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Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors

Paul Wellman (file)

Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors


Watching the Agendas: Week of September 27

County to Consider Ag Worker Carpool Program; Goleta’s Design Review Board will Talk Housing Development and Banners


Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors

The board of supervisors will be commending outgoing Public Defender Greg Paraskou for his 38 years of service, the last ten of which have been in Santa Barbara County. Paraskou is retiring October 1.

The board will also receive a report on an agricultural worker transportation program which has been in effect since 2007. For the last two-and-a-half years, Santa Barbara County has run the Agricultural Worker Transportation Program, utilizing vanpools to get workers to and from work. The idea was based off a successful Kings County program to make the road safer and cut back on poorly maintained vehicles, untrained drivers, and other public safety concerns.

The program, using state funding, has had levels of success, but county staff doesn’t believe it can financially sustain itself when the state funding expires in June 2011. Usage of the vans has grown in the time since the program’s implementation, but this growth has not been enough to cover operating costs.

Generally, a goal of eight passengers or more per van is what the county has shot for. In 2008, the average ridership was seven passengers per van. The following year, average ridership per van fell to five. This year, thus far, that number has remained level.

Staff will be looking at options during the next several months, one of which could be concluding the program.

Goleta’s Design Review Board

The place where most projects make their first stop in the City of Goleta is before the Design Review Board. At this week’s Tuesday meeting (in City Hall chambers, at 3 p.m.), the DRB takes a look at a significant housing development as well as plans for seasonal banners in Old Town.

The proposed development is known as Kenwood Village, and is located on 10 acres of land on the 7300 block of Calle Real between Baker Lane and Ellwood Station road, bordered by El Encanto Creek and Highway 101. It features 60 residential units (13 single family homes plus 20 duplexes and 27 triplexes), a new road for access, creek protections, a sound wall, and 145 parking spaces. The developer, Ken Alker, seeks to keep 40 percent of the land as common open space. The development is likely to attract the ire of at least a few neighbors in El Encanto Heights.

The signs, meanwhile, are unlikely to engender much debate. The City of Goleta is proposing to install 30 sign posts on existing power poles along Hollister Avenue, from Fairview to Kellogg, much like what is currently done on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara. From the posts will hang banners, promoting such events as the Lemon Festival and seasonal greetings like “Happy Holidays,” that are expected to change quarterly. The banners, as proposed, would be about two-and-a-half feet wide by seven feet tall.

Santa Barbara School District Board of Trustees

It is a quiet week at the school board with no major or potentially controversial courses of action planned for its Tuesday night meeting, at least not on the open session agenda. During closed session, the five-member board will be discussing three separate legal situations with district lawyers, all, according to the agenda, with the potential for litigation.

On the regular agenda, the board is poised to take action on the final site plans for the spending of Measure H and I funds at Santa Barbara and San Marcos High Schools, and approve an official resolution stating its opposition of Proposition 19 — the marijuana legalization initiative on this November’s ballot.

The board is also slated to hear a detailed report from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges about the organization’s performance reviews of San Marcos, Dos Pueblos, and Santa Barbara High Schools during last school year.

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