As the community discusses the future of De la Guerra Plaza, several important considerations should be remembered. The first is that the lawn in De la Guerra Plaza uses reclaimed water. In contrast, the proposed “water feature” in a redesigned plaza would use potable water, because this water might come in contact with people. In times of drought, the proposed water feature might have to be shut down.
It is also important to remember that the City of Santa Barbara once experimented with a statue in De la Guerra about where the proposed “art” space would be. It was a disaster, as the statue and its pedestal were vandalized and had to be moved, first to Storke Placita and then away from De la Guerra Plaza altogether, at a cost to the city of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
De la Guerra Plaza should be enhanced and preserved in its current configuration. It has served Santa Barbara for 200 years. A new, redesigned plaza that would eliminate all grass would not be used nearly as much as the current plaza and would diminish Santa Barbara’s history.