John Dixon
Nick St. Oegger

With streets and sidewalks still wet from Santa Barbara’s first winter storm system, a two-and-a-half hour Planning Commission hearing on Casa Esperanza’s conditional use permit (CUP) Thursday, October 21 showcased just how differently people respond to having homeless persons in their backyard. Given how crowded the City Council chambers were, and that the meeting had to be continued because not all speakers were accommodated, it also showcased how deeply feelings run on the matter.

In the end, the only news resulting from the hearing came from Sue Gray, administrative services manager in the Community Development Department. She told commissioners that Mayor Helene Schneider was going to reconvene the council’s Subcommittee on Issues Related to Homeless to discuss progress on last year’s 12-Point Plan and to consider the issue of meal-serving around the city. That announcement was welcomed by many. To read more see


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