Chumash Indians seeking to increase reservation size

August 31, 2013

chumash casinoThe Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians’ proposal to increase their reservation size 10 fold has been met with vocal opposition from Santa Barbara County officials and residents.

Currently, the Chumash reservation, which sets northwest of Santa Barbara and includes a profitable casino and housing, is restricted to 138 acres. In 2010, the tribe purchase 1,400 acres a few miles away from its reservation and announced plans to build 143 single family homes for tribal members.

Instead of going through the Santa Barbara County’s planning process, the tribe applied to the federal government to have the newly acquired property added to the reservation. The annexation would exclude the tribe from having to conform to county planning rules and from the requirement to pay property taxes. Even though the federal government has the final say on the proposed annexation, federal regulations require officials to consider objections from local governments while making a decision.

Opponents of the annexation contend the tribe should not be permitted to exclude such a large piece of land from county rules and requirements to pay property taxes. The land is currently zoned agricultural which would only permit approximately a dozen homes.

Tribal leaders offered to pay the county $1 million a year for ten years and requested a government to government dialog with the county.

Last week, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 against permitting the proposed dialog after listening to approximately 400 residents speak out against the property’s annexation.

Tribal leaders argue that the supervisor’s decision was based on hatred and biases against the tribe.

 


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14 Comments

  1. swmut says:

    1400 acres…versus a territory that used to span 3 counties or more up and down the coast. If anything they should be asking for the CA missions, that were built using essentially slave labor of the chumash and other tribes. How do you like that…some prime real estate in DT SLO and SB.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. Citizen says:

    1400 acres is a relatively small amount of land in Santa Barbara County. The basic problem is that it is zoned Agricultural which would allow for about 12 homes, and they want to build 147 homes.

    The land is not being used for anything at this point. I guess it’s a choice. The Chumash could put in vineyards, instead, and help endanger the water supply for the area.

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  3. WiserGuy says:

    One thing it is IMPORTANT to know: It is virtually impossible for the average person to sue for ANYTHING that might happen on tribal designated land. Lawsuits must be filed in Federal court and the sovereignty laws are so complex that only a handful of lawyers in the entire United States have the knowledge or experience to deal with them. So, if you get hurt on Chumash tribal land, including casino, roadways, restaurants, because of obvious negligent behavior by the Chumash in charge, you are basically out of luck if you would hope to recover damages through a lawsuit. If a Chumash building collapses on you, your loved ones or your vehicle, your chance of suing successfully is virtually nothing. Get sick in a restaurant because of unsafe food being served. Sorry Charlie. If you are lucky they might have sympathy and give you a few casino bucks and an overnight room so you can spend that and more.

    So, when we allow these Indian Casinos to grab up more land, we are in essence allowing land to be deeed to a foreign nation that has little reason or obligation to follow the laws of the United States, except to the point it pleases them.

    By the way, many, if ot most, of these “Indian” casinos are funded by groups of white men investors.

    (8) 20 Total Votes - 14 up - 6 down
    • obispan says:

      “Foreign”? Foreign to what? White man speak with forked tongue.

      (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
      • WiserGuy says:

        “Foreign” is not a good term in this case. Rather, expansion of Indian Casino lands is like the expansion of a “separate nation” within a nation. A separate nation where the laws of the United States don’t necessarily apply in a lot of very important and significant ways, most of which put citizens of the United States at a distinct disadvantage when on tribal land. Get arrested on tribal land by tribal police and you can be in a world of trouble unlike anything tolerated in the United States. For most people reading this, the laws that you imagine would apply, don’t have to apply at all. It’s up to the tribe, a “tribe” that doesn’t necessarily represent the people you imagine it does.

        Let them have their casinos, but be VERY cautious about allowing for expansion of the boundaries of Tribal land and tribal laws that automatically go with that.

        (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
        • racket says:

          Small point.

          If “we” don’t like “their” tribal laws, “we” can simply choose not to go there, and not be subject to them (or subject to their lack).

          The hard part is when the tribal law permits/requires something whose effects cross the property boundary. I am thinking of uncontained pollution, or deleterious effects on waterways. But the Santa Bahbah NIMBYs might also include effects on access roads, viewsheds, water use, etc., that would not be subject to control by the neighbors.

          (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • Jorge Estrada says:

      If history means anything other than T. S., the indigenous people of this land may have said the same about allowing a foreign world franchise on their homeland. I am certian that T.S. will not prevail on this growth because there are fat and lazy people on both sides with their hands out.
      My only question is what percentage of the indigenous people are still in the neighborhood, .0000001% ?

      Don’ta fighta da system.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  4. Pelican1 says:

    At issue here is the question of tribal sovereignty, and how Public Law 280 applies in this case. Native Americans have always felt that their sovereignty and subsequent treaties have been with the federal government, not with states. The constitution recognizes these tribes as domestic dependent nations, unlike a foreign nation.
    This should be interesting to see how this unfolds.

    (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down
  5. shelworth says:

    You know, more and more “groups” are being exempted from rules and regulations, unions and Congress from Obamacare, Religions from taxes, etc. Regulations should be for everyone or they should get rid of them completely.

    (15) 23 Total Votes - 19 up - 4 down
  6. WiserGuy says:

    COLAB is heavily funded by Chumash Casino money and is quick to issue damning anti-government propaganda whenever local governments attempt to prevent casino interests from expanding and avoiding paying taxes. Whenever Chumash “elders/casino tycoons” are willing to pay to get their way, COLAB is ready, willing and able to grab the bucks and do whatever is necessary, selling out the best interests of the public and taxpayers in order to rake in the “lobbying” dollars and screw anyone who gets in the way. COLAB’s Andy Caldwell and Mike Brown are essentially employs of casino interests, which are their biggest, richest employers. Follow the money. The few bucks they pick up from average COLAB “members” is just a way to keep up a false front.

    (-7) 33 Total Votes - 13 up - 20 down
  7. DemandTransparency says:

    “Tribal leaders argue that the supervisor’s decision was based on hatred and biases against the tribe.”

    And I would argue that the Tribe’s decision to circumvent the county is based on hatred and biases against normally accepted rules and regulations.

    (42) 60 Total Votes - 51 up - 9 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      Yea, those Injuns are just getting too uppity. They think that they are entitled to do whatever they damn well please without their NIMBY neighbors interference. I mean, whatever made them think that us palefaces owe them anything? (End sarcasm.)

      The funny thing is that we should all have more freedom from county bureaucrats and their NIMBY constituency. I am not going to bash the Chumash if they find a way to use their tribal status to pull an end run and do what they want so long as it does not have severe environmental effects. Maybe we need to learn from them instead of being jealous. (Unfortunately, I am pretty sure I don’t even have the minimal “Native American” ancestry to qualify as a member of any tribe.)

      (-1) 33 Total Votes - 16 up - 17 down
  8. euroamerican says:

    Why on earth would this tribe think that they are exempt from the scrutiny of the County planning department, and property taxes. Remember a few years back when they were trying to legalize gambling in California, and the Native Americans threatened if it passed they would all go on welfare and food stamps. So they are not capable of running their business successfully with some healthy competition It is just blackmail to get their way, now pulling the racism card. We have the Mexicans coming and wanting all the entitlements given to American citizens, and on the other hand we have the Native Americans who want their own laws, and feel they should be treated different from other American citizens.

    (25) 47 Total Votes - 36 up - 11 down
  9. Ted Slanders says:

    .

    “Tribal leaders argue that the supervisor’s decision was based on hatred and biases against the tribe.”

    Was there any biases or hatred when the Casino that makes MILLIONS of dollars for the tribe was allowed to be built in the first place? If the tribe wants to be considered equal and without biases of their own, then let them pay the same taxes and follow the same protocols that their neighbors have to pay.

    Furthermore, circumventing Santa Barbara County in this aforementioned process is seemingly showing their true intent and colors that is obviously easy to read. More reparations without having to pay for them. Case in point, do they have their own fire department or ambulance service, and do they pay for their own roads and upkeep?

    (36) 50 Total Votes - 43 up - 7 down

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