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Posted on September 4 at 11:56 a.m.
Wait a minute. You mean to tell me an owner of a pricey car would turn over it and all indicia of ownership to some car lot without retaining some kind of security for payment before title can pass?
On Montecito Motors Meltdown
Posted on July 30 at 11:35 a.m.
Greedy banks? What about the face of greed itself - Osgood's. For generations whoever owned that land forewent developing it, in spite of their rights of property. Property rights can reside in such hands, but lately those hands are of types like Osgood, who only see beauty as a developable asset and max return on investment.
On New Owners for Naples?
Posted on December 19 at 4:31 p.m.
Brandy? Yachting crowd!
On Springtime Boat Stabber Nabbed
Posted on August 20 at 4:13 p.m.
Why can't the opponents of Measure B skip all the silly rhetoric?If Measure B passes there will be a city-wide height limit of 45 feet, and a maximum of 4 stories. If it fails, we will be left with the (existing) limit of 60 feet and 4 stories.
The only difference will be a mere 15 feet, within the same 4 stories.
Now, who but a pro-development ideologue - or someone who hasn't been paying attention to the details - can seriously argue that the change can make one speck of difference as far as housing availability or affordability? It can't.
So why can't we drop all the "sky will fall" diversionary rhetoric, and decide the matter on the basis of esthetics and preferences for appearance of the city's skyline - which is all the Measure B proponents intended?
Baloney on "no ballot box planning". We can credit the very attributes of this city that we love to numerous "draconian" ballot-box measures!
Baloney on "the limit will cause sprawl, increased carbon footprint, preclude affordable housing". The difference in heights that Measure B would impose is a mere 15 feet - that make a huge difference in esthetics but minimal difference in what goes into the building's interior (it would, in fact, encourage the smaller housing units, that everybody seems to be clamoring for.)
How is that 15 foot difference going to cause the environmental sky to fall? There are plenty of "low profile" very sustainable cities!
And baloney on the claim that the Measure would preclude replication of architectural gems. That's beyond baloney: those red lines the opponents draw mostly affect architectural features - towers, decorative elements - that Measure A would not restrict. A good architect can create as many new "gems" within the new limit as before.
It is really all about esthetics; the rest is all Red Herring distraction. And esthetics is what the Santa Barbara we know and love is - and historically has been - all about.
On B Is for Bad
Posted on August 16 at 2:39 p.m.
That "mere 15 feet" that the height limit initiative (Measure B) would lop from the current limit would make a huge difference as far as skyline esthetics, but have minimal impact on what would could be fitted into the building. As far as housing units, the shorter four story buildings would encourage smaller units - which seem to accord with the prevailing thinking as to the kind of housing units we currently need.
Of course, whether making the units smaller would necessarily make them affordable to the local workforce is another questions. In other highly desirable areas, smaller nicely designed and located units (and would we build any other kind?) can be quite pricey, and I'm not sold on the assumption that the situation would be different here.
Posted on August 14 at 10:19 a.m.
Come on opponents of Measure B, please drop the sky-is-falling rhetoric over how it will stifle affordable housing. That argument is a ruse, because the height limitation will have no effect on affordable housing - for a simple reason:
If Measure B passes there will be a city-wide height limit of 45 feet, and a maximum of 4 stories. If it fails, we will be left with the (existing) limit of 60 feet and 4 stories.
Now, who - can seriously argue that such a change can make one speck of difference as far as housing availability or affordability? It can't.
So why not simply decide the matter on the basis of esthetics (which is what made Santa Barbara what it is) and preferences for appearance of the city's skyline. That is all the Measure B proponents intended.
Posted on August 3 at 2:05 p.m.
You guys gotta been kidding; how long you been around?
That "ugly government building" that now houses the bankruptcy court was, for eons, the posh I. Magnins deprtment store.
On B is for Building Height
Posted on August 1 at 11:17 a.m.
They say it is misleading to use the word "high-rise" in advocating for Measure B because it is misleading. Yet they advocate like mad for "smart growth" city development that builds "UP instead of out".
How the hell are they going to build "up", enough so that it satisfies their dreams of affordable housing, sprawl prevention, and aviodance of cars, without building high-rises?
The campaign for Measure B is not only about the specific limits it would impose, but derailing the efforts to turn Santa Barbara eventually into a dense "vertical" city.
Posted on July 29 at 2:23 p.m.
Does Steve really believe that housing overcrowding and illegal garage conversions - in one of the most desirable and attractive communities, one with a substantial immigrant population - is caused by development restriction? And that it can be lessened by relaxing those restrictions? I'm willing to bet Miami or even Monte Carlo has even worse crowding and substandard garage conversions.
On "Can't Get There From Here"
Posted on July 28 at 2:53 p.m.
The notion that the rift between the (young) "smart growthers" and the (old) "slow growthers" is fundamentally generational is nonsense. Most of us old timers fully embrace the idealistic principles of the youthful activists, such as anti-sprawl, sustainability, and social justice.
The real difference is between ideology and pragmatism, most of older residents falling into the latter camp by dint of experience and observation: our dreaming is tempered by a dose of empirical skepticism. For example:
In order for the MODA to work (rather than just resulting in more population, more congestion, and more workers looking for housing) requires an almost perfect storm of felicitous circumstances: its residence must work within it or nearby (and continue to do so), they must be willing to satisfy a substantial amount of their shopping and leisure time needs there, and be willing to drive much less and opt to walk or take alternate transit. Good luck!
The MODA also depends heavily on the concept of "affordable by design": that smaller dwelling units will, ipso facto, become affordable to local workers. Who says that the return of economic "normalcy" will not bring many who are willing and able to bid up the price of a pied a tierre in one of the most desirable locales on the planet? That seems to be the case in all the other such highly desirable spots with which I'm familiar.
Sure we want our workers to live amongst us, rather than commuting from Oxnard. And who doesn't want to be optimistic and take whatever measures we can to try to alleviate the problem. But why can't we be realistic and admit the very real probability that severe workforce and housing affordability problems are inevitable in the most attractive and desirable communities? I know of none that have been able to avoid them.
We risk adulterating our own such community by pursuing unrealistic dreams that we can magically build our way out of these problems.