The Santa Barbara City Council will meet Tuesday and consider a request from the Barbareño Chumash Tribal Council to rename portions of Indio Muerto Street.
The council received a request from the tribal council in June to change the name of the street, which translates “dead Indian,” to Hutash Street, which translates to “Earth Mother.”
As noted by local historian Neil Graffy in his book “Street Names of Santa Barbara,” which was published in 2008 and edited in 2015, Indio Muerto “owes its name to the discovery of a deceased Indian found in the area during the time of the Haley Survey.”
The staff report acknowledges that city staff “have no reason” to discount Mr. Graffy’s historical perspective. The tribal council argues the current name is “insulting, oppressive, and demeaning,” according to the staff report.
City staff estimates that as many as 200 residents, or 40 houses and five businesses, would be affected by the street name change.
“Public Works Department (Public Works) staff anticipates that street numbers would stay the same with only the street name changing. As such, the physical cost to residents will be minimal or none,” the report reads, adding that voter registration information would automatically be updated to reflect the new street name.
“Property title or ownership documents should not need to be amended as those recorded documents reference a legal description for the property based on a legal description which is typically either a reference to a recorded map or survey description. Addresses may be informally referenced on those documents but changing an address does not change property ownership. Title companies can pull address information directly from the County Assessor rolls which would be updated with the new street name,” the report states.
In terms of potential postal impacts, residents and businesses would have to notify anyone within their own mail network of the street name change. The USPS does not notify any entities on behalf of residents or businesses located on the affected street. It would continue to recognize both the former and the new name for one year following the name change.
“In other words, the Post Office will forward mail to the new street name for up to one (1) year,” the staff report reads.
City staff recommends to change the street name on Dec. 14, 2020, to allow all parties to prepare.
Last month, the city’s Neighborhood Advisory Council voted unanimously in approving the renaming of the street. The cost to replace street signs along the corridor is estimated to be approximately $1,500, according to the report.
The council will be asked to adopt a resolution to rename portions of the street between South Salinas and South Milpas streets, according to the staff report.
Another item on Tuesday’s agenda involves the council discussing a resolution to adopt a goal of carbon neutrality for the local community by 2035.
The city will update its climate action plan, known as its strategies to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions. City staff will spend time over the next year working with the community to evaluate and develop “innovative and actionable strategies” to reduce GHG emissions in Santa Barbara.
The neutrality target “will demonstrate bold leadership and Santa Barbara’s commitment to addressing the climate emergency,” the staff report reads.
“Achieving carbon neutrality is ambitious, will be difficult to achieve, and will require direct and significant coordination between the City and community, but setting such a strong goal will result in clear and decisive commitment,” the report reads.
The council will also discuss approving a policy that would govern the use of automated license plate recognition systems for the management of off-street parking operations in city facilities.
The policy “ensures that the collection, management, use, maintenance, and dissemination of ALPR information is protective of individuals’ privacy, security, and civil liberties to the limit allowed under the law,” according to the staff report.
A report on the proposed ALPR policy was reviewed at the Sept. 10 Downtown Parking Committee meeting. The committee recommended the policy be forwarded to the council for review, with a modification to clarify that disclosure of ALPR data to all law enforcement agencies requires a warrant or subpoena, according to the staff report.
The city’s Airport, Public Works, and Waterfront departments have developed a written policy to govern the use of the systems for management of parking operations in city facilities.
In other business Tuesday, the council will review the city’s economic development efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss preparing the city’s economic development strategic plan. The report will be given by Jason Harris, the city’s new Economic Development Manager, who was hired by the city in March.
Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be held virtually. The meeting will be streamed live at www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov/CAP.