Land Use Committee Meets

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   May 9, 2023

The Montecito Association’s Land Use & Transportation Committee met on Tuesday to discuss a number of items, including the permitting process currently in progress for four automated license plate readers in Montecito. 

The 13-ft readers are to be located at 129 Sheffield Drive, 104 San Ysidro Road, 385 San Ysidro Road, and 191 La Vereda Lane; the cameras would be in position for one year at no cost to the County or Sheriff’s Department.

The new technology provided by the readers will be utilized to help local law enforcement solve significant crimes, and will not be used for traffic enforcement. In addition, there will be no facial recognition, and the data gleaned is not tied to personal identifying information. If a vehicle is identified as being part of a crime, the license plate will be entered into the system and if the vehicle drives by one of the plate readers, sheriffs’ deputies will be notified. The technology has been implemented in other areas of the country and has helped to recover stolen property, kidnapping victims, and helped to find at-risk people. Footage from the plate readers will be owned by the Sheriff’s Department and never sold or shared; it is deleted after 30 days if it is not being used to solve a significant crime, and there will be strict usage controls.

For more information, contact Undersheriff Craig Bonner at

The Land Use Committee also discussed recent neighborhood concerns over the purchase of the Old Fire Station in the upper village by Restoration Hardware. There has been chatter and rumors that the furniture store may offer an in-store eatery, which has neighbors and residents concerned with traffic and parking problems. 

The recent announcement of the closure of long-time retailer Montecito Natural Foods in Montecito Country Mart in the Coast Village area has also sparked conversation around the Montecito Community Plan – and whether it should be updated to help protect the area from chain or “big box” stores, similar to what the Carpinteria City Council is trying to accomplish, in order to keep its “small town feel.” 

The Montecito Association Board of Directors meets next week. For more information visit


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