As he pledged to do last Tuesday, County Supervisor Salud
Carbajal drove to the Los Angeles offices of Conquest Student
Housing to meet with owners of the rental property firm now
evicting 55 families from Cedarwood Apartments in Isla Vista. But,
he acknowledged, he had little to show for his long drive. Dennis
Block of Conquest Student Housing made no commitment other than to
consider giving some tenants more time, but only on a case-by-case
basis. Block told Carbajal that tenants receiving such
consideration would have to sign pledges not to sue Conquest
Student Housing. Activists with PUEBLO have charged that Conquest’s
plan to evict all the working, mostly Spanish-speaking families
there now and replace them with students was inherently
discriminatory. Late last week, Conquest issued four-day notices
demanding that its tenants vacate the premises. About 40 days
before that, Conquest issued its tenants 30-day notices.

After 13 years of dreaming and scheming, the City of Santa
Barbara is finally providing relief – in the form of public
restrooms – for downtown tourists, workers, and residents. This
Wednesday morning marked the grand opening of new men’s and women’s
facilities in the 900 block of State Street between the Fiesta
movie theaters and Borders bookstore. The restrooms will be open
from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and will be cleaned six to seven times daily. At
a cost of $440,000, the new public facilities will feature
skylights, changing tables, low flow toilets, waterless urinals,
and recycled tiles. Former Mayor Harriet Miller conceptually
jump-started the project in 1993, after which it became bogged down
by false starts and bureaucratic inertia.

The City of Goleta got its much-hyped General Plan two months
ahead of schedule, as City Council members approved the document
unanimously Monday night. Slow growth was the theme in the
guidelines for the next 20 years of transportation, development,
and conservation endeavors in the 4-year-old city. Dissension was
noticeable in the standing-room-only crowd, with many
pro-development advocates outraged at the plan’s stipulation that
55 percent of new development be affordable.

The public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact
Report (DEIR) on proposed development at Naples (a k a the Santa
Barbara Ranch) came to a close last week. Hundreds of people turned
out for a public comment hearing last month, and the county
received more than 100 submitted letters of opposition, including
those from the California Coastal Commission, NOAA (National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), and the California
Department of Fish and Game. Chief among these letters was a
172-page exposé by Linda Krop on behalf of Surfrider Foundation
that identified dozens of alleged problems with the DEIR.

A snafu over all-night lighting in an empty lot on Upper State
Street has been resolved. John Turner and Julia Kauffmann,
residents of 25 West Pedregosa Street, complained to the city in
mid-August that the Hoppy Toad Land Company had installed blazing
“San Quentin-style” lights in a vacant lot near their home. After a
series of increasingly heated email exchanges between Danny
Kato – the city’s Zoning and Enforcement Supervisor – and Turner
and Kaufmann, the city finally got the lights turned off. “While
the city was initially slow to respond to us, they got their jets
on when I started cc’ing emails to The Independent and the
News-Press,” Turner said.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.