Impacts of growth controls on south coastal Santa Barbara County, California

This study focuses on South Coastal Santa Barbara County, California, where growth controls have been in force since 1972. Because of overdrafting of the Goleta Valley water basin, in 1972, the Goleta County Water District (GCWD) instituted a moratorium on water hookups. Goleta Valley residents sanctioned that action by referendum in 1973. Montecito and Summerland followed next with their water moratoriums. In 1975, the City of Santa Barbara approved a downzoning ordinance resulting in a population cap. The downzoning and water moratoriums effectively placed the major portion of South Coastal Santa Barbara County under growth constraints since 1972. The historical pattern of inverse water usage and growth in this Mediterranean region has continued with the tremendous population increases of the 1960's. Growth and the need for additional water forced a decision as to whether to tie in to State water or to constrain growth. Water, then, became the central issue of this study. (See more in text.)