Plans for the Casa Dorinda Triangle

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   December 13, 2022
The triangle at Hot Springs Road has long been austere, and is now slated for beautification

At the Montecito Association’s Land Use & Transportation Committee hearing earlier this week, the committee was briefed on upcoming plans to beautify the “triangle” in front of Casa Dorinda, where Olive Mill and Hot Springs roads meet. 

The $200,000 project is being funded in part by Montecito Community Foundation, with help from Casa Dorinda and the Garden Club of Santa Barbara. MCF is currently seeking donations to help meet the goal. “It’s very symbolic for the community to have this built,” said MA Executive Director Sharon Byrne

The proposed plan by Arcadia Studio for the Casa Dorinda triangle will include native, drought-tolerant plantings

The area was badly damaged during the debris flow nearly five years ago, but County resources went to fixing roads and bridges. “We’ve had support from the County but no funding and no labor, as it was low on the list of priorities,” said Brian McCague, Casa Dorinda’s president. McCague added that the majority of the property is in public right-of-way save for a small corner, and that the triangle has historically been irrigated by water from Casa Dorinda. “We are happy to continue voluntarily maintaining it, and the irrigation line is still intact,” he added. 

The County has signed off on the project and has issued a building permit. Designed by Arcadia Studio, the landscape is designed to embrace the Montecito landscape, including native and Mediterranean-style plantings, all drought tolerant. A rock buffer will be along the perimeter, to deter pedestrians and dog walkers. There will be a mix of ground cover and low-lying species as not to obstruct the views of drivers. 

“When you drive by that area, all you think about is the debris flow,” said committee chair, Chad Chase. “This is going to make it so much better.” Montecito Water District public information officer Laura Camp also chimed in on the plans, thanking Arcadia Studio for creating a landscape plan that will be an example of water efficiency. “It’s wonderful to have an exemplary garden where everyone can see it, and that it doesn’t need a lot of water,” she said. 

The project will be built once funding is complete. To help, visit


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