Save Summerland Farm Campaign?

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By an edhat reader

Does anyone know the story behind the Save Summerland Farm campaign? I read this piece of land was donated in 1955 freely to the Summerland elementary school. It has always been an open area with mustard plants on it and a trail to Ortega Ridge.

At a public meeting, the campaign organizer stated they need $2 million dollars to buy it from the school district, but if this was given freely to Summerland, why does the town have to buy it back? I also heard if 2 million dollars wasn’t received the City of Santa Barbara will be the purchaser and are posing to build condos or low income housing. This is a small parcel, that sits behind 4-5 houses on Whitney St. with narrow streets and the houses are extremely close together.

Do edhatters know the history of this land?

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11 Comments

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PitMix Aug 19, 2021 11:58 AM
Save Summerland Farm Campaign?

Donating with no rules attached means the school can do what they want, and what they want is $2M.

millimesa Aug 19, 2021 12:15 PM
Save Summerland Farm Campaign?

Not familiar with this situation, however, the school district (Carpinteria Unified) and the town (Summerland) are two different entities. So if one party wants to sell and the other wants to buy there still is a price to pay.

SantaBarbaraObserver Aug 19, 2021 12:25 PM
Save Summerland Farm Campaign?

Calling it a farm is a bit of a stretch in my opinion. Its been a weedy, hardly used open field for as long as I remember. There is more to the story though. Apparently they were going to build a new Summerland Elementary on the property but a particular loud, politically connected Ex- MFD Chief's house backed up to the land and declared "That they will never build a school there...". And he was right.

Crystalandmaui Aug 19, 2021 08:25 PM
Save Summerland Farm Campaign?

Ok, so now I’m not sure who is buying it. Leslie with sweet wheel farms AKA Santa Barbara agricultural education farm foundation,
Is the campaign leader of this farm. Who would end up as the owner of this parcel, that she is promising to turn into a farm’ now I’m just a little Leary when someone is going to become owner of this land, and it’s future identity. Summerland community of course would like for it to remain an open space. This parcel sits behind 4 houses, and there is a steep hill behind it. I believe our fire wall from the mountains. I do not want any big sorta housing on it. So if you ask me’ do you want farm land or housing of course I say farm land. I have spoke to Carpinteria Unified school district and was told that this piece of land is going to be sold because the elementary school is being torn down and rebuilt so the funds are needed. Very understandable. The school needs to be rebuilt.
I asked do you have a proposal right now, I was told no, they said they turned down 2 proposals already, they’re taking proposals first from an education or non profit first, I was told that the farm does not have the right type of non profit organization to buy it. They also said that it’s zoned for a single house dwelling only. Not for condos or apartments or several houses.
Leslie with sweet wheel farms, is getting donations to buy this, which is good, as long as it becomes a farm or nothing, the people of Summerland are giving to this, to keep their town as is. This is a small community and houses are close together with small narrow roads that need to be repaired. This is a quiet town. Let’s keep it this way . How about those donations go to the school and keep that space open dedicate it to the town of Summerland, just like the man who first donated it to the Summerland elementary school.

Crystalandmaui Aug 19, 2021 08:46 PM
Save Summerland Farm Campaign?

Ok, give those 2 million dollars that are all from donations to the school to rebuild and leave that land to the town of Summerland, keep it open, no building.

yacht rocked Aug 20, 2021 06:40 AM
Save Summerland Farm Campaign?

That seems like a very reasonable solution. The school district can continue to rent the land for a modest sum to Sweet Wheel or whatever farm foundation arises. The lessee would be responsible for utilities, maintenance, good farming practices, good neighbor practices, liability insurance...so as to minimize any additional costs to the district. Everyone benefits.

Crystalandmaui Aug 20, 2021 07:50 AM
Save Summerland Farm Campaign?

Right, if this for the good of Summerland, and not anyone trying to purchase it for free from donations, then hold it over our heads again and not know the certainty of what could become of it . Give those donations to the elementary school to rebuild, make a deal with the school district, to give the sweet wheel farm a low amount to lease it . And we can all benefit from it.
Keep it an open space forever. No building on it.

K9karma Aug 20, 2021 08:36 AM
Save Summerland Farm Campaign?

The property is owned by the Carpinteria/Summerland school district. For years they thought about building a new school there. Now they have decided the site is not suitable and they are selling the property. Two bids were put in a few weeks ago, by the county (with the intent to build a small amount of farmworker housing to accompany a small agricultural operation that they would lease out ) and by Leslie Person Ryan for Sweet Wheel farm. Neither was accepted. Presumably they are looking for more money.
As someone who lived very near that parcel for 18 years, I would certainly like to see it not turn into six luxury homes which is the unfortunately likely outcome if it goes to a private developer. I don’t know if the county or the farm can bid enough to persuade the school board to sell.

Crystalandmaui Aug 20, 2021 08:58 AM
Save Summerland Farm Campaign?

Carpinteria unified school district said that parcel is only zoned for a single housing development.
Please confirm that you are saying that the Sweet wheel farm , not a farm, but a vegetable cart. Wanted to build some type of small housing on it? Not just fruits and vegetables’ huh’ well supposedly she raised the money from donations, what will happen with those donations? Who’s really profiting from this?
Yes if a nonprofit doesn’t get it, then it’s going to the highest bidder.,hopefully the donators aren’t fooled by their good jester to save the land from a developer or someone’s personal gain.
Again I say give that donated money to Carpinteria unified school district for the rebuild of the school, and lease the land to farm to grow vegetables and fruits only. And a low cost.

SantaBarbaraObserver Aug 20, 2021 08:53 AM
Save Summerland Farm Campaign?

While the town of Summerland rallies around this cause, I wonder why the people remain silent about the graffiti covered shack that sits on the edge of the cliff and has remained in its current state of blight and decay for the last 15 years. Why is this building still there? Why is allowed to remain a graffiti covered eye-sore? It should have been torn down years ago, as it was an illegal build to begin with. Is there a lawsuit still working its way through the system? Anyone know why this urban decay is still there after all these years?

Sail380 Aug 20, 2021 09:44 AM
Save Summerland Farm Campaign?

I know the story. Not time to threadjack . Go ahead and start a thread and you will get the story.

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