The Alliance is appealing the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) decision to accept into trust the Camp 4 property. The Alliance seeks to preserve as much of the Camp 4 property as possible, and in addition, seeks to ensure full disclosure and consideration of the proposed project’s impacts to the environment and community. The Alliance contends that the project as proposed clearly raises substantial questions as to the environmental impacts of the project, warranting full environmental review through development of an environmental impact statement (EIS). Only through an EIS will the community and decision makers be able to fully understand the impacts of the proposed project.
On Wednesday, The Santa Ynez Valley Alliance (SYVA) and the Community Environmental Council (CEC) announced the launch of “Solarize Santa Ynez Valley” community led, group-purchasing program designed to make solar simpler and more affordable for Valley residents. Solarize Santa Ynez Valley is the second Solarize program that the two organizations have run in the Valley – last summer’s Solarize program helped 52 homeowners switch to solar and start saving on “After the success of last year’s Solarize program and the positive reception from the community, we are happy to be offering the program again this summer,” said Solarize Program Manager, Jefferson Litten.
The Santa Ynez Valley Alliance shares this enthusiasm over last year’s success and is happy to be offering the program again in 2014. “The Valley Alliance is proud to co-sponsor this very important program. It is entirely consistent with our mission to reduce our carbon footprint. Programs like Solarize help create a healthier environment and a responsible stewardship of our natural resources,” said Mark Oliver, Valley Alliance President.
Solarize Santa Ynez Valley is available for three months – July 9, 2014 through October 19, 2014. During this time, residents in the Valley can purchase or lease solar panels at a fixed, discounted price from two solar installers: California Solar Electric and SunRun. After a rigorous evaluation process, CEC and SYVA vetted and selected these two companies based on their experience, quality of work and pricing.
“Some homeowners find it difficult to assess their contractor and whether they are getting a fair price,” said Jefferson Litten, CEC’s Solarize Program Manager. “Solarize eliminates much of that guess work by locking in a set price for all participants and pre-
vetting the partnered installers.”
The program also offers local residents education and guidance through the process of going solar. “With Solarize Santa Ynez Valley, we help guide homeowners through the entire process as an unbiased, expert resource and we clearly outline the benefits of solar,” said Litten.
Solvang resident, Donna Will, was one of the 52 “Solarizers” through the program and is now enjoying the savings from her family’s 3.5 kilowatt solar array. Will learned of the benefits of solar by attending a free Solarize homeowner workshop. “At the workshop I learned that going solar was a great solution for my family and we now save about $100 a month on our PG& E bills. We are very happy solar owners,” said Will.
Litten added, “With recent drops in the price of panels and a 30% federal tax credit, solar has become not only accessible but actually a sound financial investment.”
Solarize Santa Ynez participants will also provide support to the SYVA and the CEC and their missions as both organizations will receive a modicum of funding included in the purchase price of each system installed. These funds will allow the CEC and SYVA to continue to bring beneficial programs to the Central Coast and help them to be self-
To learn more or apply for Solarize Santa Ynez Valley, homeowners can go to SolarizeSYV.org or call 805.963.0583 x105.
About the Santa Ynez Valley Alliance
The Santa Ynez Valley Alliance (SYVA) is a local non-profit whose mission is to work collaboratively with individuals, groups and governments to protect the rural character of the Santa Ynez Valley and support good stewardship of natural and agricultural
resources through education, comprehensive planning and public participation.
About the Community Environmental Council
Since 1970, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) has led the Santa Barbara region – and at times California and the nation – in creative solutions to some of the toughest environmental problems. Today CEC is focused on moving the Central Coast region away from dependence on fossil fuels in one generation. Find CEC on the web at cecsb.org on Twitter @CECSB and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CECSB.
The Santa Ynez Valley Alliance has announced the release of The Valley Blueprint: A Progress Report. The report is a review of the original Valley Blueprint published a little over ten years ago.
“Beginning in 1998, 40 residents of the Santa Ynez Valley spent more than 5,000 hours, meeting for almost two years in an attempt to answer the following question: “What will the Santa Ynez Valley be like in 2020?” stated Mark Oliver, President of the Valley Alliance. “Ten years later, the Santa Ynez Valley Alliance deemed it timely to evaluate the goals put forth in the Blueprint.”
The original Valley Blueprint was borne out of a desire to protect the unique qualities and characteristics of the Santa Ynez Valley region while maintaining a sound base for economic prosperity and the sustainability of the Valley’s quality of life. The document filled an important need at a critical time: to complete a community visioning process prior to the creation of the first Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan (SYVCP). Using the Valley Blueprint as a starting place, the SYVCP was adopted in October 2009.
“The Valley Blueprint: A Progress Report provides a thorough examination of the accomplishments that have been made since the original Blueprint was published,” stated County Supervisor Doreen Farr. “Additionally, the Progress Report brings to the public’s attention those issues which have surfaced during the last ten years, making it very timely.”
The Progress Report specifically assesses numerous goals that have been achieved, and many others that have yet to be addressed. But the Progress Report is also an effort to revitalize the community in assessing the Valley’s future, given the many challenges that have emerged since the original Blueprint was completed.
“It is so encouraging to have this Report that reminds us of all the positive progress that has been made in the Valley during the past decade,” stated John Evarts, one of the original 40 Valley Blueprint Volunteers. “However, perhaps more importantly, the Emerging Issues Section of the document points out the areas that need our attention during the next decade.”
“It is our hope that this interim assessment will serve the community in continuing to ensure that the goals and vision stated in the VB can be reached where needed and feasible,” concluded Mark Oliver.