Determined to save a downtown Carpinteria open space from being developed, a group of committed residents claims it has gathered more than enough signatures necessary put the issue before the voters in November.
The campaign, which officially launches on Thursday, took less than a year to gather “far more than the required number of signatures” to put an initiative on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot, according to Annie Sly, spokesperson for the all-volunteer grassroots organization, YES! Save Our Downtown Open Space.
“That’s the power of passion and spirit of community behind the city of Carpinteria’s YES! Save Our Downtown Open Space campaign,” she said. “The gateway to the beach should not be developed.”
The group wants to change the zoning of Parking Lot No. 3, at Linden Avenue and 5th Street, from general commercial to open space/recreation, securing the high-use lot from commercial development, Ms. Sly said.
Along with the conviction that a well-utilized public property should not be given by the city to a developer for private gain, the YES! campaign’s concerns include:
— Saving downtown open spaces from traffic and congestion.
— Protecting the community’s finite water supply.
— Preserving the existing community garden.
— Keeping mountain views for all to enjoy.
— Maintaining Carpinteria’s small town charm as well as the look and feel of its famed beach neighborhood.
“Based on the response to our signature gathering, we are very optimistic about our public piece of land at 5th and Linden remaining public,” Ms. Sly said. “We have our work cut out for us, but Carpinterians are no strangers to protecting what’s best for all. Everyone is welcome to join our good fight.”
The YES! campaign will host an information table at the Seal Fountain on Linden Avenue Thursday afternoons, 3:30 to 5:30, coinciding with the Farmers Market. More information is available at parkinglot3.org and Facebook.com/saveourparkinglot3. The group can be
reached by email at email@example.com. Its mailing address is P.O. Box 684, Carpinteria 93014-0684.