What’s Rosewood’s Plan?

By Montecito Journal   |   June 25, 2024

I am a lifetime, 8th generation South Coast resident. I have resided in Montecito most of my life. I have also lived in Santa Barbara, Carpinteria and today, Summerland. After attending SBHS, UCSB, and practicing Water & Land Use law locally for over 20 years I am now retired. In my retirement I served for about 10 years on the SB Water Commission, half of those years as Chair. I raised our daughter in Carpinteria and was very involved in the School District for the 12 years we lived there. I am writing to draw attention to and support the Letter to the Editor entitled “THE ROSEWOOD PLAN” found in the June 6, 2024, edition submitted by Mr. Cliff Ghersen

Rather than repeat his well-stated Commentary, I want to draw interested residents to his Letter. It is unusually well informed and, in my opinion, very directly on point. I grew up on Miramar Beach and Hammond’s. I was personal friends with members of the Gawzner family who previously owned the property and I spent much of my youth there. I do not want nor need to repeat Mr. Ghersen’s Commentary. He did a fine job of it. Along with the rest of the Montecito Community I was heavily lobbied to support the Caruso Miramar Project and I did. But after the “Grand Opening,” COVID hit and the attitude at the place changed. I and many other locals are no longer welcome there. They cater to the ultra-wealthy hotel guests from out of town and make us locals feel less than welcome. I was there on Opening Day. I have pictures with Mr. Caruso shaking my hand thanking me for my support, when they were still being friendly and welcoming. Well now it is Caruso’s business trying to maximize profit and that is what the “new” Project is all about. 

Having practiced Water & Land Use Law here for over 20 years, I know the game and Mr. Caruso is a master of it. I represented several local public agencies. I understand it is difficult for the County to resist a property owner who pays the kind of taxes, property, sales and TOT that the Miramar pays. I was a party to the charm offensive put on by the Caruso staff when they were getting the Resort approved. Our County is desperate for revenue. Caruso is a master salesman. Of course, there is an affordable housing project for the workers (sic) included in this new Project. In fact, this is a major commercial expansion of the existing hotel and Mr. Caruso has a long history of developing major retail malls in Southern California and here comes ours. Again rather than repeat Mr. Ghersen’s Commentary I just want to draw your attention to it. I can tell you from a lifetime of local experience it is very well informed and on point, and I support it completely. 

Russell Ruiz

Yes to Rosewood’s Plan

Pretty sure I know a good thing when I see it, and the Rosewood Miramar expansion proposal fits the bill. I’m hoping that my neighbors will join me in saying a hearty YES to this plan.

A quick review: the Rosewood is proposing to build 26 units of affordable housing for their employees, including those whose needs are the greatest, without any cost to taxpayers. That’s more affordable housing creation than Montecito has probably ever seen, and it’s exactly what we need to start to ease our paralyzing housing crisis and meet our government housing targets.

The plan also includes a smaller number of market-rate apartments (8), as well as new shops and green space. I personally know quite a few people who are looking forward to more boutique options on the property, and it doesn’t surprise me that some people would jump at the chance to live at that scenic seaside property. We won’t lose parking or beach access, and the whole thing will match the look and feel of the Miramar as it stands today.

This plan isn’t coming from some do it “half-ass” kind of developer. It’s Caruso, one of the most respected and admired real estate firms in the country. They’ve thought through every detail, and they’re known for delivering projects the right way. The sooner they can get this plan started, the better from my perspective! 

Thanks so much for listening! 

Todd Putman

The Great Legacy of Title IX: Sports for Girls

Please join me at the Santa Barbara Courthouse on Sunday, June 23, 12:00-1:30 pm for a celebration of the 52st anniversary of Title IX. Title IX, a great civil rights breakthrough for girls and women and a great breakthrough in the promotion of athletics for girls!! 

Competition, physical fitness, teamwork, learning to lose, sportsmanship: all the life skills which competitive sport teaches our children. Athletics is just as important as academics and the arts to a complete education, because it demands great physical and mental discipline and builds character in so many ways.

I was already in high school when Title IX was signed into law. Sadly, like most girls of my generation, I did not participate in competitive high school athletics. However, girls’ participation in high school sports has increased 10-fold since Title IX’s passage 52 years ago.

Happily, for our family, as part of that sea change both of our daughters were tennis athletes at Dos Pueblos High School. What great times we had! I can remember it all so vividly: the hard points they won, the tough games they played, the girls they competed against, the times they tried their very hardest. How I cherish these memories! What greater gift can you give your daughters than a high level of skill in a sport they can play for the rest of their lives? 

At the June 23 Title IX event, you will hear four amazing speakers tell the stories of some remarkable local Santa Barbara County female athletes. Come hear the stories of a current high school student who is lettering in five sports, a Dos Pueblos alum and 2020 water polo Olympian whose team won the Gold, and veteran SBUSD PE teacher and coach, Christy Lozano. Come and hear beloved local journalist John Zant, who covered local sports for decades for the Santa Barbara News Press. An incredible line-up to celebrate girls and women in sports.

Title IX truly changed everything for girls! We must be vigilant and continue to fight for the hard-won civil rights of girls and women. Mothers, bring your daughters to this positive and inspirational community event, which celebrates sports for our daughters – and granddaughters.

Alice Post

Stewards of the Hot Springs

An introduction to this newly formed volunteer group is needed as the Montecito Hot Springs has become the hot spot for many who want to enjoy the beauty of nature while hiking a well-established trail and a healing soak in the cluster of pools constructed using the natural materials at hand.

Our grassroots group has taken on the job of ensuring that diverse groups of people can access the pools in a safe and respectful way. We are dedicated locals who put our skills to use in doing a variety of tasks to help create a positive experience for all. In order to accomplish this, we create helpful signage which informs the public as to personal trash disposal, safety issues and also an historical overview of the region and its importance as a destination for hundreds of years. We are putting up some signage that was put in place by the Santa Barbara Land Trust regarding the local history of the area. This signage was destroyed during the Thomas Fire and ensuing mudslide. 

We also work closely with local environmental groups as well as law enforcement and the fire district. Some of our most recent accomplishments include alerting the Montecito Fire District as to a couple of incidents involving persons camping out overnight with open fire pits. The Fire District acted immediately to remove these persons with a harsh warning. Some of our members work tirelessly to clean up the trails as well as the parking areas both at the trailhead and along Mountain Drive and Riven Rock. Our sincere hope is that our working on this together will facilitate a collective ownership of this unique place and that it may be preserved as a place where we connect with nature, each other, and provide a learning experience for our children and generations to come.


The Stewards of the Hot Springs

Can you hear me now?

Montecito is one of the most exquisite and affluent communities in California, across the United States, and globally. We shoulder these privileges through exorbitant real estate prices, hefty taxes, and high costs of living.

Why, then, do we endure such abysmal mobile signal quality, riddled with frequent dropouts across our community? Why is this part of the daily Montecito experience?

This is a collective frustration. We all grapple with this exceedingly inadequate and feeble mobile signal that plagues all carriers within our cherished Montecito.

The ramifications are numerous, including the critical issue of potentially being unable to access essential contacts and services during emergencies.

I would bet money that I know how we got here. It went something like this:

Mobile Carrier Companies (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.): “Hello Montecito, we’ve identified eight sites in 93108 where we’d like to install towers to enhance your community’s mobile experience. Each tower is designed to blend into your surroundings seamlessly, and we can install them at no cost to your residents.”

Some group with “authority”: “Absolutely not. We require an environmental impact study, we’re worried about 5G, and we refuse to have our pristine views altered by you in any way. Goodbye.”

Mobile Carrier Companies: “OK, bye. We have plenty of locations that DO want better signal and aren’t as short-sighted as you. Let us know if you change your mind.”

The euphemisms NIMBY, “cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face,” and “self-sabotage” come to mind.

Thus, here we are, enduring a frustrating mobile signal experience – EVERY – SINGLE – DAY.

Let’s turn this around and make our community experience BETTER.

What are the drawbacks?

-5G Fears? Unfounded. Mobile signals are non-ionizing. More radiation impacts your body during ONE cross-country flight than a lifetime spent near a mobile tower.

-Tower unsightliness? C’mon. We have power lines and cable towers everywhere already. Is that really going to make your life worse with a few more?

-Construction inconvenience? Once more, really? Construction equals progress, and installing towers constitutes a mere fraction of the daily activities in 93108.

This problem is not going to fix itself – it requires action.

So, what do we do to get started? Let’s bring the mobile companies back in for a visit and help them help us. Let’s do this!  


Brett Morrison
Montecito Resident since 2018


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