DID YOU KNOW? Bonnie Donovan
It felt good to bring back Fiesta. However, we missed the traditional value of State Street for the Historical Parade.
It’s easy to dismiss tradition when inquiring what various tourists and youths think about the parade being on Cabrillo Boulevard rather than State Street, especially since tourists don’t know anything different, let alone asking the Cabrillo Boulevard businesses how they liked it. Tourists and youths are not tuned into tradition. They enjoy the spectacle, but they have no idea what they are missing.
Some organizers said they received great feedback on the location from the parade goers. “… The location was more spacious and open with the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other.”
But we also noticed that the pacing of the parade was off with large gaps in between floats and equestrian groups, which stalled the momentum.
Some other lessons were learned from the Fiesta Historical Parade of 2022. The parade route and the inherent ramifications weren’t clearly anticipated when moved to Cabrillo Boulevard. The parade street closures caused multiple freeway offramps to back traffic up onto the freeway for several exits. A reader said that they waited for 45 minutes trying to get off the Milpas exit.
Even the participants in the parade riding the floats were delayed in gridlock for an inordinate amount of time on Cabrillo Boulevard at Milpas St.
Let’s consider the fact that when the parade is on Cabrillo, many more tourists and far fewer community members are in attendance. Whereas on State Street, it is attended by far more community members, while supporting the local businesses.
A special nod to Lynn Kirst whose regal presence graciously served our community as Saint Barbara, and to La Presidente Maria Cabrera with her husband, Francisco, faithfully by her side who so powerfully supported the true spirit of Fiesta this year when we sorely needed it. They are all called upon to represent this unique Fiesta celebration, tirelessly showing up for many events for several weeks. We are grateful that the traditional roles are carried through from Fiesta’s historical beginnings and leave a lingering effect. Thank you!
Revisiting the Modoc Preserve: Did you know that not only Santa Barbara County is planning to remove trees in the Modoc Preserve for the bike path, but that the city of Santa Barbara just approved an additional 34 trees to be removed for the city’s connection to the county’s side? That totals 165 trees eradicated for just four proposals (Castillo/Carrillo, new police department, Modoc and Modoc Preserve). And we wonder where all the butterflies have gone. Are we really concerned about nature? We talk about everything being green, while all the green disappears.
We don’t let nature be. We insist on nature being our vision, while we pick and choose what works for us. Does it? Same old story; we paved over paradise.
We were notified when the Community Association for Modoc Preserve talked with County Deputy Director of Transportation Chris Sneddon last week, that he admitted that the ATP Grant application was written for Alignments A & B only — i.e. the path must be along Modoc Road to qualify for the grant. The reason the county won’t even consider Alignment C is because it will lose the $5.5 million grant. No surprise, the grant was written to provide what the local government agency wanted to do without any concern for the wishes of the community.
Did you know that the state of California recently passed a new law on electric pedicabs? Anywhere e-bikes are allowed, electric pedicabs must be allowed. Can you imagine electric pedicabs on the State Street Promenade? Cabrillo Boulevard? Or on the new “Class One – Multi-Use Path,” aka Las Positas Modoc Road Bicycle and Pedestrian Path Project, which connects UCSB with Santa Barbara?
The impact of a battery-operated pedicab with two passengers and a driver can cause serious damage to an unsuspecting user of the multi-use path.
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will vote on which Modoc Preserve alignment will be adopted by the county on Aug. 18. Write letters, show up and speak out, and make your position clear.
The community’s input and awareness has increased the signatures on the Modoc Preserve petition to more than 2,500. And Mr. Sneddon was moved to negotiate, so at present, 41 trees are on the chopping block, instead of the original 63. We applaud the neighbors in the Modoc area and others who have stood up for their ground. CAMP has created a GoFundMe account for a legal fund to protect the preserve (www.gofundme.com/f/save-the-modoc-road-trees).
Here’s a note about the Architectural Board of Review and efforts to prevent the demise of the Santa Barbara views and skyline. Trying to preserve Santa Barbara and the reasons people love it here is a full-time job. Not to mention the diminished quality of life that high density brings to the inhabitants. Between just RRM, Brian Cearnal and Ed St. George, it is a veritable ongoing battle.
Last Monday, two of Mr. St. George’s projects were listed back-to-back, asking for more and more but it feels more like a shell game by a quick-change artist. Who is the loser? Santa Barbara! 311 W. Montecito St. – really? Who builds a two-story, three-unit hotel?
Someone is building a three-unit apartment building, each unit with two bedrooms, living room and kitchenette. No parking is provided on-site. West Beach’s limited parking is in the Coastal Zone. Surely the staff hearing officer will be cognizant of this.
Why did city staff accept a submittal without the photos of the surrounding buildings, which is status quo for all applicants, for review boards to judge a project’s compatibility? Not only were site photos unavailable, but the architect’s response to questions was often, “I don’t know.”
The architect’s renditions of the landscaping at 311 W. Montecito St. were a bounty of palm trees, yet none are proposed. The project goes to the SHO who will decide how it conforms with the Coastal Commission, and Urban Design Guideline. Then it will return to ABR for final approval.
Realize that the proposed project at 311 W. Montecito St. is a three-unit hotel that would be annexed with a hotel at 328 W. Montecito St. (nine units) and the primary hotel at 302 W. Montecito St. (34 units). Total parking would be 44 spaces for residents, a lounge, a coffee shop, employees and visitors. ABR questioned the land use of the project in that it is designed more as a residential space instead of a hotel. Board members lamented that land use is not in their purview; however, it is suspect.
On several occasions, Mr. St. George claimed that Santa Barbara City College needs a student dorm, and he is going to build it. Is this his Part 2 of Mesa’s “Beach City” student housing?