It is Time for Lompoc to Make Some Bold Moves

Bold Moves

An Article By Steve Bridge

For at least the last 30 years Lompoc has been the stepchild of the South Coast of Santa Barbara county. We have carried the brunt of low-income housing. We have had no control over our river, our ocean park, our water, or even our ability to grow. During this time, we have seen Santa Maria grow by leaps and bounds and we have seen Santa Barbara become an enclave of the rich at our expense.
But with the growth of Santa Maria and the State hell-bent on creating new housing, there is now a moment when we can seize the initiative.

Perfect Timing for Bold Moves

Lompoc has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reach for a significant gain in control over our valley. We can take this opportunity to increase the available land for community expansion including housing and community services such as parks. We can use the states driving demand to achieve housing goals, and the shifting power from south to north to look to the future and seize control of our valley.

Lompoc should initiate an effort to take complete control of our valley, from the windmills to the south, to the ocean on our west, to the roundabout to the east, and into Mission Hills and Vandenburg to the north. This would allow us to clean up the river bed, control the River Park, create a contiguous park from River Park to the soccer fields, create a park at the old drive-in, create a path from H St Bridge to the ocean, use the beach and control the destruction of our hills to the south. These are just a few of the dreams we could implement if we had control.

Restore True Community Control

Bold MovesThe old meme that the county can manage Ag land better than our city is false. We all know that the county’s interest in Ag has morphed into housing and money and that the county is no longer a steward of our environment. One only needs to look to the rezoning of Ag land for housing to the rock quarry slowly scaring our hills on the east as we drive in on Highway one, to the hundreds of windmills placed in Miguelito with no inputs from us. And we all now have to plug our noses as we drive into town from the east on 246. We also all know of someone whose vehicle was stolen to end up in the river bed and any walk down by H St bridge brings us face to face with homeless villages.

For the past 20 years, we have begged for a bit of the Bailey Ave. corridor and like little children we were told, you can’t manage that land properly.

It is time to demand it all, maybe we will not get it all but I bet we get more.

My recommendation is twofold:

  1. We create a special commission to develop an aggressive Lompoc expansion plan to include both an expanded Sphere of Influence and aggressive annexation of our surrounding areas.
  2. We immediately reopen the general plan to include expansion goals to all points of the compass.

This is a moment in time. Conditions are prime for change. Lompoc should be bold, seize this opportunity and establish a vision that exceeds all our self-imposed barriers. Grab what is ours and rock our county leaders back on their heels so they have to yield some long-earned control of our valley back to us.

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