New ADU Revisions
By Kelly Herrick   |   January 21, 2021

Santa Barbara County Long Range Planning Staff is once again hard at work updating local ordinances pertaining to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) that comply with state laws. We’ve been reporting on ADU laws since 2017, when Assembly Bill 2299 and Senate Bill 1069 reduced barriers, streamlined the approval process, and expanded the capacity to accommodate […]

Meet the Head Honcho for 101 Freeway Widening Project
By Nick Schou   |   December 31, 2020

Assuming that Montecito makes it through the next few years without any major wildfires, floods, mudslides, earthquakes, or tsunamis (okay, so that last potential natural disaster seems about as likely as a meteor strike), then the biggest story that will affect everyone in town for the foreseeable future is the 101 Freeway widening project. With […]

 

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Rebuilding & Recovery Update
By Kelly Herrick   |   December 31, 2020

Also at MPC last week, County planner Joe Dargel gave an update on the rebuilding following the Thomas Fire and 1/9 debris flow, nearly two years after the debris flow damaged or destroyed 631 structures in Montecito, and took the lives of 23 members of our community.  When the County first took stock of the […]

New Storm Map to be Released
By Kelly Herrick   |   December 24, 2020

This Thursday, December 17, the Montecito Fire Department, in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Carpinteria Summerland Fire Protection District, and First District Supervisor Das Williams will host a virtual community meeting to provide winter preparedness information and to publicly release the updated Interactive Storm Impact Consideration Risk Map. […]

Santa Barbara’s Bucket Brigade Unveils New Trail Project in Montecito
By Nick Schou   |   December 10, 2020

If you’ve ever trekked up the walking path on the west side of San Ysidro Road between the 101 Freeway and East Valley Road, or along the north side of North Jameson Lane between San Ysidro and Olive Mill Road, then you are already familiar with Montecito’s recently established community trail network. While sidewalks were […]

Montecito Planning Commission Approves Plan to Keep Debris Nets Up For Next Three Years
By Nick Schou   |   December 3, 2020

In a unanimous vote last week, the Montecito Planning Commission extended the permits for several Swiss-built flexible steel debris nets that were installed above town after the tragic mudslides that occurred in the wake of the Thomas Fire nearly three years ago. Thanks to a multi-million-dollar fundraising effort by The Partnership for Resilient Communities (TPRC), […]

Going With the Flow
By Leslie Westbrook   |   December 3, 2020

Have you noticed how the Highway 101 traffic flow has changed with the construction work now in full swing? Heading north from the Padaro Lane onramp through Summerland, most of the traffic was traveling in the right lane – due to the white cement barriers, which do make the fast lane scarily hairy! There are […]

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Warning: Follow the Rules, Please!
By Leslie Westbrook   |   December 3, 2020

Even movie stars and the rich and famous need to play by the rules, so it should seem simple for the rest of us mere mortals. At a Summerland Architectural Board of Review meeting a few years back, the board approved a 26,000-square-foot house (by virtue of a variance on the 25-acre beachfront property) for […]

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 […]

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Congressmen Carbajal Secures FEMA Funding for Randall Road Debris Basin
By Nick Schou   |   October 28, 2020

Congressman Salud Carbajal’s office announced today that it had secured a $13.5 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on behalf of the Santa Barbara County Flood Control District that will allow the county to purchase several properties along Randall Road in Montecito and begin construction on a new debris basin near San […]

Montecito Trails Foundation Goes Ass First into Second Phase of San Ysidro Trail’s Restoration
By Nick Schou   |   October 22, 2020

After an almost monthlong closure aimed at preventing new fires in what is already one of the busiest fire seasons in California history, the National Forest Service reopened the Los Padres National Forest on October 9. At just after 9 am that morning, 13 mules and a horse led by a trio of wranglers hired […]

Controversy Erupts Over Cold Spring School District’s Measure L
By Nick Schou   |   October 22, 2020

There’s a long history in Montecito of well-intentioned yet pricey local school bond measures that have failed to win at the ballot box. In 2012, Montecito Union School unsuccessfully sought to raise $27 million for various campus improvements, an effort that collapsed under the weight of criticism by property tax paying opponents who viewed it […]

Taking Our Utility Lines Underground
By Sharon Byrne   |   October 21, 2020

At the Montecito Association Land Use Committee, we decided to tackle undergrounding as a team. The Office of Assembly Member Monique Limón, representatives from the office of First District Supervisor Das Williams, Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett, and Hidden Hills Councilmember Laura McCorkindale joined us. We have several brave neighbors attempting to underground their utilities […]

Joining Hands Across Montecito
By Eileen Read   |   October 21, 2020

In the middle of another heat wave, it’s 95 degrees near the beach in Montecito and everybody has moved indoors. Everybody except our small group trailing behind Luis Alvarado, a determined homeless outreach specialist with the Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness Department who has come to Montecito to make contact with as many homeless people […]

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