Thanks for the Independent’s reporting on the parking issues for the Hot Springs trailhead. As a neighbor in the area, I want to stress that neighbors are first and foremost concerned about increased fire danger with increased use of the trails after dark.
County road signs posted at the parking lot prohibit parking from dusk to dawn, but the prohibition has not been well-enforced. The neighbors have requested that the county provide greater enforcement, as we believe this would greatly reduce the risk of campers starting fires. As a result, the CHP and the Sheriff’s Office have been patrolling and ticketing more frequently, and we hope to have more signage in the near future.
As for parking on East Mountain Drive, we hope that the Montecito Fire Department’s report (due out shortly) will be taken into account regarding evacuation in the event of a fire. A fire does not only impact the immediate neighbors. As a community, we do not want to endure the ash-filled air and evacuations experienced during the Thomas Fire or any other recent fire, not to mention the toll it takes on our firefighters and emergency personnel. Let’s work together!