Sunday, May 07, 2006

More Nimbies in Santa Barbara County

An increasingly large contingent of Carpinteria residents has joined the battle against the Paradon Project, Venoco Oil’s proposal to pump offshore oil and gas via slant drills behind Carpinteria City Hall and above a harbor seal rookery. The project’s movable, 175-foot-tall drilling tower would rival UCSB’s Storke Tower as the tallest structure in the county, according to opponents. The project would increase the existing facility’s gas production by 10 times, and would produce an estimated 11,000 barrels of oil daily through the year 2020. Neighbors opposed to the proposal – including the Carpinteria Valley Association – foresee noise, air, and visual pollution, and are concerned about the possibility of leaks or spills and plummeting property values.

Now only has local environmentalists and statewide have blocked any chance of offshore drilling, now locals are preventing new technology from being able to use slant drills to get access to the reserves. There is no pleasing some people.

The noise and air pollution can be mitigated. So it comes down to a tower that is 175 feet high, which I assume they think it will lower property values. I always wonder when people complain about one sign or tower how much are they really losing out on. Is there value of life so dependent on what one tower is and how high it is?

In Santa Barbara there is a height restriction of 45-60 feet for new construction. Along with a multitude of regulations limiting growth outward has created such a shortage of properties that 1 bedroom condos go for 1/2 a million dollars.

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