Montecito Association Meets
At this month’s Montecito Association (MA) Board meeting, board members thanked the co-chairs of the Village Fourth festivities for one of the best turnouts in event history. “Every year I say, ‘This is the best year yet,’ but this time I really mean it,” said board president Charlene Nagel. Mindy Denson, Trish Davis, and Kathi King were thanked for organizing the event, which welcomed more than 100 first responders in the parade. “No one turned us down to walk in the parade, which we were thrilled about,” Davis said.
During the public comments portion of the meeting, Pat McElroy, representing the Partnership For Resilient Communities, reported that the group’s website will be live next week (www.partnershipsb.org), and that the organization continues to enlist the help of engineers who are working on geo-mapping the front country.
Dr. Anthony Ranii, superintendent of Montecito Union School, reported that 24 families with 32 students in total are taking advantage of the school’s grace period until the end of the 2018-19 school year, which allows families who have relocated out of the district to continue to attend the school. Eight families are undecided whether they will continue to send their kids to MUS next year or the school in their new school district. Dr. Ranii also reported that the board is working toward obtaining State funding for facilities improvements; the school’s reserves are funding the parking lot expansion, which will add 40 parking spots for employees.
Diane Gabriel from Montecito Sanitary District reported that the Regional Water Quality Control Board made the findings that the District’s response and repairs following the January 9 debris flow showed no violations or environmental damage. “In addition to having the reserves to fund emergency infrastructure repairs, our board declared a state of emergency immediately so we could repair what was affected; they should be congratulated on a job well done,” she said.
Montecito Planning Commission and Montecito Board of Architectural Review are holding a joint meeting on Wednesday, July 18, to review the FEMA Interim Advisory Flood Recovery Map. The MA voted to have Land Use Committee members Tom Bollay and Cori Hayman participate in the meeting, showing the anomalies found on the map. Bollay has been vocal about the map’s deficiencies above East Valley Road, showing several parcels where homes were lost located in a lower-risk portion of the new map, showing a risk of fewer than 6 inches of likely flooding. “If the FEMA map cannot adequately display the risk from the debris flow, maybe the County can overlay the former debris flow map so people are not given false hope that their home is safe,” said Tom Fayram, who says he stands by the new FEMA map. “There is value in letting the public know the combination of both maps,” he said, referring to a debris flow map that was released after the January 9 event. The board also voted to form a subcommittee led by Bollay to act as a liaison with Flood Control during the rebuilding process.
The board also voted unanimously to move forward on organizing future forums for the community to discuss governance options, including cityhood.
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 14.