Glad to See Miramar Proposal

By Tim Buckley   |   June 4, 2024

I was one of many people who spoke in favor of the Miramar project at a recent Montecito Association Board Meeting. There were a significant number of residents who joined me, reflecting what I believe to be the consensus among many in the broader Montecito community; this is a great plan that will improve the Miramar and benefit Montecito as a whole. 

The Miramar team should be commended for not only listening to the community – as they have continued to do for over a year – but for actually taking action regarding neighbors’ concerns. Real concessions were made as part of their outreach process, including removing one of three stories planned for the northwest corner. And throughout all of this, they continued to increase the number of units planned as affordable, which will benefit all of Montecito, as it will help us meet state goals we can no longer ignore.

I’m glad to stand in support of this plan, which offers us a reasonable path forward towards meeting our housing needs, and Caruso is the organization to do it. They’ve proven this through their achievement building the Rosewood Miramar, and have shown us throughout this entire process that we not only have a beautiful and well-run hotel, but that they also deeply care about our community.

Brett Morrison

We Need the Miramar’s Affordable Housing 

The affordable housing proposed in The Miramar Hotel’s new plan could profoundly impact families in and around our community. I wholeheartedly support the plan. Having worked in a homeless shelter for nearly a decade, I understand the critical importance of providing accessible housing. California’s housing crisis touches us in Montecito as well. The plan includes 26 affordable units, which account for more than 70% of the planned housing – a rate practically unheard of. These affordable units will go to their hotel staff and help reduce commute times which are significant for so many workers due to Montecito’s high housing costs. 

Caruso is independently funding these affordable housing units through the addition of numerous shops and market-rate rental apartments. That means that these affordable units won’t cost taxpayers anything, something that is also worth noting. There have been some who have voiced concerns over the traffic the added shops will create, which will likely be insignificant as most of their business will come from their guests.

Additionally, the Caruso team has shown they want to do what’s right for Montecito – they have altered their plan based on community input and have proven they value what we have to say. They have shown that they are willing to listen, adapt, and collaborate effectively, showcasing the same mindset that led to the successful construction of The Miramar Hotel when others failed. 

Montecito has an undeniable charm and peaceful character that attracts visitors from across the state and country. I believe it is important to preserve this beloved quality while also creating a more accessible community. This plan is a step in the right direction, which is why I am choosing to continue publicly supporting it. 

Cam Gittler 
Long-time Montecito resident

Voicing Support

I was proud to raise my voice at the recent Montecito Association Board Meeting in favor of the Miramar’s plans.

The proposed Miramar plan is well thought out and something we as a community have been graciously allowed to give our input to. I, along with many other residents, have taken the time to look at the actual proposal and talk to the Caruso team about these plans and support it today. Katie, Bryce and Justin, from the Caruso team worked closely with the residents to refine the plan, and they continue to reach out to answer our questions and keep us in the loop. I think they have found a compromise that meets the needs of the hotel and its employees while benefiting neighbors and the surrounding community.

The new stores help support the 26 affordable housing units, which means it won’t be coming from tax dollars.

I know there are still some loud voices who remain in opposition, but I as well as Caruso’s team have listened to their concerns and there doesn’t seem to be real validity to why he should not build on his property.

Now that they have filed their planning application, I am excited to see the project come to life.

Marni Blau

Re: The Demise of our Downtown State Street

Dear Mr. Mayor and City Council Members.

After reading the attached article, I thought I’d forward this to you to see if you would consider what Coast Village Road has done in order to make it a thriving, wonderful avenue for shopping, lunches and dinners, having a coffee or a glass of wine, do your banking, etc…

Not too long ago, a friend who used to live in Santa Barbara, but now resides in Florida, came to visit us. We walked downtown and he could not believe what had happened to State Street. Empty shops, kids using the no driving street to hold bicycles and skateboard races, ugly parklets and barricades, few restaurants, etc…

Twenty-seven-month-long waits for planning permits, closing State Street to cars, higher and higher parking fees in order to make up for the loss of business revenue, turn more entrepreneurs and restaurateurs away from our main avenue. What would prompt anyone to go downtown anymore? It has become a ghost street, without ambiance or sufficient venues to enjoy. Soon, you won’t even be able to collect parking fees because there won’t be anyone parking!

Please consider what neighboring towns, such as Montecito, Summerland, Carpinteria have done to bring vitality back to their downtowns.

I appreciate your time and response to this letter.  


Mia Voehl


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