A new era began for everyone who enjoys Hendry’s Beach on Friday when county officials cut the ribbon at the sparkling new and environmentally sustainable restroom at the beach. The 800-square-foot facility — equipped with waterless urinals, low-flow toilets, and natural interior lighting — will replace the existing 661-square-foot men’s and women’s restrooms, which have served beachgoers for nearly 35 years.
Three years ago, project design began under local architect Jeffrey Stoutenborough, whose daughter had the honor of performing the first flush at the opening ceremony. In 2014, Ardalan Construction of Thousand Oaks began building, which employees at neighboring Boathouse Restaurant said went relatively quickly. The restroom, which cost $625,000 to complete, was funded by Development Impact Fees and a grant from the county’s Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund (CREF) — annual funds set aside to reduce the impacts of offshore oil and gas on Santa Barbara’s ocean and to preserve its coastal aesthetics.
In addition to its pleasing interior, the restroom’s exterior area has been re-designed. Native plants, LED photocell light fixtures that turn on at night, a water bottle refill station, a pet washing and foot washing station, new bike racks, and a “fixit” station equipped with tools for bike maintenance are also new additions to Hendry’s.
In attendance at Friday’s event was Supervisor Janet Wolf, who, after saying she never thought she’d be so excited to be at the grand opening of a bathroom, praised the city and county for working together over the past three years to materialize the project. “I’m really proud of my colleagues,” she said. Jill Van Wie, Capital Projects Manager for the County Parks Division, urged those at the ribbon cutting ceremony to drink lots of the coffee provided and then to use the restroom.
For now, the old restroom will remain between the Boathouse Restaurant and the new facility and will most likely be used as storage.