City 1-15

Rebecca Bjork, City of Santa Barbara water resources manager, expressed confidence in the city’s supplies despite climate change, measures taken to protect the endangered Delta smelt, and the fact that 2007 fires diminished Gibraltar Reservoir’s capacity by about 20 percent. Bjork credited the city’s water conservation program and cited groundwater-banking strategies under consideration.


Around 40 Santa Barbara residents gathered at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens on 1/10 to sign a petition asking President-elect Barack Obama to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act that, among other things, prevents the federal government from recognizing state-sanctioned same-sex marriages. The signature drive was spearheaded by nationwide group Join the Impact, formed after California’s passage of the same-sex marriage-banning Proposition 8. (/gay115)


The City Council agreed unanimously to modify Mission Creek’s concrete channel so that endangered Southern California steelhead trout can swim up it as far as the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. The design features a narrower, deeper bed cut into the existing concrete with a series of rest stops to the sides. Funding is expected primarily from private and federal grants, while the city would spend less than $15,000 annually to maintain the passage.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced on 1/13 in front of El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park that it has named the City of Santa Barbara one of its 2009 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Every year the award is given to communities that provide visitors with a unique cultural, historical, and recreational experience. Santa Barbara’s signature Spanish-Mission architectural style helped it land the award. (/historic115)


To accommodate a couple of mixed-use development proposals that could not otherwise move forward, the City Council agreed to designate some properties near Milpas Street for commercial use that the general plan currently designates residential only. The decision affects seven lots on Ortega, De la Guerra, and Canon Perdido streets that now have older houses or apartments on them.

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