I wanted to update all of you on an issue that is unnecessarily consuming time and resources of our little league. And this involves the sign we installed at the entryway to our fields, in the latter part of 2013. Here is a brief summary so you can all see what we’ve been dealing with.
For years, GVSLL had been wanting to put a marquee at the entryway to our fields, to announce what was going on in area baseball to Santa Barbara and Goleta residents and to our little league community, especially because the hillside and buildings block the view of the fields. But the marquee was expensive (over $7,300, so a sponsor had to be found). In 2013, a marquee was donated to GVSLL , and a local parent and contractor installed the sign for us in September, at a greatly reduced cost. GVSLL installed its sign consistent with the manner in which all of the other existing signs at the County property were installed. *
Following this installation, we understand that the County received a complaint about the sign from the executive director of the Page Youth Center, and the County wrote to us, saying that the sign was unpermitted and illegal, ** and that our sign would have to be taken down.
We then began a process of trying to work with the County departments to see how the sign could be saved. We consulted an expert in the field of land planning (who has been donating his time), and met with County Planning and Development staff. We also attempted, repeatedly, to meet with our 2nd District Supervisor, Janet Wolf, to see about pro-actively coordinating the signage for this location in the hopes of coming to a resolution that would benefit all of the groups that use this facility.
It is important to know that ALL of the signage at the entryway at 4540 Hollister Avenue is unpermitted, and, “illegal.” The County is well aware of this, but is only targeting GVSLL with enforcement actions.
Our elected representative, Supervisor Wolf, has consistently refused to meet with us. Her assistant informed us that Ms. Wolf would not even consider a meeting until our sign was removed. We removed the sign, and temporarily stored it – hoping that this would result in Ms. Wolf agreeing to talk to us about potential solutions.
Following removal of the sign as directed, Supervisor Wolf continues to refuse to meet with us. Our requests to meet have been deferred to General Services, who claim that we were still in violation, because the concrete platform for the sign has not been removed.
We requested additional time before this further enforcement, so we could meet with Supervisor Wolf and hopefully identify a process to resolve this. We explained that to force a demolition of a well-built concrete platform could be a huge waste of time and resources if our collaborative effort at signage might result in our ability to utilize this platform.
General Services said “no,” and set a deadline of September 30 to remove the platform or the County would remove it and bill GVSLL for the work.
Throughout this entire experience, we have consistently questioned why GVSLL is being uniquely singled out and targeted by the County. Neither Ms. Wolf’s office, nor General Services, has even attempted to provide an answer for this. We subsequently provided written notification to the County of the other unpermitted “illegal” signs erected by organizations at the County property, but the County has not taken any action to address these identical purported “violations” or initiated any enforcement action against any other group that has an “illegal” sign at the facility (Page Youth Center, the Food Bank, YFL, Titan and Sirens Fitness Training, and Jazzercize).
We have consistently reiterated that our goal is to simply allow a discussion to take place with our Supervisor, such that we believe we could pro-actively come to a unified resolution on signage in the area. We have also asked General Services to consider that our little league group is a non-profit, with limited resources, and to postpone further enforcement for a little while so this meeting could take place.
We hope that the County will reconsider their demands and give us a little more time so we can have a constructive dialogue on this. Supervisor Wolf’s unwillingness to simply meet with us, despite months and months of repeated requests, is extremely disappointing, particularly in light of the fact that many of our members are residents of her District and therefore constituents she represents. We remain hopeful that Ms. Wolf will eventually agree to a meeting.
We want you to be aware of what we are doing, and I encourage any and all assistance or suggestions from you, the involved members of our community and friends/supporters of little league. As you can see, time is of the essence. I can be reached at:
. Additionally, if you live in the 2nd Supervisorial District and you wish to contact Supervisor Wolf about this, her e-mail address is:
, and the phone number to her office is (805) 568-2191.
* Prior to the installation of the sign, GVSLL had obtained a Letter of Authorization from the County of Santa Barbara (as lessor of the property), to proceed with filing applications for any and all permits for the construction and installation of the sign. Then, during the permitting process, we discovered that every sign installed at this entrance was not permitted. We ultimately chose to proceed with our sign installation in the same manner as our neighbors who share this property with us.
** General Services said that a sign with removable letter is not allowed for our non-profit – that only churches and schools in the County are allowed to have such signs. It is obvious that removable letters help us communicate what is going on the little league fields below at different times of the year – which is why elementary schools near us and even San Marcos High School uses them.