I would hope that the planning and architectural “lessons to be learned” from Chapala Street that Brian Cearnal referred to [News, “B Is for Bad,” 8/20/09] have stuck, but looking at the story poles at De la Guerra and Milpas, I doubt it. The poles show a Chapala-like tall building with no setbacks from the pavement. Several similar structures are planned along Milpas, which, as I see it, more than other areas is vulnerable and needs to be protected by Santa Barbara citizens from inappropriate city planning, because much of the Eastside’s communication network is not in English.
The visitor-attractive, south-of-the-border, family-business feel of Milpas Street is epitomized in the small shops and eating-area courtyard setbacks of Whitefoot Meats, Panaderia Veronica, and La Victoria Taqueria. Milpas development should be medium-height shops with pretty setbacks that will attract as much positive attention does as the much-publicized city apartment setback across from the Central Library on Anapamu Street. No area in Santa Barbara should have to start saying “new” and “uglier” in the same breath. – Pat Lambert