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Solvang City Council Votes to Stay Neutral on Tribal Land Plans

Solvang residents and business owners packed a special City Council meeting.

All but one spoke out against plans to expand the reservation owned by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

Despite the outcry, Solvang City Council members voted not to take a stand on two land plans.

The first involves nearly 14,000 acres known as Camp 4.

Chairman Vincent Armenta said the tribe bought the land at the intersection of Highways 154 and 246 from Fess Parker Enterprises for about $30 million in 2013, after the actor died.

The tribe has filed a fee-to-trust application to annex the land.

Critics said that will take the property off state and local tax rolls and remove regulatory control.

The council also voted 3 to 2 to stay neutral on a much larger land issue called the Tribal Consolidation and Acquisition Area Plan.

The plan, already approved by the U.S.Bureau of Indian Affairs without public notice, designated about 12,000 acres as historic Chumash land.

Armenta said the the tribe would still have to buy the land.

Critics said they are worried it will pave the way for a Las Vegas Strip.

The tribe that already owns a successful casino has only announced plans to housing on the Camp 4 land.

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