After years of scaled back designs and a mammoth six-hour meeting earlier this month that ended with an approval for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s renovation plans, a couple who lives adjacent to the property remains concerned that the project will disrupt their lives. Mark and Lauren Carey, whose home on Las Encinas Lane is next to the museum’s parking lot, are appealing the decision due to concerns over a new public address system, the proposed placement of trash cans, and the management of construction times — all of which really come down to noise.
“This is a tranquil, rural neighborhood, and the ambient noise we experience here is birds chirping and listening to leaves clatter,” said Lauren Cray, whose family has owned her home for generations. “It’s a very peaceful environment.”
The Careys, who say they enjoy the full support of neighbors Jana Zimmer and Richard Solomon, said that the PA system was shut down 25 years ago and shouldn’t be turned back on; that a recent temporary move of the trash cans resulted in more constant noise at their house; and that the allowance for possible construction on the evenings and Saturdays is unacceptable.
“We are disappointed with the Careys’ appeal given all that we had volunteered to do to address their concerns,” said the museum’s spokesperson Easter Moorman, who looks forward to discussing the concerns before City Council in the next few weeks and said that the city has so far commended the museum for being responsive to neighbor concerns. “In that continued spirit, we will contact the Careys to see if there is any possibility that we might clarify any misunderstandings or further address their concerns, which we believe had already been resolved.”
The appeal hearing is scheduled for March 3.