Purisima Hills soil profile consists of relatively shallow, heavy texture soils with generally low permeability. The low soil permeability and steep (45-50%) slopes combine to promote very rapid flash flooding conditions within the canyons and at the mouths of canyons where they discharge into the Los Alamos Valley … potential flood hazard is such that it must be addressed from a public safety perspective within the urban areas of Los Alamos.”
This is only one of the unmitigable issues identified in the 17-year-old EIR. A subsequent EIR under CEQA 15162 (3)(a) calls for a subsequent EIR if the project will have one or more significant effects not discussed in the previous EIR.
Legacy Homes LLC omitted the county’s flood hazard findings. The Save Los Alamos coalition’s calls for a subsequent EIR has fallen on deaf ears.
Los Alamos is a cautionary tale. Incorporate!