By now, most Santa Barbarans have noticed the two mega-mansions
being constructed on the hill on the north side of Cliff Drive above Santa Fe
Place, located in the 1200 block of Harbor Hills Drive, in Santa Barbara’s Mesa neighborhood.
On the “Nextdoor East Mesa” neighborhood posting platform,
neighbors have asked about these structures:
— “What was Santa Barbara’s planning office thinking in issuing
construction permits for buildings so much larger than the average Mesa home?”
— “What are the environmental impacts of constructing such large
structures on the fragile coastal soils of the Mesa?”
— “What kind of egomaniacs need such ostentatious homes, and do they
feel that they are somehow better than the rest of their Mesa neighbors?”
— “Will the construction of these mega-mansions spark a Freudian
‘mine-is-bigger-than-yours’ competition with the next Mesa mansion being larger still?”
In a request to respond to these questions, the Mesa’s City
Council member, Mike Jordan, replied by stating only, “The projects are all
permitted and were processed by the city according to the municipal code.”
However, the Sierra Club’s very helpful local chapter chair,
Katie Davis, referenced the Sierra Club’s California Housing Policy, which
recommends, the “preservation of hills … wetlands, and other … natural areas to curb suburban development and eliminate sprawl.”
This new construction would not come close to complying with the Sierra Club’s housing policy, which is meant to create a more livable environment for all Californians.
It’s important to remember that not-so-long-ago, Los Angeles was a
quaint coastal town known for its wonderful climate and beautiful location, not unlike Santa Barbara, before it became what it is today.
Let’s not let Santa Barbara and the Mesa become the next Los Angeles.