Such a profound statement from Santa Barbara City Councilmember Kristen Sneddon: “It’s sounding to me like we’re going to let demand dictate the size rather than pre-determining the size that we want and limiting to that. And I’ll be really clear — it’s not what I want.” [In “Should S.B. Airport Keep Growing to Meet Future Demand?“]
If Sneddon and the rest of City Council would only apply that thinking to the City of Santa Barbara and the housing issue. As a reminder, the size of Santa Barbara had been pre-determined by a previous City Council not to exceed about 85,000 population. Why is City Council letting demand for more housing dictate the size of the city? Satisfying demand for housing here is and always has been as futile as a dog chasing its tail. Demand will never be sated, but the city can be ruined for all — forever.
Ultimately, for many of the same reasons that airport growth is objectionable to Sneddon and other residents here, so is the growth of our city. The consequences of increased population to Santa Barbara’s singular ambience, as well as the strains population growth exact on essential resources (especially water) and infrastructure are as hard to ignore as is the increasing airport noise.
And, if a busier airport is undesirable, will increasing housing, ergo population, make the airport less busy?
I’ll be really clear, more population here is not what I and, I suspect, many other residents of this area want.