The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden on 4/13 unveiled its “Vital Mission Plan” before the county’s Historic Landmarks Advisory Committee (HLAC), which will decide on 5/11 whether the garden’s proposed renovations conform to the site’s landmark status. HLAC will also assess whether other ongoing developments-including the terracing of the meadow area and placing pavers on trails-are consistent with the garden’s historic landscape design.


After a review of Santa Barbara County’s emergency communications, the Grand Jury is recommending the county purchase radio airtime to broadcast during emergencies. The Grand Jury also recommends the immediate activation of a joint information center during emergencies to disseminate information as quickly as possible. Email and phone alerts were also recommended. The county has 60 days to respond to the Grand Jury report.


Almost a year after LAFCO approved a proposal to establish a special community-services district in Santa Rita Hills’ Lakeview Estates-some of Santa Barbara County’s most prized wine country-the issue will be brought to a vote in a special election on 5/5. Having faced tough opposition from conservationists and neighbors, many Lakeview property owners maintain that the district will allow construction of roads needed in their community.


Expressing discontent with escalating water rates, a group of Carpinteria Valley Water District customers calling themselves “Carpinteria H2O” presented a petition drive calling for a moratorium on further rate increases at the district’s 4/15 Board of Directors meeting. The district, which is approximately $100 million in debt from recent capital improvements and State Water Project obligations, charges the highest rates in the county and, some say, in the nation.


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