Just Moved in? Welcome to Montecito! Please Help Us Keep It Fabulous.

By Sharon Byrne and Megan Orloff   |   July 1, 2021

Montecito is having its moment. In the past year, many people bought homes here and either moved in, or began spending time here while also residing elsewhere. Welcome to our little piece of paradise! It’s a fabulous community, a wonderful place to live. No doubt you’ve discovered its magic and charm, but please allow us to introduce you more fully to this community we share.

Montecito didn’t happen by chance. It has been curated and preserved by its residents for decades. There is a culture, a local understated flavor that makes it special. We invite you to become part of that local charm, by embracing community traditions, values and aesthetics. You’ll find there’s a reason people have been here for decades, and why they care about it so much.

Montecito is gorgeous. We all love the ocean views, mountains, clear air, beautiful vistas, and scenic drives. We love our hiking trails, parks, and beaches. The outdoor life here is stunning; we try to keep urban infrastructure down, and rural quality-of-life high. Please help us preserve the views and vistas by keeping your trees trimmed and avoiding constructing things that block your neighbor’s view. We do an annual neighborhood cleanup after Halloween, and everyone gets in on it! We hope you’ll join us this year!

We like the sounds of nature here. You hear frogs in the creeks, the wind in the trees, and other sounds of nature. It’s soothing to your soul, and that’s more than just marketing. There’s evidence that being around trees elevates your immune system. So please don’t cut your trees down unless diseased. California oaks in particular are a fire-resistant, hearty breed that provide homes to our birds and small wild animals. 

Similarly, we don’t like noise pollution. Please be mindful, if you have gatherings, amplified music here gets … very amplified by the topography. You can really upset your neighbors’ (near and far) right to peace and quiet with loud music. Our noise curfew is 10 pm, Sunday through Thursday, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Similarly, if you’re doing construction, the permitted hours are 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday only. People keep livestock here, from horses to chickens to bunny rabbits. Their sounds are also part of the charm of a semi-rural community.

Night sky is a real thing here. We like seeing it, and all the stars. There’s a reason we don’t have streetlights. The air is clearer here, so you can see more of the Milky Way. Outdoor lighting must be hooded, not directed towards another residence or street; it should be kept to what’s necessary for safety and placed low and tastefully so everyone can continue enjoying evenings under the stars.

Montecito is friendly, but respects privacy. Please feel free to get to know your neighbors — and offer to be a great one! We wave to one another at the Montecito Village Grocery or Vons. We are grateful for our super-responsive firefighters and Sherriff’s team. We smile as we walk by our neighbors on walks. We pet each other’s dogs on leash. We’re friendly and courteous. Try working things out with your neighbor, rather than reporting them, they may have no idea you’re frustrated. And, when you’re planning construction, let them know, surprising them doesn’t usually go well!

Montecito contains wonderful people who have fought hard, and still fight, to protect this community. Montecitans serve on planning review boards, the water and sanitary district, fire and school boards, and on ours at the Montecito Association. Montecitans do homeless outreach, and recently funded the Hands Across Montecito project to help move people indoors. Montecitans produce a Fourth of July Parade, and have our own history committee to keep the history of the area alive for future generations. We have a Community Plan that provides Montecito’s aesthetic foundation. Our people are involved in state legislation, and federal government. We have been through three mega-disasters in a row: the Thomas Fire, the Debris Flow, and the COVID pandemic. We’ve dealt with drought, been evacuated repeatedly, and have learned to have a “Go Bag” packed by our door. We’ve distributed emergency backpacks and pandemic kits to our community. We have a tight information network that updates everyone on the key things we all need to know to navigate this new world we’ve been thrust into.

We’re so much stronger now, having pulled together as a community that faced massive challenges. We’ve worked with government at all levels to make this place safer and more resilient while retaining our cherished semi-rural character. Our community is very cohesive and organized. We know we have something truly special here!

Please get involved, be part of keeping us safe, protected, and vibrant. Be a great neighbor by respecting what makes this community so special and help us to keep it that way. We welcome your involvement — email info@montecitoassociation.org. We hope you’ll become a member of the Montecito Association, and come to feel like a key part of this very special community, too.


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