Developer Mark Lee has raised $150,000 to see that Measure Y passes in next Tuesday’s election, while opponents of the ballot measure — which would approve the construction of an entrance bridge over Arroyo Burro Creek into a 25-home development proposed between Elings Park and Hendry’s Beach — have raised $25,000. “You could say we’re the David here, but with a small ‘d’,” said Marc Chytillo, an attorney and spokesperson for the No on Y campaign.
Lee is promoting the development project because it includes 1,800 linear feet of creek restoration. Opponents counter that the bridge itself poses a severe environmental hazard for the animals trying to make their way up and down the creek. Among the big donors opposing the project are Patagonia, which gave $8,500, and the Bloomer deVere Aviation Group out of Burbank, which donated $3,000. Councilmembers Cathy Murillo and Bendy White gave smaller amounts, as did Mayor Helene Schneider.
Typically, development projects do not go to voters, but because the bridge abutment proposed for Veronica Meadows requires an easement over a small parcel of unimproved public parkland, voters must approve the project for it to go forward. Santa Barbara city attorney Steve Wiley said if voters reject Measure Y, the city council approvals given Mark Lee and the Veronica Meadows would be void and he’d have to start again.