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Comments by sfsherrill

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Posted on April 30 at 9:05 a.m.

"There is a fair amount of exaggeration and there are some inflammatory statements in that comment."

The exaggerations I read are in the response.

"42 offices and 23 bathrooms per 78 acres = 0.5 offices and .3 bathrooms per acre. How many homes in Mission Canyon have that low ratio?"

A ridiculous statement which would be true if there were 78 acres of BUILDINGS. Does anyone wonder what the NEED for 42 offices and 23 bathrooms might be?

"SBBG is replacing the removed trees by a substantially larger number of the same species"

How does one "replace" an 80 year old tree? Dig a hole, stick in a new one, stand back and wait 80 years? Or perhaps we could crane in some 20 year old trees. Then we'll only have to wait 60 years!

"SBBG may not pave over more than 10% of what is now paved over, per the Planning Commission."

There should be NO paving of natural trails. It violates the original landscape design concept. Most people appreciate the difference between nature and concrete.

"most [trails are] far too steep for wheel chairs" ....... not according to those who have already used the paved trails"

Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines states: "Any part of an accessible route with a slope greater than 1:20 shall be considered a ramp and shall comply with 4.8. Ramp slopes between 1:12 and 1:20 are preferred. The ability to manage an incline is related to both its slope and its length. Wheelchair users with disabilities affecting their arms or with low stamina have serious difficulty using inclines. The maximum slope of a ramp shall be 1:12. The maximum rise for any run shall be 30 in (760 mm)"
Most of the existing trails in the Botanic Garden are so steep that if a wheel chair were lose control, it would be a disaster, not to mention the law suits that would follow.

"With a property of 78 acres, if Mission Canyon homes each have 1 car per acre, SBBG is entitled to have 78 cars in their parking lot.
If there were homes on the 78 acres instead of the SBBG, I can guarantee that the car number would be worse."

Mission Canyon is currently at or near build out capacity. The greater interests of the Canyon and the hundreds of families who live there, take precedence over any single land owner.

""One collision, one stalled vehicle, one stuck tourist bus, one car in the ditch, can block everyone from reaching safety" this would be true if there were 10 or 100 cars" "No, SBBG is not ignoring that. They are taking steps to make both SBBG and Mission Canyon safer, fire-wise in cooperation with the Fire Department.

So let me get this straight - to make Mission Canyon "safer", we should add MORE buildings, MORE people, MORE traffic, and MORE congestion to an area that has already reached or exceeded its evacuation capacity????? I think that logic would escape most intelligent people.


On Botanic Garden Propaganda Wars

Posted on April 29 at 8:22 p.m.

Regardless of whether one believes that 25,800 square feet of new development on the site of the Botanic Garden - ten years of heavy construction, 42 offices and 23 bathrooms, the destruction of scores of mature trees, over seven acres of new hard-paved surfaces including the paving of natural trails (most far too steep for wheel chairs), commercial food sales, substantial increases of non-garden related events such as weddings, festivals and catered parties including alcoholic beverages and amplified music, and 91,000 additional vehicle trips to and from the Garden each year (Garden's own figures) - is "vital" or a gross over development - one cannot ignore the fact that the single two lane road and only escape route for hundreds of families who live in Mission Canyon, is inadequate to accommodate the size of the proposed project. Fire hydrants are great (if fire crews can get to them) but a wind driven wild fire can overrun the best equipment and man power money can buy in a matter of minutes. My next door neighbor is a County Fire Captain. He said that sometimes the only thing you can do is run like hell. But what if the only way to run is jammed with cars and hundreds of panicked visitors scrambling out of the Botanic Garden? One collision, one stalled vehicle, one stuck tourist bus, one car in the ditch, can block everyone from reaching safety. In the 1991 Oakland fire, in one hour the wind driven flames consumed 790 homes and killed 25 people, many of them trapped in their cars while trying to escape. Go ahead. Ignore that. I dare you.

On Botanic Garden Propaganda Wars

Posted on August 6 at 9:17 a.m.

There is no reason why those on both sides of this issue can't work together to come up with a plan that supports the Garden's mission and at the same time, preserves the Garden's 83 year old ambiance, character and historic legacy. However, what is currently on the table is not that plan. Unfortunately, Garden management has turned down numerous offers to negotiate with community groups critical of the expansion plan, frustrating attempts to arrive at a compromise. The proposed plan includes sixteen new buildings, increasing the present footprint by over 25,800 square feet. The project would also involve the removal of scores of native trees and add nearly four acres of new hard paved surfaces including paving over once natural trails. It also includes a plan to encircle the entire Garden with fencing, add additional lighting and new facilities intended to intensify non-garden related events such as weddings, catered parties, etc., including alcoholic beverages and amplified music. An estimated 91,000 vehicle trips to and from the Garden each year, including huge buses that often get stuck, blocking the single available fire escape route from Mission Canyon, add significantly to the fire danger. This is not the Botanic Garden Santa Barbarans have come to know and love. The plan needs to be downsized and done in such a way as to respect and preserve the Garden's historic legacy and natural setting.

On Botanic Garden Plan Presented to County

Posted on June 2 at 8:52 p.m.

The present Botanic Garden management has undertaken a campaign to significantly alter the historic character and ambiance of the garden that has been it's signature since 1926. Their plan is to turn the Garden into a campus-like setting and a cash generating event center designed to attract a variety of events such as weddings, parties and other non-Garden related activities. These are the very same people who only a few short years ago were actually proposing a multi-level parking garage, a bridge across Mission Canyon Road and a helicopter pad! Their so called "vital mission plan" includes 22 new buildings nearly doubling the present square footage; the removal of over 80 trees; the grading of 12,000 cubic yards of earth; over 3.5 acres of new hard paved surfaces including the paving over of once-natural trails; surrounding the entire garden with a 6 foot chain link fence; the addition of commercial food preparation facilities; substantial amounts of additional lighting; fourteen new air conditioning compressors , increasing ambient background noise; a totally inadequate fire management plan and an increase of 91,000 additional vehicle trips to and from the Garden every year. Does this sound like the Botanic Garden we have all come to know and love?

On County Sued by Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

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