The county’s Historic Landmarks Advisory Commission took another crack at the renovation plans for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden on 7/12. Commissioners scrutinized the placement of buildings, discussed the use of pavers on formerly dirt paths, and asked about the old Lockwood de Forest entrance. Public speakers worried about losing the historic design, fire safety, and impacts from more and larger events.
Looking to deliver on a promise made earlier this spring, the Santa Barbara County supervisors are actively seeking applications for the soon-to-form Gaviota Coast Planning Advisory Committee (GavPAC), which would help advise county staff on planning goals and land use issues within the Gaviota region. The GavPAC aims to comprise landowners, business owners, and assorted other Gaviota stakeholder groups.
An administrative item approving the development of six low-income Isla Vista housing studio units passed with a unanimous vote at the 7/14 meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Another 5-0 vote also approved the authorization of a $1.1 million contract between Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services and Aegis Medical Systems, Inc., in spite of concerns expressed during the public comment period about the resultant privatization of care.
An amendment was passed by the Board of Supervisors to allow for an additional two-year time extension for individuals demonstrating economic hardship who seek to gain approval for building projects in Montecito. This extension, to be granted by the director of Planning and Development, is designed to provide an additional opportunity for those who have already utilized the existing one-year extension, which will expire in 2012 unless extended by the board.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, several of the front country trails affected by the Jesusita Fire opened to the public on 7/15. Rattlesnake Trail, the west fork of Cold Spring Trail, and the Jesusita Trail from San Roque Road to Inspiration Point are open, but the Tunnel Trail and its connectors, and parts of the east fork of Jesusita Trail, will remain closed.