Details for LONG RANGE SB CO PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT - Ad from 2020-01-14

County of Santa Barbara Planning and Development NOTICE OF PREPARATION OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT (EIR) CASE NUMBER: 16CUP-00000-00005 COMMENT PERIOD: January 14, 2020 to February 13, 2020 SUBJECT: NOTICE OF PREPARATION FOR A DRAFT EIR FOR THE NORTH FORK RANCH FROST PONDS PROJECT PROJECT DESCRIPTION: A Conditional Use Permit (16CUP-00000-00006) is proposed to allow the construction and operation of three water storage reservoirs (frost ponds) located on the south side of State Route 166 on a 6,565-acre parcel. The reservoirs would be used to supply frost protection water to approximately 840 acres of existing vineyards generally during the months of February, March and April. Each of the proposed reservoirs would be lined to prevent water infiltration, and each would occupy an area of approximately five acres and have the capacity to store up to 49 acre feet of water. Water stored in the reservoirs would be supplied by existing agricultural wells located on the project parcel and north of SR 166. A total of approximately 257,945 cubic yards of cut and fill grading would be required to construct the three proposed reservoirs. In total the three reservoirs would occupy an area of approximately 15.6 acres. PROJECT LOCATION: The project parcel is located at 7400 Highway 166, approximately nine miles west of the community of New Cuyama. The site is identified as APN 147-020-045, Cuyama area, Santa Barbara County. DRAFT EIR SCOPE: On March 5, 2019, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors found that the North Fork Ranch Frost Ponds Project may have a significant effect on the environment and that a focused EIR must be prepared to address the following issues: Water Use. Water use impacts from the frost ponds and associated frost protection system may exceed the groundwater use significance threshold of 31 acre feet per year (AFY) adopted for the Cuyama Valley Groundwater Basin, which is in a critical overdraft situation with a long-term overdraft of nearly 30,000 AFY. Biological Resources. The construction of the proposed reservoirs could adversely impact approximately 15.6 acres of habitat suitable for a range of native species including special status plants and animals. Potential Flooding to State Route 166. A catastrophic failure of the proposed reservoir berms would have the potential to result in the sudden release of stored that could flood portions of State Route 166 Documents related to the identification of issue areas to be evaluated by the EIR, including a Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration that was prepared for the project but not adopted by the Board of Supervisors, are available online at: All project documents may be reviewed at the Planning and Development Department, 624 West Foster Road, Suite C, Santa Maria. Please contact the project planner, Steve Rodriguez, in advance at (805) 5682000 or to ensure that project materials will be available.