Santa Ynez Valley

Angel Russell

As an outdoor activity, Central Coast pumpkin patches are able to welcome visitors over the next month. 

Jennifer Bennett, an Atascadero mother of two, was one of the first customers at Avila Valley Barn Monday morning. 

“I’m a stay-at-home mom," Bennett said. "Being home with these two all the time has been really hard without being able to take them to do anything.”

She’s excited the pumpkin patch—along with the goats, cows and chickens to visit and feed—are open.  

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

The Santa Ynez Valley community gathered in Solvang this week to discuss traffic issues in the area. Concerns were voiced that various throughways in the area are becoming more congested, and in some cases, unsafe. Santa Barbara County officials have launched a study aimed at improving local roadways.

Bree Zender

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday in favor of an agreement regarding the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians’ Camp 4 reservation land. 

Santa Barbara County/

Santa Ynez Valley residents are awaiting a public meeting Monday evening about the land parcel known as Camp 4. Santa Barbara county officials will announce a tentative intergovernmental agreement between the Santa Ynez Band of the Chumash Indians and the county. 

Bree Zender/KCBX

Residents in the Santa Ynez Valley are holding a public meeting Thursday to discuss their efforts to block the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians from annexing property into the tribe’s reservation. 

Bree Zender

If you’re familiar at all with the Santa Ynez Valley, you know it’s famous for its rolling hills and farmland bordered by country roads and twisted-trunked oak trees.

KCBX News, Randol White

Rattlesnakes throughout California will soon become far less visible, in some cases hiding from sight entirely as we enter the cooler late fall and winter months. But some populations of snakes will remain active right through this period.


A migratory bird that uses the Santa Ynez Valley as its winter feeding home is dying off by the hundreds because of a deadly parasite—avian trichomoniasis.

The band-tailed pigeon is native to the West Coast, but is somewhat unfamiliar to people because it doesn't live close to the ground and prefers rural settings. Dry winters force it to find alternate water sources, often closer to urban areas.

Santa Barbara County Fire

The trail to Nojoqui Falls in the Santa Ynez Valley was shut down Wednesday following a series of landslides.

The path is closed at the trailhead over concerns of additional slides. Michael Allen is with Santa Barbara County Parks and says the trail is simply "not safe" right now, so it will remained closed until further notice.

Damage is severe to the trail making it impassible. Large boulders are on the ground, and more unstable rocks remain on the hillside. The parks department hopes to have a geologist come out to look at the situation.

Flickr member Kyle Harmon

Michael Jackson's former Neverland Ranch could soon be listed on the local real estate market. A representative for the investment firm that currently owns the property tells KCBX that putting the ranch up for sale is now under consideration.

The nearly 2700 acre parcel just outside of Los Olivos in Santa Barbara County was acquired by Colony Capital LLC back in 2008, about a year before Jackson's death.  

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

The Santa Ynez Valley soccer coach accused of having sex with a teenage girl is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Santa Maria Superior Court.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced child molestation charges against 42-year-old Buellton resident Jose Diaz on Tuesday.

Investigators say the crimes happened last year between August and November.

Diaz had been a coach with the local American Youth Soccer Organization girl's league for nearly two decades.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

A longtime youth soccer coach in the Santa Ynez area is in custody on $100,000 bail, charged with sex crimes against a child.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department says 42-year-old Jose Diaz was arrested Tuesday in Solvang for having sexual relations with a teenager when the girl was 14 and 15 years old. 

Diaz has been a coach with the local American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) girl's league for nearly two decades. Sheriff's detectives are concerned there may be more victims.