A New Look for Lookout Park
Summerland residents and visitors who enjoy Lookout Park should be feeling pretty hopeful: the construction aspects of the long-anticipated improvements to the east end of the ocean view community recreational area are almost complete – but there’s still a three-month waiting period for the official opening. The project will open to the public in December once the 90-day landscape maintenance period is complete and plantings are established.
Still, it’s looking pretty sweet.
New to the site are decomposed granite trails, natural stone benches, planting and irrigation systems, a large grassy area for events and permeable paving picnic areas with barbecues, trellises with unique driftwood tops, and other recreational site amenities that include a bocce ball court. The parking lot was also just repaved.
Jill Van Wie, capital division manager for the County of Santa Barbara Community Services Department, says she is “very excited” about the Lookout Park East End Renovation Project.
“It’s been years in the making and is so nice to see and be a part of it coming to fruition,” Van Wie wrote to me, along with some historic background on the long- awaited improvements.
When Lookout Park (originally the site of an oil processing facility that was decommissioned in the late 1800s) was initially developed, the east end of the park housed a ranger residence and maintenance facilities. Pursuant to modifications to the ranger housing program, the ranger residence was removed from the site in 2013 and plans to modify the east of the park to accommodate public amenities commenced.
“After receiving comments and input to the east end renovation design from the public, notably the Summerland Citizens Association, the plans were completed in 2018,” Van Wie said. “Funding was secured and construction of the Lookout Park East End Renovations commenced in February 2020.”
The renovations that provide improvements to increase passive coastal recreational opportunities also included the removal of existing auxiliary park sheds, concrete drainage swales, and sections of existing asphalt. Installation of additional site improvements include relocation of the EV charging station and upgrading the concrete site drainage swale to natural rock percolation to more naturally deter erosion and reduce hardscape.
Pretty soon, visitors will be able charge up their electrical vehicles and enjoy the awesome views while waiting.