Tag archives: homeowners

Wildfire Risks Heating Up Homeowners Insurance Market
By Sharon Byrne   |   July 26, 2022

Last week was a big week for Montecito and California in homeowners insurance. At our Board Meeting, we hosted the California Department of Insurance and agents from Brown & Brown and Bridgepoint, who are finding policies for Montecitans. A Little Background After the Thomas Fire of December 2017, and the deadly Debris Flow, an emergency […]

Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 12, 2022

Anyone who has ever watched a police drama on television in the last 50 years is familiar with the fact that everyone who has been accused of a crime has a right to free legal counsel if they can’t afford their own attorney. But that bright line ends when it turns to civil matters, even […]

Has the County Lost Its Mind?
By Sharon Byrne   |   July 5, 2022

We work a lot with the county, from sheriffs to Public Works to Flood Control to Zoning. Normally, the relationship is pretty good. The county is usually responsive, and our community benefits from working closely with our government.  But our county is doing something we don’t understand at all. Apparently, neither do the judges. You’ve […]

Hot Springs Issues Flare 
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 5, 2022

Last week, nearly a dozen homes on East Mountain Drive were given notice by the County of Santa Barbara to remove encroachments in the public right-of-way within a 10-day period, refueling an ongoing battle between homeowners, the County of Santa Barbara Public Works Department, and users of the Hot Springs Trail. On Tuesday, Santa Barbara […]

Who Can Fix California’s Homeowners Insurance Woes? Insurance Commissioner Race Heats Up
By Sharon Byrne   |   April 26, 2022

Things are getting hotter regarding California homeowners insurance, and threat of wildfire is just one factor. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara is up for reelection this year and at least one candidate is laying out a viable case to replace him.  Last week, former California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner (2007-2011) ran an op-ed in the Los […]

New Regulations to Reward Fire Risk Reduction
By Sharon Byrne   |   March 15, 2022

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announces new regulations to improve wildfire safety and drive down cost of insurance. Under the proposed regulations, which could be in effect by this summer, insurance companies would be required to factor consumers’ and businesses’ wildfire safety actions into their pricing of residential and commercial coverage. The new regulations also […]

Edgecliff Lane, Rosewood Miramar Looking at New Projects
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 30, 2021

Montecito Board of Architectural Review and Montecito Planning Commission have been busy hearing and making decisions about a multitude of residential – and a few commercial – projects in Montecito. MBAR is held via Zoom every three weeks, while MPC meets once a month, also via Zoom. At their hearing last week, the Montecito Planning […]

Montecito Association Meets
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 16, 2021

At this month’s Montecito Association Board of Directors meeting, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Lieutenant Butch Arnoldi reported that Pierre Lafond Market in the Upper Village was broken into earlier this week, in a similar fashion as a burglary that occurred in July. Both glass doors were broken, and suspects removed cash registers and quickly fled […]

Volatility in Homeowners Insurance Market Continues Amid Another Unprecedented Fire Season
By Sharon Byrne   |   August 5, 2021

Rate hikes, non-renewals, and cancellations of homeowners insurance have been hot topics for the past three years, and Montecito’s issues on this front trend with problems statewide.  Here’s a quick recap: 2019 March: Montecito homeowners get notices of non-renewal. They struggle to find replacement policies, with price shocks — up to 10 times what they […]

Roadmap for Rebuilding
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   March 22, 2021

As we approach the most significant storm in our area since the debris flow of January 9, the Board of Supervisors last week reviewed and approved a plan to help homeowners rebuild their properties. Public Works reps outlined two significant efforts that are currently underway by both Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA and the County, […]

New MPC Commissioner to be Appointed
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   February 25, 2021

The Santa Barbara County Executive Office is seeking to fill a vacancy on the Montecito Planning Commission, effective immediately. The vacancy is left from the departure of Charles Newman, who stepped down from the Commission at the end of his second term in December.  Newman was appointed to the Montecito Planning Commission in January 2017, […]

2020, What a Year It Has Been… So Far
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   December 24, 2020

As we begin to slow the ride on this incredible rollercoaster of a year, it is important to consider all that has changed in the past 11-plus months. The pandemic, the political and social climate of uncertainty, the business and day-to-day implications of these circumstances that make it feel like a lifetime of adjustment all […]

Homes805: Putting Your Home in Good Hands
By Zach Rosen   |   December 24, 2020

With over fifty percent of the homes in the area being rentals, and many of the owners living outside of the region, property management plays a vital role in maintaining the range of real estate found throughout Santa Barbara and Montecito. Many houses have just mom and pop homeowners who may not have the time […]

Struggling with Homeowner’s Insurance?
By Sharon Byrne   |   October 29, 2020

Revelations From the California Insurance Commissioner’s Marathon Virtual Hearing The good news from the pandemic: the state has learned how to do Zoom. We no longer have to trek to Sacramento to work with state officials; we can now do it from our living rooms. Direct democracy in action! We met Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara last […]

Droughts, Conflagration, Pandemic. What’s a Garden Lover to Do?
By Eileen Read   |   June 25, 2020

The answer this season in Montecito clearly is, “Don’t give up, dig in.” With winter’s rains nurturing a robust planting season, home gardeners, garden designers, and professionals have been eagerly cultivating throughout spring and into summer. Sheltering-in-place during COVID has only accelerated this trend. Drive around any corner, you’ll see raised beds or garden walls […]

Insurance Woes
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   March 14, 2019

Many residents in Montecito, Santa Barbara, and in both northern and southern Santa Barbara Counties are receiving non-renewals from their insurance companies, a topic that has been discussed at length in both in-person forums as well as online at NextDoor.com, a neighborhood social media site.  Joanne Gonzales, Vice President of local insurance agency Brown & […]

Rules for Insurers – Because Insurance isn’t So Sure
By Steven A. Blum   |   June 28, 2018

In the wake of the Montecito Mudslide, most property owners first turned to their insurance companies for funds, and most of the insurers have responded well. A few have not, and some others are still trying to figure out how to handle the claims. In some cases, insurance adjusters from other states have landed in […]

To Re-build or Not?
By Bob Hazard   |   May 24, 2018

Mark your calendars for June 11, 2018. That’s the expected date for the public release of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Recovery Maps for Montecito. The map release will mark a critical milepost in making the rebuilding decisions that will shape the future character of Montecito for the next 50 years.  FEMA Recovery […]

The Outlook for Property Values in Montecito
By Bob Hazard   |   March 1, 2018

For most residents of Montecito, a large portion of their investment portfolio and net worth is tied up in the value of their home. What will be the long- and short-term impact of the twin tragedies of the Thomas Fire – the largest in California history – and the destructive 1/9 debris flow on real […]

Who Says the King Can Do No Wrong? Finding More Ways to Recover Losses
By Steven A. Blum   |   February 22, 2018

When I returned to Glen Oaks after the evacuation, I was still stunned by the physical and emotional devastation as neighbors mourn the loss of friends, relatives, their homes, and nature itself. Even as we begin to pick up the pieces, the weather forecast promised rain which turned out to be sprinkles not a storm. […]