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Judge rules in favor of Santa Barbara County, environmental groups efforts to preserve massive ranch

Bill Oxford

Fight has been going on for years over Rancho La Laguna, in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Some environmental groups are celebrating a legal victory in a fight to keep a historic Central Coast ranch from being subdivided.

It’s a battle that’s been going on from years. The proposal called for subdividing Rancho La Laguna into 13 parcels. It’s 4,000 acres of agricultural land in the mountains overlooking the Santa Ynez Valley, setting the stage for the development of some large estates.

In 2017, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors denied the project. The two landowners sued the county. The Santa Barbara County Action Network enlisted the help of the Environmental Defense Center to help defend the county’s action.

Now, a judge has ruled in favor of the county, and the environmental groups.

The action reaffirms the 2017 decision by the County Board of Supervisors.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.