I love calling the Santa Ynez Valley home because residents show up to support each other. But it is evident that much of our workforce can’t be part of that because of the high cost of living here.

At the College Elementary School District in Santa Ynez, our school board and superintendent continually ask, “How can we best use our resources to maximize a thriving Santa Ynez Valley?” Our recent brainstorm was, “What if we could create homes on school property—where we have open space—that will help recruit the very best educators and alleviate our housing crunch?”

That’s where 3rd District County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, who represents the Santa Ynez Valley as well as the region from Lompoc to Goleta, comes in. She understands this issue and has been pitching in to move it forward.

The hardest lift for a housing project is navigating state and county regulations. Supervisor Hartmann’s help has been invaluable. Her knowledge of the ins and outs of county committees, boards, and planning and development policies is exemplary. She has been an ever-accessible resource and guide as we try to quickly navigate the requirements necessary to move this project forward.

Housing is one of the biggest and hardest issues for local governments to fix. Supervisor Hartmann has been taking the lead to get us what we need so that our teachers, as well as firefighters, police, doctors, and other key community members can live where they work and be part of our village!

Peter Wright

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