Date of Award

6-2011

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning

Department

City and Regional Planning

Advisor

Adrienne Greve

Abstract

This paper explores two potential land use planning strategies that can be used to preserve and enhance the economic viability of agricultural operations surrounded by suburban development in Santa Barbara County’s Eastern Goleta Valley: buffers between agriculture and other land uses, and agritourism. In the case of buffers, academic literature is examined to determine how effective buffers are at various tasks (filtering runoff, mitigating dust and wind, providing habitat, etc.) and how to construct buffers to maximize their effectiveness. Land use plans and codes from several California jurisdictions are studied to see how buffers are put to use. Academic literature is then reviewed to discover the benefits and potential drawbacks of agritourism to agricultural operations and the larger area. The zoning codes from the top five agritourism counties in California are evaluated to see how effective they are at facilitating five common agritourism uses; these best practices are then compared to the current zoning in Santa Barbara County. This paper concludes by summarizing the applicability of the literature and case studies to Eastern Goleta Valley, and proposes a new zoning designation and other policies to help maintain the urban agriculture operations. This new zoning designation includes a 30-foot minimum width for buffers and a three-tier categorization of land uses capable of promoting agritourism.