SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The City of Santa Maria may face a major financial penalty if it does not change the rules in place for migrant farmworker housing.
The issue involves those who work in the fields for months at a time.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development told Santa Maria leaders they will face a $400,000 fine if they do not repeal an ordinance that requires employers to get permits from the city to house workers in areas zoned for single family housing.
The department said the current rule singles out people from foreign countries who are in a federally protected class.
Local leaders spent more than a year creating the law after concerns were raised over guest workers moving into neighborhoods.
The city council is expected to discuss the issue during a meeting on June 15.