I have to agree with James Herrick in his letter of disappointment with the iconic State Street and its demise. As an historian and member of two city historic architectural boards (Pasadena as a surveyor in the ’70s and Anacortes, Washington, as a founding member), I have questions about the restrictive and illogical zoning of that once busy, booming avenue. Granted the State of California’s alterations of 101 greatly altered the ambiance of State and forced many restaurants and other thriving business to close, but allowing and actually promoting this farce is ludicrous. The citizens will need a city council overhaul, but from what I have read, retaining an ally of Mayor Randy Rouse is imperative.

One city I was involved with was the small port city of Anacortes, WA. It had an aging infrastructure and could have remained funky, quirky, and finally obsolete. But with proper designation and voter approval combined with citizen interaction, it turned the corner and is a little treasure. Santa Barbara is already a treasure; however, the present path will alter these assets, even the changes in zoning and height restriction on upper State will set a precedent for further decay.

You can’t “mitigate” an historical landmark or district to save something else. What is that something else that these council members hope to gain? It surely can’t hold more intrinsic value, equity, architectural heritage, and grace as the old version of State Street.

You can’t recreate it when it’s gone, so keep it while you can.

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