Odor Complaints

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Odor Complaints

The City  occasionally receives complaints about offensive odors.  The source smells are not always easy to pinpoint in the community which is surrounded by agricultural fields with multiple crops (fertilizing, harvesting, turning of soil), a composting facility just outside of the city, and food processing plants, and a lake.

The City and the County have limited jurisdiction over nuisance odors emanating from farming operations that have been ongoing for three years or more and are operating under typical agricultural standards.

Residents may contact the following agencies that deal with odors:

Pesticide odors: (805) 934-6200 for the County of Santa Barbara Agricultural Commissioner's Office (weekday business hours).

Dust and petroleum odors: (805) 961-8800 for the County of Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District (APCD).

Odor complaints may be directed to the APCD and registered 24 hours per day by calling (805) 961-8810 and leaving a voice message. Or, click here for the APCD odor complaint webpage.

Each year, in advance of winter rains, the County of Santa Barbara lowers the water level at Jim May Park near Donovan Road.  The lake is a County flood control basin. The lake water drains into a channel on the northwest side of the City, and the discharged water which contains vegetative matter may create an unpleasant odor as the material decomposes.