Like Rumpelstiltskin, we’re about to awaken to a changed reality with our town-turned-metropolis? Our city is incentivizing its own destruction. The AUD (Average Unit Density program) gives money, permission and support to fast-track incompatible projects through the city’s formerly formidable building hurdles. They’ve neutered the Architectural Board of Review just as they began to push back on the outsized projects. They can no longer say “no,” nor can they protect us despite their charter to do so. Have you driven around Santa Barbara recently? Like a Starbucks on every corner, or a whack-a-mole game, have you noticed there’s an AUD with a whopping three to five floors popping up? Are you feeling ill yet? Say goodbye to the sunshine, farewell to the sky, so long to the views, au revoir to the sea breezes and air, and kiss our beloved Santa Barbara goodbye. On Tuesday, our City Council will be discussing where to shift the deck chairs on the Titanic — 10 percent or 15 percent inclusionary housing is like deciding whether to put red or pink lipstick on the pig. Attend, and let them know this matters to you.
Bonnie Donovan and Natasha Todorovic
If you can’t attend, you can voice your opinion by sending an email to sgorman@SantaBarbaraCA.gov.