Santa Barbara Urban Creeks Council is pleased to see measure Y on the June 5th ballot, for voters to decide. The choice is between sound watershed planning and doing damage to Arroyo Burro Creek. The choice is between responsible use of city park land and giving away park land to a developer for his profit. We, along with Citizens Planning Association, asked the courts to vacate the Veronica Meadows approvals in order that a public election could be held to decide on giving away parkland, as our city charter requires. The courts agreed with us. That is why measure Y is on your ballot, if you are a city voter. The bridge that would be placed on parkland to access the open space where a developer wants to build 23 luxury homes damages the creek and the environment. Extensive creek work that will include flood control measures to protect the luxury homes will further degrade the site. The Environmental Impact Report identifies the bridge as a permanent, unmitigable Class One Impact to the creek. That means that it harms the habitat and the wildlife that lives there. Measure Y does not support recovery of creek resources, and is not creek restoration.
True restoration was done nearby the site on a small tributary to the creek several years ago, when the City Creeks Division removed harmful infrastructure by daylighting a buried section of Mesa Creek. Measure Y and the Veronica Meadows Development would add damaging infrastructure. A harmful bridge, a flood control channel and 25 homes do not improve conditions in the creek.
Other impacts that the project brings to the area include more traffic tie-ups and the potential for placing trail users at risk by creating an unneeded coastal access crossing below a high speed bend in Las Positas Rd. Residents of Las Positas Valley deserve better planning for their neighborhoods. A comprehensive plan for the valley is sorely needed, for trails, for traffic and for watershed recovery. A no vote on Measure Y will let developers and city planners know that you expect and will insist on better planning.