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County supervisors file lawsuit challenging Chumash Camp 4 housing development

The Santa Barbara County Supervisors filed a lawsuit challenging the Chumash tribe’s ‘Camp 4’ housing development.

The 1,390 acre land in Santa Ynez was put in to a federal trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The supervisors are currently in litigation with the government agency.

The trust clears the way for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians to begin building homes on the land.

“The housing for tribal people and tribal land is an important component for cultural vitality in Indian country,” said tribal chairman Kenneth Kahn. “You can’t have a tribe unless you have a tribal government and tribal community that has a thriving culture.”

The Chumash have said the purpose for the land is solely for housing for families and a tribal center.

“I am confident that we are going to find a solution that meets the band’s needs for housing and a tribal center and their cultural needs as well as the community’s desire to maintain the rural character of the Santa Ynez Valley as well as the county’s needs that its financial solvency is maintained,” said Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann.

There has long been a concern among the community that the land will be used for other purposes.

“Once it goes into trust, it’s federal land administered by the Department of the Interior, comes out of county tax rolls and land use planning. And whether gaming would occur is still a big question mark,” said Hartmann.

Supervisors said they are actively continuing discussions with the Chumash in the hopes of reaching a resolution.

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