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Posted on February 22 at 12:59 a.m.
That's an Idiotic framing of the question. You should be ashamed of yourselves. "Charming" has nothing to do with it.
The question is whether it makes more sense to retain a left-lane exit for local beach traffic if the alternative costs much more and takes twice as long to execute.
On Do you like Montecito's left-hand freeway exits?
Posted on November 23 at 11:18 a.m.
Not sure what JohnLocke thinks "Montecito" means in this case but it's funny he characterizes giving Mr Caruso $20 million in rebated bed tax as "inhospitable."
On Would the Miramar Ever Make Money?
Posted on February 1 at 5:18 a.m.
DJP, a couple of comments.... The first sentence In the last paragraph is incoherent; JC Chandor's name is misspelled; and the success of his film may indeed change independent film exhibition (not exposition).
And on that last and most important point, Metropolitan Theaters is trying to make sure that the only viable distribution model for a thriving independent film sector -- simultaneous theatrical and VOD/iTunes/digital-whatever release -- will fail.
Since Metropolitan has a monopoly on Santa Barbara screens, this literate engaged movie-going audience will not see the most interesting movies to come in 2012 and beyond unless Metropolitan changes its retrograde tune.
On SBIFF 2012 Writer’s Panel
Posted on February 1 at 5 a.m.
Seems like a violation of the privacy of the original suspects to continue to publish their photographs after the police have cleared them, especially since the reader doesn't learn they've been cleared until the addendum.
How would you like that treatment?
Suggest you take the half-hour to rewrite the story and remove the pictures.
On SBPD's New Electronic Alert System Already Paying Off
Posted on December 21 at 6:58 a.m.
This can't be premised on Mountain Funding actually developing the property. Mountain Funding doesn't build anything. Look at their website. They lend money on distressed properties. They profit from others' failures. These are good times for companies like that.
Mountain Funding didn't some to Santa Barbara to build; Bill Levy was in trouble and they smelled opportunity. Now they're stuck. Let's hope there were hundreds of violations, so the $250/day per becomes meaningful to a well capitalized company.
Better views, lower buildings, whatever they promise -- it's only to flip the property to someone else who will come in with an entirely new set of gimmes in order to build.
Eminent domain sounds better and better.
On All Leash and No Dog
Posted on August 14 at 12:25 a.m.
Why would Russians who became zillionaires after the Soviet collapse come to America if it's going Communist?
You're joking, right? I can't tell anymore. The whole "death panel" thing has me really rattled. It's like Jon Stewart's on air 24/7. But I'm not laughing.
On Banker Eyes Val Verde
Posted on July 21 at 6:48 a.m.
Nicely written piece, Mr. Welsh. Your insight and usually controlled anger is the reason I come back to read the Independent even when I'm not living in Santa Barbara. You tell me about the town I love and sometimes, as now, you tell me more.
Posted on August 15 at 2:25 p.m.
Mr. Caruso isn't going anywhere. He's extraordinarily smart and he's played his supporters like a violin. Between blandishments and threats, he's gotten a good portion of Montecito scared he's going to throw away whatever massive sum he spent on the property and turn tail.
Not. Going. To. Happen.
I can only scarcely imagine the pressure behind the scenes on the MPC commissioners. I hope they can maintain their independence and do their job in this lynch mob atmosphere.
Where is the water going to come from, now that we're in a drought, and, if Montecito Water can ever get it, how much will the Miramar's water cost everyone else?
Where is the sewage going to go to (when the Miramar waste flows push the Montecito Sanitation District within a couple of percentage points of having to build new facilities)?
What is the real impact of importing 10,000 cubic yards (that's a thousand dump truck loads) of fill into a floodplain?
Why is Caruso allowed to build in the setbacks AT ALL? Schrager was because Schrager was rehabbing existing buildings. But Caruso's scraping the lot.
And on. And on. There are a lot of questions here, and few good answers. That these questions haven't been fully addressed in the past is a real shame. If they had been, we'd be a lot closer to a Miramar that we ALL can be proud of.
The MPC should keep digging for answers. If they deny without getting them, Caruso will take this to the Supes and this enormous under-parked, over-built monster will get a quick yes.
You just watch.
On Caruso's Miramar: What Now?
Posted on August 7 at 7:40 a.m.
It is truly upsetting that Mr Caruso is not going to be able to re-develop the Miramar. For the neighbors, and I'm one, it's a rat-infested mess, and for the County, a much-needed source of tax revenue is in abeyance.
The responsibility for that, however, lies entirely with Mr. Caruso. His plan was egregiously large, wildly out of scale with the Montecito Community Plan, and riddled with errors of omission and commission in order to squeeze a huge development into a relatively small lot.
The dreams of private equity are not a public problem. If a centi-mililonaire overpays overpays a billionaire for the Miramar, that's his responsibility. If the only way to make it pencil out is to devastate the Montecito Community Plan, that's not a solution worth having.
Mr. Caruso knew that there was a fierce resistance to over-development here. He bought approved plans. That he chose to discard them so he could scrape tthe lot clean was his choice.
The Montecito Planning Commission did their job, despite a lot of public pressure to rubber-stamp the fast-tracked plans. They deserve our thanks.
On The End of Caruso's Miramar?
Posted on July 26 at 9:11 a.m.
Ah, the ever disingenuous Mr. Meltzer is looking for square footage comparisons between Schrager and Caruso...
Try any number of documents available from the County... but these come from Appendix A of the SEIR:
item................................ Schrager.....Caruso(and note that one of the concerns of the MPC commissioners was that the Caruso square footage calculations seemed to leave a lot of actual square footage not including due to definitional parsing that was deemed extraordinary)
(It's not easy to format a table in a comment, but I've tried to make this readable.)
Total Net Floor area..........137,711 ...170,150main bldg ..............................6,076......37,759retail ....................................... 896 .......3,902(yes that's almost FOUR THOUSAND square feet of retail)
Height modifications from allowed heights under the current zoning:
Schrager: noneCaruso: Main Buiklding, Ballroom, Beach and Tennis Club. The Main Building is almost FIFTY FEET tall.
And then there's the thought that Caruso will essentially FLATTEN the fifteen acres, scrape it like a big-box store lot:
grading: cut (cu. yards).......10,000......36,300grading: fill.............................6,000......46,100
(By the way, the project engineer estimates that the net import of 10,000 cubic yards of fill will require ONE THOUSAND DUMP TRUCKS coming up the San Ysidro exit off the 101 along South Jameson and into the site)
Anyone can check these numbers. They're in the County's plan, the one that says there's not much difference between Caruso and Schrager, not enough to warrant a real environmental review instead of the once-over-lightly of the SEIR.
On Miramar's Extra Architectural Review Nixed
The first festival of its kind in North America features ... Read More
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