A Cannabis Store at Santa Claus?

Santa Claus Lane Hosts Kids Camps, Stores, and Restaurants

Credit: Courtesy Carpinteria Valley Museum of History

There are many very compelling reasons and serious concerns that I, as well as my fellow neighbors, have in strong opposition to locating a cannabis store on Santa Claus Lane.

The location would draw much more traffic to the entire length of Santa Claus Lane, which is used by all residents on Santa Claus Lane, Sand Point neighborhood, part of Padaro Lane, and hundreds of employees of the cannabis farms on the mountain-side of 101 as their way to connect with southbound Highway 101, as well as all of the beachgoers and customers of the retail stores/restaurants. This is already a congested area from a traffic standpoint, especially during the summer months. A cannabis store, which is known to have many times the number of customers compared to other retail businesses, would only make the existing problem much worse.

Parking also is already very problematic along this part of Santa Claus Lane. The sheer increase in traffic and parking demands along Santa Claus Lane would be further stressed with the high turnover of cannabis customers, as well as delivery vans and armored cash pickup vehicles. It will clearly result in chaos along Santa Claus Lane for all users, further reduce available parking for everyone, including for the many beachgoers who park along this part of Santa Claus Lane and walk to the beach.

We have legitimate concerns about the safety of vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists using the bike trail that is planned. It will create a dangerous situation for all those trying to come to and enjoy this special area of Santa Barbara County.

There are legitimate security concerns. The location, in terms of easy on and easy off Highway 101, makes it very attractive for criminal activities. The cash-only for purchasing cannabis products is clearly different from other retail in the area. Much more cash would be stored on site, compared to other retail stores, which creates a real security concern for most of us.

The building requirements for an armed security guard, opaque security windows, and security lighting and fencing on the property is totally incompatible with the surrounding buildings and is incompatible with the beach ambience and the relaxed vibe of the area.

It is not appropriate to allow a cannabis store, which has a required setback from schools and camps for kids, to be located right between two long standing (each greater than 20 years) surf camps for kids who are exclusively minors — in direct conflict with the intent of the cannabis ordinance. Santa Claus Lane has historically been a magnet for families with children. There are a number of stores and restaurants that clearly cater to the family, including the Padaro Grill.

We gave input into the process in the past, and it was clear that the overwhelming majority of neighboring businesses, business owners and residents on Santa Claus Lane, Sandyland Cove, Padaro Lane and residents of the Toro Canyon Plan were strongly against such a proposal for a cannabis store located on Santa Claus Lane. I would like to once again make it clear that I am opposed to this location for a cannabis store.

The overwhelming opposition to this proposal by the people most directly impacted should be a loud message! If Santa Barbara County allows this to happen, it will significantly impact our community forever. 

Please hear our voice!

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