Author spotlight: Kelly Mahan Herrick

Kelly has been editor at large for the Journal since 2007, reporting on news in Montecito and beyond. She is also a licensed realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, and is a member of Montecito and Santa Barbara’s top real estate team, Calcagno & Hamilton.

Cold Spring School Bond Measure Moves Forward
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 10, 2020

Earlier this summer, the Cold Spring School Board of Trustees approved a school bond measure on the upcoming November ballot, the first of its kind in 12 years. Measure L2020 is a $7.8M bond that will be used to fund much-needed infrastructure improvements and to fund a new classroom building to replace the dilapidated portables […]

Casa del Herrero to Reopen Next Week
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 3, 2020

Montecito’s Casa del Herrero will reopen to the general public next Wednesday, September 9. Closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Casa is ready to safely welcome tour guests back to the estate. While indoor spaces remain closed, guests will now engage in a reimagined self-guided garden tour. “The Casa’s original owner, George […]

UCLA Opens Medical Offices on Coast Village Road
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 3, 2020

In a project that has been nearly a year in the making, UCLA Health has made accessing its world-class health care easier and more convenient for Santa Barbara-area residents by opening a new practice in Montecito on Coast Village Road.  UCLA Health Montecito medical services include routine exams, physicals, preoperative consults, same-day sick appointments, immunizations, […]

BOS & Land Use Committee Discuss Short-Term Rentals
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 3, 2020

On Tuesday, September 1, the Board of Supervisors considered revisions to an ordinance pertaining to short-term vacation rentals (STRs) in unincorporated Santa Barbara County. The last ordinance drafted was in 2017/2018, but was quickly denied by the Coastal Commission, which cited the failure of the ordinance to protect existing overnight accommodations in the Coastal Zone. […]

Hoping to be Back in Class
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 3, 2020

As local students settle into virtual or distance learning, school administrators and teachers are working hard to reopen campuses, working within the guidelines set forth by the State of California and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. Last Friday, August 28, both Cold Spring School and Montecito Union School superintendents submitted applications for a […]

Stonehouse Honored for Outdoor Dining
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 27, 2020

Last week, the Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch was honored in an article by the Michelin Guide, marking it as one of 11 “Must-See” outdoor dining venues in the United States. With restaurants across the country forced to make the most of outdoor dining venues given the ongoing pandemic, the article makes note of nearly […]

Montecito Country Mart Welcomes New Stores
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 27, 2020

Two new shops have popped up at Montecito Country Mart, just in time for the last few weekends of the summer shopping season. Studio C is a brand-new concept from C Magazine founder and editor Jennifer Hale, who, along with her team, have curated an array of California-made items including ready-to-wear clothing, bathing suits, beauty […]

Olive Mill Roundabout Update
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 27, 2020

At an over nine-hour joint hearing on Thursday, August 20, the Santa Barbara City Planning Commission and the Montecito Planning Commission went over the proposed roundabout project at Coast Village Road and Olive Mill Road with a fine-tooth comb, digging into design details, functionality, aesthetics, and conditions of approval of the project, which is in […]

Ginger Salazar Joins Cottage Health Board of Directors
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 20, 2020

Montecito’s Ginger Salazar has joined the volunteer Board of Directors of Cottage Health. Salazar, born and raised in Lompoc, has spent the last decade working to improve health and opportunities for Santa Barbara County residents. She leads branding at Kate Farms.  Her professional career began in brand management and marketing for Procter & Gamble. She […]

Casa Dorinda Scholarship Fund
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 20, 2020

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Casa Dorinda residents and staff missed out this year on celebrating the recipients of the Casa Dorinda Scholarship in person, an annual tradition dating back to 1998 when a group of Casa residents began a fund to help staff members and their families achieve their educational goals. But the pandemic […]

Kate Farms Partners with Foodbank
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 20, 2020

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara partnered with local company Kate Farms last week to support those most impacted amid the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic through accessible nutrition. On Tuesday, August 11, 15 volunteers came together to package 8,000 meals to be delivered to the Santa Barbara community.  Santa Barbara-based Kate Farms was founded by […]

Debris Basin Progress
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 20, 2020

At their hearing on Tuesday, August 18, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors approved the Environmental Impact Report for the proposed debris basin on Randall Road. A draft of the report was released in early May. The project, which is still in its design phase, includes building a new off-channel debris basin on San […]

In-Person Instruction Updates
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 20, 2020

This week, school started for our two public elementary schools, via distance or virtual learning due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, public health officer Dr. Henning Ansorg told the Board of Supervisors that the county’s number of COVID-19 cases is below certain thresholds, and the County is now drafting guidance and forms for […]

Biltmore Employees Protest
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 13, 2020

Last Thursday, August 6, over 250 employees from the Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore took to the streets of Montecito to protest unanswered questions about their employment status at the resort, as the Biltmore, Coral Casino, and The Montecito Club have been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’ve given nearly fifteen years […]

Laguna Blanca Student Raises Funds for Foodbank
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 13, 2020

Sydney Hlavaty, class of 2020, was honored with Laguna Blanca’s 2020 Senior Project Award at Laguna Blanca’s 86th Commencement Ceremony, which was held virtually on July 31. Sydney’s heartfelt project was especially personal, as she chose to honor her classmates through her artistic talent. She tirelessly devoted sixty-one hours over the course of three weeks and […]

Montecito Association Meets
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 13, 2020

At this month’s Montecito Association board meeting, Montecito Union School and Cold Spring School superintendents reported that school will begin next week, on a virtual platform. Dr. Anthony Ranii from MUS reported that enrollment is up to 376 students, and the school is in process of distributing computers to each student. Administrators are also preparing […]

Sorrell Design Closes after 40 Years
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 13, 2020

Jon and Mary Lou Sorrell said goodbye to their Coast Village Road office, as well as their design business, last month, after over four decades of designing hundreds of homes and gardens in Montecito and beyond. With 27 years at their design firm on Coast Village Road, the Sorrells employed a number of different talented […]

Candidates Throw Their Hats in the Ring
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 13, 2020

Last week was the candidate filing period deadline for many local elections, including the Montecito Fire Protection District and Montecito Water District boards of directors. This week marks the deadline period for both public schools in Montecito (Cold Spring School and Montecito Union), as well as for the Montecito Sanitary District board. At Montecito Fire […]

Suzani Feature Event at Kathryne Designs
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 6, 2020

Kathryne Designs on Coast Village Road currently has a limited time offering of Suzani tapestries and textiles, featuring a collection from Uzbekistan. Suzanis are one-of-a-kind hand embroideries using silk threads on cotton, silk, or linen foundations. The designs are inspired by ancient Ottoman, East Indian and some classic Chinese motifs. They reflect the beauty in […]

Lucky’s to Open at Malibu Country Mart
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 6, 2020

Lucky’s owner Gene Montesano announced this week that his iconic Montecito steakhouse will boast a second location at the Malibu Country Mart this fall. “From Santa Barbara to Malibu, we are thrilled to be expanding down California’s beautiful coast and opening up in such an iconic destination,” said Montesano in a statement. “The Malibu Country […]

Salons & Barber Shops Pivot
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 6, 2020

Two popular salons on Coast Village Road are yet again doing the “pandemic pivot,” and are now offering their services outside, in alignment with guidelines from the State of California that went into effect in late July. Salon owner Xavier Scordo, who took ownership of the salon known as Belle de Jour in Olive Mill […]

Roundup Update
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 6, 2020

In July, we received and published the following letter, from a concerned Montecito hiker: Recently, I believe Tuesday June 18th, my friends are I took a hike up San Ysidro Trail. About a half a mile up the trail, we saw workers in the middle of the creekbed spraying. The spraying wasn’t being done directly […]

New Street Signs in Montecito
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 30, 2020

Montecito Community Foundation replaced two more street signs last week, on East Valley Road at San Ysidro and Picacho Lane. Over 200 signs are maintained by the Montecito Community Foundation, which is supported wholly from the community’s generous monetary gifts. “What sets Montecito apart from so many other communities are the little details that are […]

Montecito Sanitary District Latest
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 30, 2020

The project being proposed at the Montecito Sanitary District campus was also at MBAR last week, for further conceptual review of a new Essential Services Building and associated improvements. Architect Brian Cearnal outlined the project, which includes a new 5,000-sq-ft Essential Services building with a new 17-space parking lot, lighting and landscaping, multiple solar canopies, […]

Coral Casino Plans at MBAR
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 30, 2020

Last Thursday, July 23, representatives from the Coral Casino were in front of the Montecito Board of Architectural Review presenting alterations to the private club, which has been closed for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic. While rumors continue to swirl over owner Ty Warner’s ultimate plans for the Coral Casino (as well as the […]

The Webster Opens at Rosewood Miramar
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 23, 2020

Last week, the Rosewood Miramar Beach welcomed a new retailer to its grounds: The Webster, a luxury multi-brand retailer opened its first permanent boutique within a hotel property. The store was designed by the creative director of The Webster Home, Stéphane Parmentier. The 500-sq-ft storefront has elements of both “femininity and brutalist design,” with clothing […]

Montecito Firefighters Donate AEDs
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 23, 2020

The Montecito Firefighters Charitable Foundation (MFCF) has donated two Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machines and response kits to Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. AED machines are portable, life-saving devices designed to treat people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. According to the FDA, the combination of CPR and early defibrillation is effective in saving lives when used in […]

1/9 Debris Flow Rebuilding Updates
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 23, 2020

Construction concluded last week on a long-awaited repair following the 1/9 debris flow: a temporary bridge at the Cold Spring Trailhead that connects East Mountain Drive. Construction began in June to replace the bridge, and was paid for by settlement funds from Southern California Edison. The bridge will remain in place for approximately three years […]

Mesa Burger Opens on Coast Village Road
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 23, 2020

Popular Santa Barbara eatery Mesa Burger has made its long-awaited debut on Coast Village Road, officially opening for business on Tuesday, July 21. “It’s been a long time coming,” said owner Chris Chiarappa when we stopped by the restaurant a few weeks before the opening, as Chiarappa was busy building a parklet to accommodate social […]

In Business: Harbor Hills
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 16, 2020

Conner Rehage, President and CEO of Harbor Hills Financial Advisors, has recently opened a branch of his company in Montecito’s upper village; the office is the second location for the locally-grown business. “I’ve always wanted to be here in Montecito, as I’ve been involved in the community for many years,” Rehage said during a recent […]

New Skincare Shop Opens on Coast Village Road
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 16, 2020

A new skincare boutique has opened on Coast Village Road, featuring a skin analysis system that is new to the industry. Seda Custom Skincare, located at 1125 Coast Village Road, develops personalized skincare products for women, men, and children. Customers learn which personalized skin care products are best suited to their individual profile through an […]

Montecito Association Discusses Homelessness
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 16, 2020

At their monthly board meeting on Tuesday, July 14, the Montecito Association Board of Directors voted to approve a pilot program to help homeless people in the Montecito area get the help and resources they need. The program includes partnering with outreach coordinators from City Net, an organization comprised of a team of nonprofit professionals […]

Board of Supervisors Denies Helipad Appeal
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 9, 2020

At a hearing on Tuesday, July 7, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors denied Summerland resident Pat Nesbitt’s appeal to obtain a Conditional Use Permit for a private helicopter pad on his 20-acre property located on Via Real. The appeal was denied with a 3-2 vote. Over a dozen nearby residents and neighbors spoke […]

Parklets on Coast Village Road
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 9, 2020

In response to the staggering loss of local business related to the coronavirus pandemic, the City of Santa Barbara, in late May, authorized the use of “parklets” as an innovative way for restaurant owners to add physically distanced gathering spaces to public streets. The parklets are intended to be located in the parking lane adjacent […]

Kindergarten Instructor Honored
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 2, 2020

“Creative. Passionate. Dedicated.” These are the words most frequently used to describe Laguna Blanca’s Kindergarten Instructor and 2020 Faculty Excellence Award winner, Mieke Delwiche. Since 2009, Delwiche has ushered in scores of youngsters to Laguna while opening their hearts and minds to a love of learning. Always holding herself to the highest expectations, Delwiche has […]

Biltmore’s Future Uncertain
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 2, 2020

Rumors have been swirling about the extended closure of Montecito’s Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore, which has been closed since March due to the pandemic. Hotels in the county were cleared to reopen on Friday, June 12, but the Biltmore’s doors have remained closed, leaving staff members and nearby locals wondering what the future holds […]

COVID-19 in Montecito
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 2, 2020

Last week two popular restaurants on Coast Village Road closed their doors temporarily out of an abundance of caution, as a staff member at one of the restaurants tested positive for COVID-19. Lucky’s and Tre Lune, both owned by Gene Montesano, closed on Thursday, June 25; they are both expected to be reopened by the […]

Helipad Appeal at Board of Supervisors
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 2, 2020

Next week, on July 7, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will hear from Summerland resident Pat Nesbitt, who is appealing a November 7 decision by the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission to deny a permit for a private helicopter pad on his nearly 20-acre property known as Carpinteria Valley Farms. Nesbitt, who admitted […]

Montecito Village Fourth Roadshow
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 2, 2020

Montecito Association’s Village Fourth committee is taking their patriotic show on the road! This Saturday, July 4, over 30 vintage vehicles, firetrucks, and police cars will go on a “socially-distanced” parade throughout Montecito, in an effort to bring patriotic cheer during a pandemic. “It’s going to be really fun, and a parade to remember!” said […]

Real Estate Snapshot
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   June 25, 2020

Montecito Market Update Real estate transactions in Montecito have been steadily increasing over the last two months, reflecting an influx of out-of-town buyers flocking to purchase in the 93108 zip code since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown began mid-March. The last few weeks have been incredibly active, with 28 homes going into escrow in Montecito since […]