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County may buy two parcels near Orcutt for recreational use
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County may buy two parcels near Orcutt for recreational use

Parcels to be acquired by Santa Barbara County

A map included in a staff report to the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission shows the approximate location of two parcels the county may acquire for open space and recreational hiking using funds provided by Shell Exploration & Production Inc.

Another 176 acres could be added to Santa Barbara County’s inventory of public recreation areas if the Board of Supervisors approves the purchase of two parcels near Orcutt.

On Wednesday, the Planning Commission unanimously determined that acquiring the two properties conforms to the policies of the County Comprehensive Plan as well as the Orcutt Community Plan.

One saw-shaped parcel of 96 acres lies adjacent to Highway 101 about 1.3 miles south of East Clark Avenue. The other rectangular parcel of 80 acres is about three-quarters of a mile east of the Orcutt Expressway and about 1.2 miles south of East Rice Ranch Road.

The property would be purchased with some of the $3 million the county received from Shell Exploration & Production Inc. in lieu of fulfilling a condition of approval for the Guadalupe Dunes Restoration Project to mitigate crude and diluent that leaked into the sand over decades of oil production.

An agreement between Shell and Santa Barbara County stipulated the money be used to enhance public recreation in the northern coastal area of the county.

A report prepared by planner Delaney Roney of the County Planning and Development Department said purchasing the property would provide additional open space and recreational hiking trails for the public.

Both parcels are zoned for agriculture but are not currently being used for that purpose, and both would remain open space until being developed for public use some time in the future.

Senior Spotlight Series: Celebrating the area's top senior student-athletes

Our 'Senior Spotlight' series is aimed at highlighting senior student-athletes who have had their final year of high school disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. The athletes featured here were their school's nominee for Athlete of the Year or Student Athlete of the Year for the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table's end-of-year banquet that has been canceled due to the outbreak.

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County Reporter/Associate Editor

Lee Central Coast Newspapers associate editor Mike Hodgson covers Santa Barbara County government and events and issues in Santa Ynez Valley. Follow him on Twitter @MHodgsonSYVNews.

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