Montecito Association April Board Meeting

By Joanne A Calitri   |   April 23, 2024

The Montecito Association held its monthly Board meeting April 9 in person at the Montecito Library. 

Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda: Peter Daily presented his issues of private roads flooding following rain events. He asked the MA to get drainage and curbs installed with the Roads Department, and to resolve uninsured properties in Montecito. Cliff Ghersen referenced the minutes of March 5 Land Use Committee Meeting on the Miramar agenda asking the MA to mention all the letters from people who wrote about it in their minutes, as well as fix how one contacts the MA directly via phone and email. Randall Badat on Miramar Avenue said he took videos of recent flooding at his cottage and his hedgerow neighbors with the recent rains, questioning Oak Creek rising levels, noting that it’s the third time for flooding, and requesting MA address the issue and ask for emergency relief funding from the state for flood coverage. 

Neighborhood Paths in Montecito: Executive Director of the Bucket Brigade (BB) Abraham Powell presented slides of the project with SBC Traffic Engineer Gary Smart. They said: “The paths are in response to modern life and the need to walk around Montecito. There is not a lot of pedestrian access due to continuing development of the area, causing people to walk in the street which is not safe. In 2008 the Montecito Community Plan did not want sidewalks or streetlights, so that is why SB County is not granting funds. The choice is to go the route of paved sidewalks and paths that have access for wheelchairs, or we build paths. In 2018 the debris flow damaged all trails. BB restored trails after the debris flow – those in charge of maintaining them are the people who built them, such as Montecito Trails Association and BB. BB built North Jameson, Olive Mill, and Hot Springs walking trails. 91.4% of Montecito agreed they liked the work the BB is doing on paths. We’ve done more in the last two years than in the last 25 years. We are asking the MA to actively support us, if everyone in Montecito gave us $250, we could be done. Residents should call SB County Public Works for any issues.” He concluded by showing a map of the start of a walkable community found on the BB website. 

Miramar Project Presentation by Katie Mangin shared updates and reviewed their plans. She said, “Miramar was certified as a site for affordable housing for their employees in 2022 and their plan is to do it without any public assistance or subsidies. The character of the Miramar will continue with the residential and long-term apartments, swim raft, surfing, café and shops. Changes since the plan was presented in October 2023 to MBAR addressed input from the neighbors.” Director of Operations Justin Caruso presented slides of the current plan with the amendments requested as follows: “The removal of the third floor of the building/reduced height; elimination of the Eucalyptus Lane driveway; added green space; reduced size of the retail shops and the shops will remain interior facing; a visual buffer adding extensive landscaping and mature trees; consolidated employee housing into one building of 26 units out of a total of 36 units. New buildings on west lot will be consistent in height with the buildings on Jameson. Adding below grade 75 spaces, relocating west parking to east side. We are in the early planning stages. We shared the updated plan with the county and move through the county planning process. We will continue to listen and are always available. Check our website for updates.” Public commenters attending the MA meeting – including local residents and a rep from All Saints Church – were upset, and stated their concerns against the project development.

Executive Director of the Coast Village Improvement Association Beth Sullivan presented on the Coast Village Road changes. She mentioned that CVR has long needed repairs to remedy issues that have negatively affected CVR businesses. They are going to pave the road, realign the intersections, make safe crosswalks, upgrade the medians that are destroyed by service trucks and add loading zones. The work started March 25, with two completion dates slated for Memorial Day 2024, second phase be done by Labor Day. They are working with residents and businesses to announce the schedule of repairs. It is a 4-5 million dollar project.

Community Reports:

Carpinteria Police Chief Lt. Ugo Peter “Butch” Arnoldi reported on medical emergencies and crime in the area. 

Montecito Fire Chief David Neels reported that his department watches the storms and weather very closely. That the recent storm was a rapid change causing 6 inches of rain, and 2 to 3 inches of hail. Montecito Fire pivoted, worked with partner agencies, responded to calls, there was no loss of life, and rescues were made. 

Montecito Sanitation District General Manager John Weigold reported on the same storm causing issues as water gets into the pipes from the ground and drainage systems from people’s homes. The district facility flooded five feet. Over 2000 manholes in town were affected. Fifty percent of the lines need to be redone, upgrading of pipes in affected areas is being reviewed. 

Amy Alzina EdD Superintendent/Principal ofCold Spring School reported the school’s new Innovation, STEAM and Creativity labs are almost done, saying it is a place where dreams come true. The Cold Spring School Foundation funding event is Friday, April 12 at Cabrillo Center. April 25 the school partners with SB Beautiful for Arbor Day to plant an oak tree and avocado trees at the school. She had one of the CCS students present on the marathon obstacle course event that will take place at the school. 

MA Executive Director Houghton Hyatt reported the new website is coming soon. She met with residents at Olive Mill Lane and Mesa Road and Public Works Gary Smart to talk about making the intersection safer and mitigating traffic. MA database cleanup is still being done. The Hands Across Montecito outreach walk is April 25, at 8:30 AM, meet at Chevron Station on CVR. To house Montecito homeless, it costs $300K. Mindy Denson updated on the July 4th events, including parade, picnic and family games. 



You might also be interested in...