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

The Santa Ynez Valley of Concerned Citizens was created in 2000 to represent and articulate local stakeholders responses to and concerns with the ever-evolving land use development plans of the Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians. Of particular concern were the applications for the taking of public, taxable lands from Fee to Trust, and their proposed uses and impacts to the community. To that end, our campaign began to uphold the Santa Ynez Valley's tradition of sound community planning and hold all developers to the same land-use laws and environmental regulations. More than 1,000 people strong, we are Valley residents and ranchers, businesspeople, conservationists, in addition to residents from other areas of Santa Barbara County.

Latest News

2-15-2019 - Media Release

6-13-2018 - Letter sent by SYV Coalition to Indian Affairs Committee Chairman

4-16-2018 - Media Release US Senate Hearing on Chumash Bill Scheduled

11-2-2017 - Media Release Santa Ynez Valley organization files lawsuit to stop Chumash Reservation expansion

10-26-2017 Letter from Brian Kramer of Santa Ynez, CA to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors re: Camp 4 - Memorandum of Agreement Hearing on MOA - - October 31, 2017

5-9-2017 SYV Coalition Update On Camp 4 Meeting

4-19-2017 Community Meeting on Camp 4 To Be Hosted by the Santa Ynez Valley Coalition

3-28-2017 - Santa Ynez Valley residents ask feds to return Camp 4 property to Chumash (Lompoc Record)

12-14-2016 Another Washington Publication takes up our Chumash issue

11-23-2016 SYVCC has joined with other local citizen groups to form a broad coalition to defeat federal legislation, HR 1157, which would usurp local land use planning regarding the 1400 acre Camp 4 site. Please see the coalition website. Also see the press release announcing the formation of this coalition.

The is the link to a recent article demonstrating the national attention on the issue.

9-28-2016 September 25, 2016 opinion piece in Santa Barbara News-Press "Let Local Leaders Do Their Jobs"

8-24-2016 July 22, 2016 letter from CA Senator Diane Feinstein to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell concerning an Indian Lands Determination for the Scott's Valley Band of Pomo Indians for property in Vallejo, CA which has the potential to become an off-reservation gaming facilty.

8-21-2016 Press Release of August 19, 2016 from Matthew Clarke, attorney for Save the Valley, LLC

7-12-2016 House Sub-Committee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs to move HR 1157 forward Wednesday July 13, 2016! See SYV Concerned Citizens letter re: HR 1157 to Rep. Bob Bishop. Link to HR 1157 at US COngress website

5-24-2016 Washington Times Article - Casino-rich California tribes use status to circumvent zoning and taxes, angering neighbors by Valerie Richardson

1-27-2016 Letter to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors from Brian Kramer

6-10-2015 - Congress set to hear Camp 4 Bill HR 1157

4-7-2015 - Save the Valley challenge to Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians (Chumash) reservation trust status.

4-1-15 - Camp - H.R. 1157 Video - While not a product of SYVCC, this video reflects the concerns of citizens throughout the valley.

3-2-2015 - BUILD, BUILD, BUILD! While not at liberty to reveal ownership, please see the linked video entitled "Build, Build, Build" regarding Camp 4 and the Chumash. ***Update March 5, 2015 - this video has been removed and is no longer available. ***

1-30-2015 - SYVCC Notice of Appeal and Statement of Reasons - Camp 4 Annexation Opposition


1-15-2015 - Camp 4 update from SYVCC

11-22-2014 - Chumash Casino/Hotel Expansion & Camp 4 Update

8-14-2014 - Comments on Chumash Hotel & Casino Expansion Project Environmental Evaluation dated July 2014

7-13-2014 - SYVCC 7-13-14 letter to BIA re Final Environmental Assessment dated May 2014

6-26- 2014 - A Simple Summation of Annexation Issues Facing the Santa Ynez Valley

6-14-2014 - SYVCC Request to BIA for Camp 4 Environmental Assessment Extension

5-29-2014 - Camp 4 Environmental Assessment Document Link

5-11-2014 - HR3313 Kelly Gray 4-29-14 letter to Congressman Mike Thompson

3-11-2014 Santa Maria Times Article - HR3313/Capps opposes 'Camp 4' bill in letter

3-4-2014 Tribes Clash as Casinos Move Away From Home  
FYI from the SYVCC Board. The New York Times has developed this very informative article on inter-tribal dissention regarding proliferation of casinos and expansion of casinos into urban areas. It covers tribes across the United States but discusses how California is uniquely affected. As California voters, this issue will be on our ballot in November so the article is very timely for your review and edification.

2-24-2014 Letters : Opinion: Camp 4 bill needs to be rejected

2-15-2014 Request to Contact Congresswoman Lois Capps

2-5-2014 November 2014 Ballot Referendum re Expansion of Off-Reservation Casino Gambling

1-26-2014 Letters : Opinion: THE ECONOMICS OF CAMP 4 ANNEXATION

1-13-2014 IBIA and BIA letters from Valley organizations requesting clarification of TCA rulings

1-17-14 Herrera Letter to Senator Feinstein re Grant Requirement Legislation Amendment Request

11-18-13 Oppose Legislative Annexation of Camp 4 - Oppose House of Rep. Bill H.R. 3313

11-13-13 LOIS CAPPS Letters & Request for Continued Opposition to Camp 4 Annexation

10-17-13  SYVCC comments to BIA opposing Camp 4 FTT

10-4-13  SYVCC Comments to Camp 4 Environmental Assessment

10-15-13 SYVCC Letter to BOS Opposing Annexation of Camp 4

Camp 4 & TCA BOS Hearing Oct. 15, 2013

9-27-13 Stop the TCA flyer with Email Addresses for Opposition Letters


9-23-13 Why Casinos Matter, a report from the Council on Casinos, an independent group of 33 scholars and public policy leaders convened by the Institute for American Values, a New York City-based think tank.

Supervisor Farr - 9/25/13 Meeting at Vet’s Hall

9-16-13 October 7 Deadline - Camp 4 Annexation & TCA Opposition Letters to the BIA

9-6-13 Fox News re Camp 4

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

A Taking of County Land

URGENT - Supervisors to make crucial decision on CAMP 4 - PLEASE READ AND ACT NOW!

June 2013 BIA-Approved Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Land Consolidation & Acquisiton Plan

August 8, 2013 Letter to Supervisor Carbajal from Chumash Tribe re: "government to government agreement" and recent application to the BIA for Fee to Trust transfer of Camp 4 property

Oppose Annexation of Camp 4 - Board of Supervisors Meeting Tuesday, August 20, 2013

No Dealing On Camp 4 - Letter from SYVCC to Santa Maria Times Opinion

SYVCC 6-24-13 Letter to Board of Supervisors re Response to Tribal Chairman Armenta

April 22, 2013 email from Santa Barbara County Supervisor Doreen Farr concerning "Fee to Trust" position.

April 14, 2013 Santa Barbara News-Press commentary by SYVCC board member Steve Raftopoulos entitled “Saving the Santa Ynez Valley” (2 pages)

April 18, 2013 County of Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors Chair Salud Carbajal reply to March 6, 2013 Chumash request for meeting with the Board of Supervisors (2 pages)



What we have in common is a belief that because we all share the beautiful land of the Santa Ynez Valley, we should all play by the same rules.

The addition of the Mission Indians Casino to the Valley has had both positive and negative impacts on the area. The Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians have had great success operating their casino on Highway 246, and we support the tribe's efforts to ensure their long-term prosperity by diversifying their economy beyond gambling.

What we don't support is the fully self-sufficient tribe's continued manipulation of the federal fee-to-trust process to annex land and remove it from local and state tax rolls. Furthermore, we oppose private, non-tribal developers teaming up with tribes to circumvent long-established land use and environmental laws.

Please join us in our campaign to ensure that no development - regardless of the project or who the developer is - be allowed to proceed without full state and local regulatory review and public input.