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Santa Ynez Valley
Concerned Citizens
P.O. Box 244
Santa Ynez, CA 93460

Camp 4 Fee To Trust Application - Request for Extension of Review Time

YOUR PROPERTY IS IN JEOPARDY! TRIBAL CONSOLIDATION & ACQUISITION PLAN PLUS CAMP 4 ANNEXATION APPLICATION THREATEN PROPERTY VALUES THROUGHOUT THE VALLEY!

CAMP 4 ANNEXATION: As you are by now probably aware, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians (tribe) has submitted the 1433 acre “Camp 4” property at the intersections of Highways 154 and 246 to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for annexation (Fee-To-Trust) into the tribe’s reservation. This property is the size of the entire City of Solvang! If annexation (FTT) is approved by the BIA, Camp 4 property is removed from County and Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan jurisdiction. Additional information and articles on this issue can be accessed at syvconcernedcitizens.com.

TRIBAL CONSOLIDATION & ACQUISITION PLAN: Included in the tribe’s Fee-to-Trust annexation application to the BIA is a “Tribal Consolidation & Acquisition Plan” (TCA) defined (see map here) to include over 11,000 acres of the Santa Ynez Valley. Any property purchased by the tribe within the TCA is permitted to be fast-tracked for annexation. The BIA approved this TCA for the tribe in June 2013 with no public notice to the community, local governing bodies, or affected property owners. This annexation can be one property at a time, creating a patchwork pattern of Tribal lands with adjacent private property under county jurisdiction. If a property next to you, or in your neighborhood, is annexed you will have no recourse over whatever the Tribe chooses to do with that land, no matter how inappropriate it is for the area.

You can do something to stop this ‘taking’.

With acceptance of the tribe’s Camp 4 annexation application, the BIA announced a 30 day period (ending September 19, 2013) to receive written comments regarding the Environmental Assessment to the application. The BIA is required by law to provide a reasonable window of time for the public to submit comments. Obviously, as the community is just now learning about the annexation application and the simultaneously submitted devastating Tribal Consolidation & Acquisition Plan, the community needs more time to absorb the impacts of these issues and to format appropriate comment. We need to slow this process down and we need your help to accomplish this goal.

The public can, and must, request extension of the comment period. It is essential that every person, business, home owners association write the BIA immediately requesting a 60-day extension of the public comment period (see below for address). While your letter can be as simple as ‘request 60-day extension of comment period to give me enough time to understand the 930-page long FTT application’, following are relevant talking points, any of which could be addressed in your letters. For your guidance, attached is a sample letter (in RTF format) from Cheryl Schmidt’s organization Stand Up For California, modified for use by an individual.

  1. The Environmental Assessment submitted by the tribe in connection with its Fee-To-Trust application is 930 pages long. More than 30 days are needed to read, verify and evaluate the representations made in the EA before relevant comment can be articulated.
  2. On June 7, 2013 the BIA approved a Tribal Consolidation and Acquisition Plan encompassing Camp 4 plus approximately 10,000 additional acres, with no notice to the community, governing bodies or private landowners who own land inside the TCA. The community needs additional time to determine options for action that can be taken to protect property owners, both inside and adjacent to the TCA.
  3. The action by the BIA in approving the TCA is unprecedented and needs to be evaluated, particularly as there was no public notice given of this action.
  4. The TCA’s impact is inconsistent with the County Board of Supervisors-adopted Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan and needs to be evaluated.
  5. The over-reaching of the BIA in approving the TCA has the legal effect of an inverse condemnation (a ‘taking’) for the properties inside and adjacent to the TCA.
  6. The TCA incorporates property with an estimated aggregate value in the billions of dollars. The tax consequences to the state, county and local governments are astronomical and need to be evaluated.
  7. Real properties in escrow in the area prior to the disclosure of the BIA’s TCA approval have now fallen out of escrow. Realtors in the area need more time to evaluate these impacts.
  8. There is a cloud on the title of all properties owned inside and adjacent to the TCA.

Please join in helping the community to stop this outrageous ‘taking’ of our country. Email your written request for a 60-day extension of the review period to chad.broussard@bia.gov (with copy to info@syvconcernedcitizens.com) or mail to:

Chad Broussard, Environmental Protection Specialist
Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs
Pacific Regional Office, Suite 2820
2800 Cottage Way
Sacramento, CA 95825

Informational link:

http://www.countyofsb.org/ceo/default.aspx?id=44068