The Solvang City Council passed a motion Monday stating that the city will not enforce the latest COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the State of California.
The motion, made by Mayor Ryan Toussaint, was passed 5-0 during an emergency meeting.
It states that the City of Solvang "will not actively enforce County and State orders" and requests that the County of Santa Barbara do the same. It also directs city staff to "pursue maintaining the status quo of safe, open outdoor dining and other current business practices which have allowed our community to have some level of normalcy, while also maintaining very low COVID-19 numbers."
The motion also includes support for the creation of a Central Coast Region encompassing Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties.
Currently, the three counties are under a Stay at Home Order for the Southern California Region, which also includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Imperial, Inyo, and Mono counties.
As a whole, the Southern California Region currently has an ICU availability of 10.1 percent. When a region falls below 15 percent, the state's strict Stay at Home Order is triggered, resulting in additional business restrictions that include the closure of salons, theaters, wineries, bars, museums, and zoos and limiting restaurants to take-out only.
Santa Barbara County's ICU availability as of Tuesday is 51.5 percent, according to state data.
In a letter to county officials from the mayor and council, Solvang city leaders ask that officials take action to remove Santa Barbara County from "yet another California 'one size fits all' mistake, which will destroy our community."
Tuesday afternoon, just a few families could be seen enjoying their take-out meals at tables set up along Copenhagen Drive. The city closed the street to vehicle traffic and added dining tables several months ago.
Eric Spink and his family, visiting from San Clemente, were among those taking advantage of the outdoor seating.
"I'm upset about the lockdowns so I think everyone should make their own rational decisions and do what's best for them," Spink said.
On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted to urge state leaders to allow the creation of a Central Coast Region.