Project Title: Agricultural Enterprise Ordinance (formerly Agricultural Tiered Permitting)
Case Number:  20ORD-00000-00013 and 20ORD-00000-00014
Project Location: Countywide on lands zoned Agricultural II (AG-II)
Assigned Staff and Division:

Julie Harris, Long Range Planning Division

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Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report

On November 22, 2021, the County of Santa Barbara released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) and Environmental Scoping Document for an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to analyze the potential environmental effects of the proposed Agricultural Enterprise Ordinance.  The purpose of the NOP and scoping document is to invite comments from responsible and trustee agencies and the public regarding the scope of the environmental review.  The EIR will consider the potential environmental effects of the project based (in part) on the comments the County receives in response to the NOP.

The comment period closed on December 21, 2021.  Thank you to everyone who sent comments before the close of the comment period.  Planning & Development will consider these comments and publish a revised project description and NOP in early 2022, and provide an additional opportunity to review and comment on the revised NOP.


Agricultural Enterprise Ordinance Virtual Workshop #3 

On August 30, 2021, the County held its third virtual public workshop regarding the Agricultural Enterprise Ordinance Amendment project.

The third workshop focused on incidental food service at winery tasting rooms on AG-I (in addition to AG-II), small-scale campgrounds, educational opportunities, and small-scale events, and included participation from Environmental Health Services and County Fire Department staff.

View a recording of Workshop #3

Workshop #3 Summary of Comments

Workshop #3 Presentation Slides

Agricultural Enterprise Ordinance Virtual Workshop #2

On July 15, 2021, the County held a second virtual workshop regarding the County's Agricultural Enterprise Ordinance Amendment project.

The second workshop focused on certain new uses the Board of Supervisors added to the project scope in November 2020 (cooking classes, farm-to-table dinners, and incidental food service), considered potential options to allow these uses on AG-II lands, and discussed Environmental Health requirements with County Environmental Health Services staff.

View a recording of Workshop #2

Workshop #2– Summary of Comments

Workshop #2 Presentation Slides

Agricultural Enterprise Ordinance Virtual Workshop #1 
On March 24, 2021, the County held a virtual workshop for the public to learn more about the County's Agricultural Enterprise Ordinance Amendment project.

View a recording of Workshop #1

Workshop #1 - Summary of Comments

Workshop #1 - Presentation Slides

Public Survey Results


The Agricultural Enterprise Ordinance will amend the County Land Use and Development Code (LUDC) and the Coastal Zoning Ordinance (Article II) to:  (1) identify and allow certain compatible small-scale uses that would support and encourage the continuation of farming and ranching on agricultural lands countywide, and (2) revise and/or develop permit requirements to allow these uses. Depending on the size and intensity of the use and compliance with development standards, some uses might be allowed without a permit (exempt), or allowed with a Zoning Clearance or Land Use/Coastal Development Permit (tiered permitting). These uses, if larger or more intensive, might also be allowed with a Conditional Use Permit.

On November 17, 2020, Planning and Development Department staff briefed the Board of Supervisors regarding the project scope of work and options for potentially expanding the scope. The Board directed staff to moderately expand the scope of the project by including several additional small-scale uses (Option 2) (Board Letter and attachments available here).

The project includes the small-scale agricultural, supportive, and recreational uses that were adopted into the Gaviota Coast Plan, and will evaluate the appropriateness of these uses and permit requirements for inclusion in the AG-II zone countywide. These uses include:

  • Aquaponics (closed system aquaculture)
  • Agricultural Processing (beyond raw state, such as olive pressing)
  • Composting
  • Tree Nut Hulling
  • Firewood Processing & Sales
  • Small-Scale Campground
  • Lumber Processing, Milling
  • Fishing Operation
  • Farmstand
  • Horseback Riding
  • Agricultural Product Preparation (such as drying, freezing, packaging)


The project will also study and develop permitting requirements for the following additional uses, as directed by the Board of Supervisors:

  • Incidental Food Service
  • Other Small-Scale Events
  • Small Scale Farm-to-Table Dinners
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Cooking Classes

Small scale uses allowed with lower tiered permits must be incidental to and supportive of the ongoing primary agricultural use of the property including crop cultivation, ranching/grazing, or other agricultural land use. The new supportive uses are intended to broaden the economic base for farmers and ranchers by allowing incidental small-scale and compatible enterprises where feasible and appropriate.

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  • March 2021

    • Community survey

    • First virtual public workshop

  • April 2021

    • Agricultural Advisory Committee

  • July 2021

    • Second virtual public workshop

  • Late Summer 2021

    • Third virtual public workshop

  • Fall 2021

    • Prepare project description (draft text amendments to the LUDC, Article II, and Uniform Rules)

    • Commence environmental review

  • Winter 2022

    • Publish Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

    • Public Draft EIR meeting

  • Spring 2022

    • Publish proposed Final EIR

    • Begin decision-maker hearings


Board of Supervisors Hearing November 17, 2020 – Board Letter, Minutes, Comments Received

Additional Information

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