Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Community Post: Sandman, Bring Us a Dream. Not!

Written by Anon as a Community Post:

Santa Barbara News Press Feruary 7, 2008
"What's in store for the unincorporated land near Highway 101 and upper State Street?

Residents last month were surprised to learn that a proposal to build a multi-story hotel with at least 105 rooms is winding its way through the planning process.

There had been three county meetings last year to hammer out questions about the overall concept and scope of the development proposed for the 4100 bock of State Street.

No one seemed to know about the meetings outside the county government."

"The unincorporated area between Santa Barbara and Goleta has been the focus of three years of intense scrutiny regarding development. Yet residents have never heard of the plans to remake this area."

I thought the primary goal of this medium, (the NP), was to keep the public informed.

Hmmm... why has the NewsPress been keeping the public in the dark? Is there something sinister going on here? Does the paper's management have ties to the developers? Why aren't they reporting this stuff to the public? The paper claims to have a local focus yet fails to give advance notice of important public hearings or report on the results thereof.

The Wright properties along Garden Street south of the 101 are going through public hearings and I don't recall reading anything about it. These are the properties where large hotels and an an aquarium were proposed several years ago.

Then there is the Sandman Inn on upper State Street, a hot zone for redevelopment at the ABR next Monday. A 113 room hotel being converted to a 106 ROOM HOTEL, 291 PARKING SPACESand ADDING 73 NEW CONDOMINIUMS.

Maybe the NP has blocked access from their computers to the City's web site?????

C'mon NP, show us your stuff. You are so completely dysfunctional and fail to serve the populace in a meaningful way. I really think you need professional help. Intervention has not worked. At the very least an explanation is in order.



Anonymous wineguy said...

This is a remarkable indictment of the News-Press, and I only wish there was any chance that they might respond.

2/07/2008 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever posted this blog is an idiot and should get their facts straight.

First of all the big hotel that nobody heard about is in the county not the city.
and second of all the reason nobody has not heard about it is because no application for approval has ever been filed with the county yet. the applicant is simply going to the county BAR to get their feedback in order for them to determine whether or not to ever file an application for a project.

as to the Sandman the news press did report on this project a year ago. so this whole blog is nothing but one idiot who doesn't know what they are taking about and is grasping at straws in his lame attempt to make the news press look bad.

2/07/2008 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh give it a rest, trashing the Newspress to make for your own laziness. There are plenty of groups in this town that are following this and have been plenty alarmed.

Try joining one instead of whining because the Newspress is not spoon-feeding you information you have easy access to if you cared to find it.

You can start with the Citizen's Planning Association - long this communities watchdog that could sure benefit from your active support, rather than just sitting back and whining at the Newspress.

CPA needs your help showing up at the hearings and speaking out. This is one of your best sources of information on development. And don't blame the Newspress because they did not tell you to join it.

Join it and roll up your sleeves. Afterall, you want "change", don't you? Well rather than mindlessly chanting it at some dumb political cult rally, actually go out and do something that will change things around here.

The Newspress helped get rid of one pro-development city council person. They are helping plenty and it is time you started apreciating this.

But I forget --- you refuse to read the NewsPress, so quite bitching about what you think it does or does not do. You look foolish while the rest of us are kept very aware we are losing this city by yards while this current batch of city council, city staff and city commission members sell us out more andd more everyday.

Grrrrrrr got it. This thread makes me mad you, and definitely not the Newspress. It is doing what it can raising these grandiose development issues as much as it can. Start reading it before you keep bitching.

"Change" starts in your own backyard. Git moving.

2/07/2008 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point of the N-P article has been completely lost by the original poster. The article, and a few previous ones before it by the N-P, concern the fact that the county has been trying to keep this issue below the radar and the N-P has exposed the issue now before its too late for the local community to respond. It is clear from the recent editorials that the N-P is opposed to this behavior by the county. A consistent read of the N-P will show this.

2/07/2008 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this blog. It exposes the EDITORIAL sections true goal - fear mongering. Let's fear every project, assume the worst in every situation, distort the facts and rouse the public. Hey, it sells a few newspapers and makes the few who still subscribe to the newspress feel like they still have reporters. Just reading the NP articles make me laugh because it's clear that the author knows very little about the planning process (they probably fired their reporter) and is relying on his "former deputy City Attorney" cohort why former?) to badly educate himself. also, I'm pretty sure the "anonymous" quotes in his editorial are from the same person in a sad effort to make concern look more widespread. This whole thing is a joke.

2/08/2008 8:59 AM  
Anonymous eggs_ackley said...

The anti-post responses are just what I expected. I will contain myself and not call names, although there are some choice ones that come to mind.

I will respond to the groundless accusations. I posted the original blog. I am deeply entrenched in both the city and county processes, am a member of enough community groups to make my head spin. I work full time and yet manage to spend countless unpaid hours volunteering in multiple jurisdictions and stay as well informed as time allows. My pet areas of concern and involvement are the City of Santa Barbara, the Gaviota Coast, Goleta/Noleta, the Sespe, and those are just the local ones.

My point was that the News Press fails to keep the populace informed in a timely manner. I suspect it is due to lack of focus and less than competent staff, and yes, I make the same indictment of the other usual suspects: the Independent, etc.

Now to individual comments:

I know the proposed Upper State hotel is in the county. There is nothing in my post to suggest it is in the city. One poster wrote: "the reason nobody has not heard about it is because no application for approval has ever been filed with the county yet." Did you read that before posting? If you want to retract, I completely understand. The BAR is a public forum for vetting projects. It is better to get a sense of community sentiment before finalizing plans and a submittal package with attendant studies, and then submitting formally, possibly wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultant fees for a project that has a snowball's chance on a hot skillet.

"as to the Sandman the news press did report on this project a year ago. so this whole blog is nothing but one idiot who doesn't know what they are taking about"

Please explain your apparent logic. Do you really think an article that is a year old is basis for declaring that the News Press is keeping the populace well informed?

"trashing the Newspress to make for your own laziness. There are plenty of groups in this town that are following this and have been plenty alarmed.

Try joining one instead of whining because the Newspress is not spoon-feeding you information you have easy access to if you cared to find it."

Your accusation is completely baseless and ASS..U..ME..s facts not in evidence. I am well informed, and know how to access all the pertinent information. To whit, I know precisely what some of the the CPA's major concerns are which will be brought to light on Monday. My finger is on the pulse.

I am concerned about the masses who don't have the wherewithal to do the due diligence required to stay informed, and rely on the "newspaper of record" for their information. They are being sadly misled, or perhaps uninformed is more apt. I completely agree that the owner of the paper can do as they wish with the medium. However, the public's perception is that if they read the daily paper they will be well informed about local issues. Sadly, this is not the case. Then again, the public tends towards complacency, feeling secure that those of us who do get involved will help stem the tide of ordinariness that is constantly knocking on our door and threatening the unique quality of life of our community.

Anon 10:28, you are missing the point. With a tiny bit of due diligence, i.e. research, reading BAR agendas, and reporting in a timely manner, this project would have been brought into the public eye much sooner. The Newspress missed that boat plain and simple.

Try to take it as constructive criticism rather being so reactionary and defensive. You and I both know the dog did not eat your homework.

2/08/2008 10:10 AM  
Anonymous editrix said...

There is a great difference between a "community post" and good, solid journalism. The bias, innuendo and lack of facts in this anonymous post shows why reporting isn't a hobby, but an actual profession requiring good training, solid experience, and yes, an editor who insists on getting the story straight. Neighborhood activists have been working diligently on the Sandman issue for more than a year, and the N-P has consistently reported on it. This new hotel issue has been done behind closed doors, and that's the real story here, the government coziness with development at the expense of the citizenry. Something the N-P has been watchdogging (although not nearly enough--every issue of the paper could be filled with nothing but this) for years.

2/08/2008 10:11 AM  
Anonymous VALLEYGIRL said...

We here in the Valley are sure glad Travis thinks the Casino is a grand example of people being able to fact check what goes up in THEIR neighboorhood!


2/08/2008 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Garry Owen said...

Anonymous 8:56, 9:53 and 10:28.

A consistent read of the NP hardly reveals consistent facts on any topic TA opines on. Unless your definition of "consistent" includes the omission of facts that don't suit his purpose. Unless that definition includes very subjective coverage that does not begin to explain BOTH sides fairly. And does your definition of consistent allow for the completely self-serving, cowardly refusal to print any opinion that dares disagree with the NP's less-than-lofty actions?

Perhaps it does. Reasonable, intelligent people here are starving for a newspaper they can trust; most would like it to reflect their opinion but understand (sometime grudgingly) it can't guarantee that. But the NP and TA openly ignore fairness and ethics and as such cannot be trusted.

So even if they do report on topical subjects the SB public needs to be on aware of, even if the NP and TA are absolutely, 100 percent right, very few will believe them. Because sadly, neither can be trusted to present us with news that is consistently objective much less truthful.

(P.S. SDLG: These three Anon-de-blogs are perfect examples of why some kind of nom is needed. Though it's understandable that someone who resorts to juvenile name calling would choose to hide more deeply than a nom-de-blog might offer, blog names do allow for more direct response).

2/08/2008 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Whether or not the N-P or any news outlet reports or fails to report on matters of this kind, concerned individuals are not absolved of the necessity and responsibility to put forth some personal effort.

One may visit the various agencies in question (either physically or on-line) to view upcoming agendas, archived minutes of past meetings, etc. to become informed.

While I would like others to do my homework for me I do not expect it and hanve no sympathy for those who do.

2/08/2008 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to the Citizens Planning Association Web site at and found a neat calendar, but it listed only CPA activities.

What would be really useful is a calendar of the upcoming governmental agency hearings on the projects people are/should be concerned about.

2/08/2008 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 10:28 is delusional. Referring to an Editorial as an "article" just underscores the lack of journalistic integrity at the News-Press. If the N-P truly had an interest in development projects at the County and City, they would read the POSTED AGENDA AND MINUTES going back to las March that mentioned the project in question. also, they would be aware that the developer hasn't even filed an application with the County but has come to BAR for conceptual direction. But then, those facts take away from the manufactured hysteria that the News-Press has become legendary for.

2/08/2008 4:48 PM  
Anonymous eggs_ackley said...


The innuendo was written in jest and in hindisght was probably not appropriate. I thought it was far-fetched enough that anyone with reasonable intelligence would understand that it was not meant to be serious. And no, I am not suggesting any lack of intelligence on your part and understand how my remarks could be misconstrued. It was, perhaps, a bit mean-spirited, but I won't lose any sleep over it.

In all seriousness though, I do read the newspress fairly regularly, online mostly. Hence my primary posting. I have no ties to any of the current or former employees, and am not a union supporter. Both sides have behaved incredibly childishly and should be ashamed. In fact, I am not in disagreement with the paper's current bias on many issues. The fact is that there is a huge gap in their ability to report which brings to mind the following question.

Should the media only be reporting on events which have already occurred? What do we mean when we talk about reporting. Is it something that only happens in the past tense. I would answer in the affirmative. Editorials and opinions are a different matter and should project the future when appropriate. Create a community calendar for important public hearings. If the NP management truly wants to galvanize the community into action, they will take note and act accordingly. The self-congratulatory and overly defensive posts, to paraphrase: "we are doing our job", are irresponsible and do not correlate with the perceptions of many of us. We don't hate the news press, that's Barnwell's cause not ours. For me, it is not personal. I just want a paper that communicates effectively.

I agree in general, but in this age of entitlement, this era that can be defined by a lack of personal responsibility and accountability, and a willingness to blame anyone but ourselves, the reality is that the masses want to be spoon fed and not be made to feel uncomfortable lest their conscience nag them to get off the couch and actually do something. We are a nation of followers with few real leaders. There is a huge vacuum wanting to be filled.

2/08/2008 9:43 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

CPA is a hollow shell of its former self. They've swallowed the high-density-affordable-housing Kool-Aid and no longer work to protect this community. They support many past and present party hacks who have been, and are currently ruining Santa Barbara. I predict they will roll over and accept ALL of the hideous projects that are currently in the pipeline both in the city and in the county. They are no longer ready or willing to just say "no".

2/08/2008 10:07 PM  
Anonymous sexysarahisthelatestandthegreatestofthemall said...

Quit whining about the News-Press. Give it up and move on. Soon there will be a strike. Then what? Learn to live without the paper. And get a life while you are at it. I'm tired of hearing y'all squeal like Ned Beatty as you get done time and again by a certain editorial writer. Barnwell/Cohee vs. Armstrong/Steepleton is actually fun to behold. The paper will never, ever be what you want it to be so ... for... the... love... of... the... sweet... infant... Jesus SHUT UP ABOUT IT. You are not OWED a local daily paper any more than you are owed affordable housing in S.B. Market forces will deliver an alternative or they won't, it's that simple. Hey, maybe the City Council should pass a resolution demanding a new daily. Those homeless looking NP hater people can put it out. Why do you read the NP if you hate it so much and think it sucks so much?
There's the Daily Sound. Read it and shut up.

2/09/2008 2:16 AM  
Anonymous Garry Owen said...

sexysarahisthelatestandthegreatestofthemall...Thank the computer gods cur "cut and paste."

You don't like the opinions you see on this blog? Follow your own advice...don't read it, and "for... the... love... of... the... sweet... infant... Jesus SHUT UP ABOUT IT." "You are not OWED" blog entries you agree with. "There's Dr. Laura's column. Read it and shut up"

Rock on SDLG!

2/09/2008 7:49 AM  
Anonymous in the know said...

I absolutely agree that the News Press is not doing its job; neither is City Council, power-play members of the City Staff or some members of many of the city's advisory boards who have lately been turned into rubber stampers bullied behind the scenes. When well-informed members of the public show up and point it out (and they do), they too are bullied and abused. It's not being reported, but the people who have been mistreated have decided not to take it anymore. They're figuring out the very rigged system, and the results of the last City Council election shows some of their emerging disgust and sense of empowerment. Yes, too bad about the paper. There's a Pulitzer waiting for the enterprising reporter who explodes the goings-on around here. Too bad it won't be for the News Press.

2/09/2008 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

eggs_ackley is a very good example on this current issue we are discussing of why a "nick name" is valuable in a blog conversation. We have "his or her" first comment, followed by the second. The second, reveals a thoughtful, intelligent, well-meaning person with quite a few ideas I can relate to.

Two anonymous comments by the same person, would never have let me know all this regarding the nature of the posting individual. Q.E.D.

Tone matters on a blog, the reader feels the heat, the cynicism, the bad faith,...words mean something even the little ones.

Civic,and civil discourse requires good will and an open mind. Think of shaking hands with someone you meet while walking across the Plaza.

So,thank you for your second comment egg_ackly, nice pseudo too.

Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega is sticking with his moniker. There is a unity of mind and matter between the poster and the patriarch of Spanish Santa Barbara.

God help me when women's issues are de jour on the blog, it's not easy being a patriach for obvious reasons, but know that even if I know nothing about feeling your pain, perhaps (but perhaps foolishly) I have perceived my own good will.

I lift my nice glass of Rancho San Julian Red, to a blog that resembles the ideal Spanish Plaza of few cars and many talkative civil minded pedestrians.

It's new for me but I suggest vote Obama. It feels like Lincoln a-borning.

2/09/2008 10:21 AM  
Anonymous My Backyard Too said...

Some people believe whatever they read. It's important for the NP to be a responsible newspaper because some people mistakenly believe that they are dedicated towards finding the truth, rather than trying to validate their own opinion. The Editor is mis-using his soapbox by printing opinions based on shoddy fact-finding, and an overall misunderstanding of the process. If he really thinks this project was somehow an collusion between the County and and an applicant, let's see him differentiate this project from any other project which has received a pre-application. He can't because he doesn't even know what a pre-application is, nor does he understand the County process. Thus, he is not qualified to opine to thousands of readers who assume (wrongly) that the editor is well informed on the issue. Shame on them? Perhaps, but it still impacts me.

2/09/2008 11:25 AM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

Well, how well does everyone feel informed about the plans for timeshare condos at the Bacara and for a big development at the Bishop Ranch?

I was fairly shocked to learn that the Bishop project plans to use Glen Annie as the sole road in. The Glen Annie/Storke exit is one of the most congested in the County, and Storke/Hollister has got the most traffic in the South County.

So the developer wants to put big boxes over in the Bishop property so people don't have to cross the freeway. Talk about Sophistry.

Now Bacara, that seems to just be a straight-out purchase of the Goleta City Council. And I was very saddened to see Smyser sold out to Dworkin... Smyser was not a bad guy, but now there is no alternative to Doreen Farr.

2/09/2008 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Dean Mr Den. How's your ranch doing.

Here's the conundrum:

Holding the Western Urban boundary is, in my humble opinion, the most important priority I can think of.

Yet nobody wants a denser Santa Barbara.

These are two incompatible goals. It's one or the other. You can't have it all.

Does anybody believe no growth is really an option? The explosion toward the North is going to be ugly. The pressure is building.

Who will propose the first hotel and big box development at El Capitan.

2/09/2008 4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

response to eggs-ackley 9:43 p.m. who posted this blog

You still don't know what you are talking about.
the following is a copy and paste from your blog:

"Maybe the NP has blocked access from their computers to the City's web site?????"

In your blog you were talking about the Hope Ranch motel in the county and were complaining about how it had been in the works now and how the news Press failed to report it.

So your comment about blocked access from the city website was all wet because this project is in the county.

When I wrote in and explained how this Hope Ranch motel is not an official project yet because it has never yet filed a formal application but it went before the BAR as part of what is called a pre-application process for staff feedback.

Then You responded and said how you belong to all these organizations. Well I belong to all those same organizations, so we know each other in person, but we each don't know who we are communicating with right now.

But I do know that you don't know what you are talking about. Would you like to put your knowledge of the planning process up against mine. I know 100 times as much about this stuff as you do.

You don't know that the pre-application process is not to get public opinion but is to get staff opinion. Once a project is filed only then does the formal public hearing where decisions are made and public testimony is taken begins.

Did you really mean to imply that you think a formal application has been filed on the Hope Ranch Hotel project? If so would you like to change your story or would you prefer too keep looking like the uninformed person that you are.

Your criticism against the New Press as far as these two big motel projects are concerned is unfounded and totally lame. Is this the best that you can do?

2/09/2008 11:10 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Well Agusto, I'm shocked that your just now shocked. This tradgedy has been in the making for a couple of years now. The cop and fireguy are retired and we'll be paying them 80% of their pay for the rest of their lives. They have nothing better to do then pander to their developer buddies so they can continue to get invited to all the chic parties, get their campaigns bankrolled and stay in the beuracracy loop as long as they want...Jean? Retire already and give someone else a chance! I don't know what kind of success she can point to after all these years of sticking her nose in. Goleta today is going down the tubes and I'm thinking we made a big mistake with the cityhood thing.

We should do one of the sister city things with San Fernando Valley cuz we're gonna look just like them in 6 years. Check the schedule...It's already penciled in. Heck we already got one prime element, Old Town looks just like a poor piece of Van Nuys. Thanks Jean, Thanks Bacarra, Thanks back stabbing Bishop Ranchers, and most especially thanks UCSB, your efforts to ruin our beautiful Good Land have not gone unnoticed.

2/10/2008 5:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Carson at 10:07:

CPA is a membership organization. The fault, if there is any, is in the people of this area for not participating in civil issues. Are you a member of CPA? If not, why not?

CPA has NOT swallowed the high density/affordable Kool-Aid. You have it confused with Micky Flacks' HOT group. However, CPA struggles against what seems like an endless tsunami.

Again: Are you a member of CPA? If not, why not?

2/10/2008 8:29 AM  
Anonymous knows2much said...

"In the know" knows.

Thank you for posting this criticism of the current state of affairs existing in this city so eloquently. City staff and noisy special interest groups hold too much sway with this current city council majority.

They have forgotten who the voters are, until next election day when more incumbents wil also find themselves out of their jobs.

Mark my words, there will be a new face for mayor next year. The residents, who are the voters, are that fed up.

Appealing to developers, out of town commuters, and every over-bloated give-away utopian social feel-good scheme has run its course.

Voters will take the city back for themselves, who are the rightful constituents of the political process. Watch and see. We did not vote in this city council to give our city away.

Learn to say no, instead of yes, yes, yes to every demand that destroys the very heart and soul of our small, limited resource community.

You had your time. You got plenty of what you wanted. Now it is time to say enough is enough. And it is.

2/10/2008 8:58 AM  
Anonymous less is more said...

reply to don jose 4;51 p.m.

Yes don, no growth is an option and it is the best option.

You state that the two goals of protecting land outside the urban boundary and keeping low density inside the south coast are conflicting and one has to give. Well, in the event that the third no growth option is not put into place through "growth management" zoning ordinances then many of us would choose to preserve the quality of life and small town character in the urban area that we use and are exposed to every day as opposed to saving some rural land that we can't use and only see twice a year as we drive by it on the freeway.

So if one has to go then it must be the urban limit line that goes. My first choice is to not grow at all but if we have to grow I, and many others, would much rather grow horizontally in low density rather that to grow vertically in high density and get 1000 more monstrosities like those 2 on Chapala.

Would you care to put this to a vote of the people between the 3 choices of :
1. Not growing at all
2. growing horizontally in low density
3. Growing vertically in high density and getting many more monstrosities like those 2 on Chapala.

The results would be 60% for option 1. 30% for option 2 and 10% for option 3 high density.

It is a well known fact that the vast majority of people in this town hate high density smart growth. yes many would like to save Gaviota but when push comes to shove they would much rather save the small town character and quality of life in the town as opposed to saving Gaviota by means of implementing high density vertical smart growth and the resulting monster projects in the city.

The last thing the high density smart (vertical) growth advocates want is a vote by the people on this hard choice.

lastly, it does not matter how much pressure for growth there is if the citizens put in place a "growth management ordinance" that says that no building on the south coast can exceed two stories or 30 feet high. Such an ordinance can be put into place by a public initiative process in the city of Santa Barbara, and the city of Goleta and in the county of Santa Barbara. It would pass easily by 70% to 30%. as around 85% of homeowners in a recent survey of homeowners said they would approve such a no growth ordinance.

2/10/2008 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Augusto Den said...

well don jose and sa1,

I could live with the Bishop Ranch developed. I really could. But not on only one entrance street next to the 101... there must be a Los Carneros entrances. And no big box, no shopping center, none. We have enough of that and we need housing.

El Camino Real Marketplace was developed under Bill Wallace. Just about every pro-environment promise was broken, mostly involving non-car transportation, by the developer and by Santa Barbara County. We must never forget the mendacity of the Marketplace; their behavior must henceforth clear a bar at 20 feet 2 inches (for a pole vault).

So for Bishop Ranch, I'd put every penny beyond the raw cost (every raw cost should be on a public website/database and subject to totally open review and control) in escrow with control by a public fiscal oversight board. Not a penny of profit until every environmental promise is proven to be kept. Not one penny.

The things they must do: subsidize public tranportation out of developer proceeds, connect Calle Real at Los Carneros, give credits to those who do not own cars who live there, disallow investment properties (no rentals for more than one year out of every 7 years).

As for Bacara (it is Dworman not Dworkin) why do we need *any* high-end timeshare condos? Goleta does not need those. Not out on the Gaviota, not in Goleta either. Too bad Smyser took Dworman's money. I liked him, and I don't care for Farr, but she's got my vote now.

Well, don jose, I know you're from the rich side of the fam. Bishop conned me out of his Ranch, as you know, but my spirit lives on here in the Rincon Ranch. At least that nasty Hollister clan got driven out.

2/10/2008 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey augusto den:

No conceit in your family!

I can't can't believe the words that came out of you. .

What a piece of work.

2/10/2008 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Dump growth incentives said...

Growth happens.

What should no longer happen is the city handing out all these incentives for more growth, like bonus density and wholesale modifications to everyone who demands them.

The current policy is encouraging and rewarding over-development, which is very different from just plain old growth. Which happens.

The city is artifically straining resources. That is what needs to stop. ASAP. And there is no reason we can't go back to just plain old growth and dump this agenda for enhanced and accelerated growth.

Dump bonus density. Restrict modifications that give away our zoning code. Reign in this utopian social agenda to house everyone who demands to live here.

The ark is full. A few more can be shoe-horned in over time. But gheesh, stop this accelerated give-away program.

2/10/2008 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Augusto Den:

Re: "Well, don jose, I know you're from the rich side of the fam. Bishop conned me out of his Ranch, as you know, but my spirit lives on here in the Rincon Ranch. At least that nasty Hollister clan got driven out."

Let me assure you Don Augusto, you can count on us.

We're holding strong at Rancho San Julian and note how well my descendents are doing with our heritage--from Dibbs right down to the present, and such a good job too with the environment at the Ranch. It's enough to make a man proud.

Please tell Mister "less is more"(what a funny name and idea) to never write a ballot again! Can you imagine the prejudice he put into the third question on the ballot? What do you want?
3. "Growing vertically in high density and getting many more monstrosities like those on Chapala." That word monstrosities is really something!

Hey is that a loaded question or what?

Some people must spend a lot of time on Chapala! Hard to understand...Personally my friends usually hang out on the Plaza or at the Presidio.

Carpeting the coast with two story structures from Gaviota to Santa Barbara just doesn't float my boat Augusto...What's the deal with this word horizontal? Every time I ride horseback through the Valley and down into LA--so changed from the old days, I ask myself, "My God, how did this happen?"

Two story Horizontal Suburbia Spreading outward, forever Westward, sounds so, how can I put it, SUBURBAN and Frederick Jackson Turner like...It's the 'frontier thesis' all over again! "Go Westward young man." Can this really be what you want? The corner gas station, the SUV in the driveway,...unbelievable.

I would sincerely like to hear Frank Frost on the No Growth Option as he sees it these days. Give him a call my nice little niece Sara.

It's a dream.

Poor Hollister Augusto, you remember he had to move to town. Always so active, always had to be doing something, so many projects, and investments. He ended up hanging out in hotels downtown anyway. He always had those big ideas.

What can you do? Some people are like that.

2/10/2008 9:13 PM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

Well 8:30pm, when developers and the local government (the County in this case) don't keep their promises, as happened at the Camino Real Marketplace, those who got fooled don't want to get fooled again.

2/10/2008 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...


Did you hear about this recent discovery of all those old adobe houses right here in the Mission Garden where they are planting all those plants from my time? What an honorable job.

Five Hundred Houses for the Chumash and all in adobe! They were even better than the many of the houses of my soldatos. Oh those Chumash. Such good artisans. They used to come down and work at the Presidio and at my House. This excellence is just like the work of Jeff Shelton today. Wow that's something!

I could get behind a historic adobe condo reconstruction project there! But let's keep that historic garden going--so genetically and historically correct.

Speaking of historic plants, I must say Santa Barbara has made a lot of progress in the area of Pinot...Mission Wine is just not as good. See, 'less is more,' some progress is good! Don't you agree?

2/10/2008 9:30 PM  
Anonymous less is more said...

Hi everyone

In my humble opinion it is change that is inevitable, not population growth.

50 or 100 years ago population growth was considered good.

Now people are just starting to see that there can be too much of a good thing.

America started out as an almost empty continent with plenty of room for all.
But now the country is getting filled up and is almost to a point of not being sustainable.

What are we going to do start stacking people on top of each other in tacky little boxes lime a bunch of worker bees?

I prefer to live on the land, not way up in the air.

The world is pretty much filled to full capacity and will not be sustainable at a larger population.
thank god the world population is starting to level off. The women in the 'first world" , including europe and america are now are having an average only 2 children due to freedom for women, education and birth control. But in places like india and third world countries women are still having 4 or 6 kids because they are not free and educated and don't use birth control. But the world is changing and it is only a matter of time before the whole world has an average of 2 children per woman.

So this is the trend.
this means that the future will be no population growth. this means that the world can learn how to be sustainable. This means that each city needs to set up a healthy and thriving economic system based on no growth.

I propose that Santa Barbara be a leader and be the first city in america to set up a no growth healthy and thriving economy based on no growth. It can be done. It goes against conventional but faulty thinking that thinks that a city that does not grow will wither and die. That is simply not true. An economy can have change. Think of it like a library with a fixed number of, say, 100,000 books. The population of books stays the same but the books can be changed.

We can do this.
and the benefit is we cap our population of the south coast at 200,000 the number that lives within our resources and is sustainable. We also have the benefit if preserving the wonderful 2 story low density character and we preserve our wonderful quality of life including a reasonable level of congestion--not car congestion and people congestion and crime. We can change things and make things better. We do not need population growth to have a healthy and vibrant economy and we do not need any more of those 3 story monstrosities like those on Chapala!

Changing the subject slightly:
And by the way its high time for the country to just say no to immigration, both legal and illegal because we have no housing for millions more to live here. All this population growth will degrade our quality of life and create a country that lives beyond its resources and is not sustainable. What do you want to do go to war with the mid-east and elsewhere to get enough oil and other resources to support a much larger population? These would be called the resource wars!

2/11/2008 7:50 PM  
Blogger Voice of Rezon(e) said...

Sorry, less is more but that's just not dealing with reality.

We are (mostly still) a nation of free will, free commerce and freedom of movement. I think we should keep that awareness in our minds as we think about these issues.

I agree wholeheartedly that we have a worldwide overpopulation crisis in the making, but are you seriously going to tell people to stop making babies? That's really the only cure to what you're proposing, and the only place they actually try and pull that off is China, and we all know full well how unsuccessful that is, in addition to being contrary to basic human rights.

I'm not now and never have advocated a "build it and they will come" strategy, but I strongly believe that we along with other smart communities will start planning properly to accommodate our fair share of people, starting with the workforce that already works here in our community.

I also agree that it sucks to stack up the workers in little bee hives but until there is adequate planning to provide housing and the associated infrastructure needs for all economic levels we will continue to have a divided, and somewhat dysfunctional community.

Regarding your comment on immigration, our country was founded on the principles of supporting immigration, but agree we need for it to be legal and regulated.

2/12/2008 12:39 AM  
Anonymous Stupid Insensitive sa1 said...

Uh, less is more? You probably missed this article...

"The U.S. population will soar to 438 million by 2050 and the Hispanic population will triple, according to projections released Monday by the Pew Research Center."

Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes full of ticky tacky
Little boxes on the hillside
And they all look just the same

2/12/2008 6:51 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

When crossing the Plaza and on seeing a citizen, always say hello and shake their hand before conversing.

Bonjour tous le monde!!

OK. We seems to be tip toeing into a conversation about what is the best plan for Santa Barbara to accomodate a growing population, protect the environment, keep our historic roots, and create a fun, civilized downtown.

We have to go back a bit to discuss these ideas profitably instead using mere rants. So I offer you a small, but important bit of reading . If you will go to this link on the internet, you can read about Le Corbusier, the architect, and his ideas about the "Radiant City"...
We have to deal with his concepts first, because they form the basic foundations of lots of planners, yet not enough City Council members.

Here's the link. (Sara if you could set up hot links that would be great!)

Now after you've read this, come back to the blog and tell us what you think.

You humble patriarch:
Don Jose

2/12/2008 8:41 AM  
Anonymous less is more said...

reply to voice of rezon(e)

I do no imply to put in place a law limiting children to two.
What I said was that without such a law there is a definite trend among women who are free and educated to only having an average of 2 children each. In Europe right now and also in America the average number of children a women has during their lifetime is right around 2.0 This appears to be a trend as countries change from being third world countries to first world countries.

My point is that in the future ( maybe 50 years) the world is going to have zero population growth.

And at that time we will have to develop an economic system based on zero growth.

It will have to be done and it can be done.
so my suggestion is why don't we here in Santa Barbara lead the way and be the first city in the U.S to put in place an economy based on zero population growth.

According to U.S. census bureau the population of the city of Santa Barbara has been flat since the year 2000 with almost no population growth.

This is due to our growth management zoning ordinance. So it is a fact that a city can pout in place a growth management ordinance that works.

As to us taking 'our fair share'. My feelings are that we have a beautiful and vibrant small town now and one with a wonderful small town character and a wonderful quality of life. Out town is almost 1005 built out and we are already at the limit ofd our resources and the limit of our traffic capacity. Even in Smart cities like portland only 5% walk or bike and only 5% travel by bus or light rail and 90% drive their car. We simply can't accommodate any more traffic as our streets are already congested. Why would we want to ruin that by providing housing for everyone who would want to move here. There are 20,000,000 people within a 100 mile radius of Santa Barbara ( and growing). Just how many of them would love to move here. I'll tell you; "all of them".

As to immigration. our nation needed the immigrants in the 1800's to fill the country with people. But it is different now that the country is filled. We no longer need more people. We have no place to house them and we are at the limit of our sustainability and resources. Like i said if e
america continues to grow then in the near future america will have to start resource wars to go take resources away from other countries to provide for the needs of our population.

2/12/2008 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Santa Barbara's problem is not lack of housing, but lack of turnover of available units. It has plenty of housing, but people do not leave in the typical 5 years allowing for new people to come in and occupy existing residences or community housing schemes.

What is the turnover in this huge amount of public housing we already have? This is critical information because we should not keep builing more.

We just have to be realistic that the turnover vacancy rates will be unique to this unique community. And live with a long waiting list for all this free public housing the city has so generously supplied already.

Too bad if the waiting list is 5 years long. That is a fact, unique to the desirability of this area. But a long waiting list should never, ever be used as an excuse to keep building and building more and more.

Santa Barbara needs to live within its appropriate vacancy rates. And I gather they are quite low. Most people come here to die before a lot of spaces open up. That is the way it long has been and shall continue to be.

Stop this housing maddess. Not when there is so much here already and realize, once people get here they do not leave. So getting an opportunity to fill in this huge amount of free public housing is far more limited here than in other places.

What exactly is the turnover rate for the City Housing Authority?

2/12/2008 1:19 PM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

Don Jose,

Nice, nice work down at the Mission.

Now if only some archaelogical work could happen out here to figure out where the Goleta Chapel was, and where the Chumash lived out here. A huge village was near 101 and Fairview.

The Goleta City Council is pretty much benighted on the issue of their Chumash/Spanish/Mexican heritage... basically they want to turn Goleta into Paso Robles architecture.

Hey, I'm OK with some growth. It's just swindlers like Hollister and his man Huse need to be avoided. That false purchase from me of the Bishop Ranch by Hollister is just what today's developers like to do.

Now all these no-growthers... I wish they could have seen Goleta when it was really beautiful in the 1800's. The no-growthers weren't even here, they needed lots of growth give them the little boxes they all live in now. What a scream hearing them prattle on about little beehives.

I was only inside for 6 hours a day, 18 hours in the fresh air and beautiful land. The fowl in the Goleta Slough were so numerous they darkened the sky at midday.

I don't see how all you crazy gringos live in your little boxes, and then get pumped up about the environment. You never even saw Goleta's environment.

2/12/2008 6:47 PM  
Anonymous less is more said...

Little boxes on Chapala
Little boxes full of ticky tacky
Little boxes on the fourth floor
And they all look just the same

That is what we get with high density 'Smart Growth". along with population growth, people congestion, crime, car congestion, and a shortage of resources.

A better alternative is no growth.
if a smaller house is more sustainable and green than a big house, a small town is more sustainable and green than a big one.

2/13/2008 10:20 AM  
Anonymous less is more said...

don jose 8:41 a.m.
what are you an architect?

I know all about the architect Le Corbusier. probably more than you do. You are not the only educated one here.

He was a artistic designer but his visions for city planning had no basis in reality and were cold and inhuman. He thought of people as robots to be controlled and to be put in little boxed way up in the air.

Here is a summary from an article written on him:

"To conclude, it is hard to say whether Corbusier’s urban thought has had a direct effect on city planners. It appears, however, that some of his notions have made their way into urban renewal logic: clearance, the destruction of memory, the plan as scientific fact, sub-standard housing, etc. Certainly, his aseptic view of the city has destroyed the street theater that Jane Jacobs so lovingly describes. The landscape of Corbusier, regardless of its evocation of nature, is unsensual, ahistorical--not of this world. Sustainable cities offer a better worldview, one that connects humans, nature, history, and place with a viable vision for the future."

2/13/2008 10:36 AM  
Anonymous hippo critic said...

less... an even better alternative is for complainers to remove their offending homes and remediate their land back to pre-European condition.

Ain't gonna happen, because the complainers only have one principle: I deserve it, you don't.

2/13/2008 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo! Less is more. You have quoted the lasted paragraph of the article on Le Corbusier which I posted. Probably you didn't read my link, but you successfully found the article I suggested. And not only did you find the key paragraph on the work of Le Corbusier, which explains in luminour detail why we don't want to do the "Radiant City," which is exactly what I wanted to point out. Note the link with "Urban Renewal" in the story.

Now who knows the architectural work of Jeff Shelton here in town?

Let's quote the point again!

"urban renewal logic: clearance, the destruction of memory, the plan as scientific fact, sub-standard housing, etc."

Let's hear from the architectural minded about Jeff Shelton.

Don Jose

2/13/2008 6:46 PM  
Anonymous less is more said...

don jose

sorry don, I completely misunderstood you. I thought you liked Corbu's Radient city concept and were prommoting it by asking people to go look at it. You are right in that I couldn't get your link to work so I googled it.

The Radiant city concept was the very first smart growth concept. I hated when I first saw it years ago in a book on architecture, just like I hate high density smart growth. But i did like some of what Jane Jacobs has to say about cities. Vibrancy is a good thing. Have you ever read her book about city planning ?

To answer your next question I just love the work of Jeff Shelton and think he is the most talented and artistic architect in town by far. His artistic and playful projects remind me of when I was in Barcelona looking at the artistic and very unusual work of the famous and very talented architect from spain, Gaudi.

My favorite was the park he designed in Barcelona where he had fat round columns covered in ceramic tile that were larger at at the top and got smaller in diameter as they went to the bottom. I also loved his church of the Sagrada (sp.) Family. I must have had to go up 500 narrow steps to get to the top of the tower.

2/13/2008 8:37 PM  
Anonymous less is more said...

hippo critic

Your point is well taken.

But the principle I believe in has nothing at all with thinking that I deserve to live here and others don't.

I don't want to preserve this wonderful city for me but for future generations. In 10 or 20 years I will be dead and the developers cannot ruin the town fast enough to affect me personally.

My goal is only to preserve this beautiful town for none other than the sake of preserving her. There is only one Santa Barbara and there will never ever be another.
To be she is something incredible and worth preserving.

My thoughts are that are 1000 ordinary towns that can be turned into high density smart growth cities full of big monster buildings and that those who want to live that way can move to any number of them.

Did any of you know that santa Barbara is the single oldest continuous settlement in the western hemisphere. Well it is. people have lived here on the south coast for 10,000 years continuously and no other city in the western hemisphere has had such a long and continuous settlement. it is no accident that folks chose to live here continuously. it is the single most wonderful place to live in the entire country. What a wonderful history. this historic town should be preserved in as close to it';s present form as possible. Just imagine in 50 years when every city in the U.S. is full of 6 and 10 story buildings. Tourist will come from all over to see what it was like to have a town be charming and full of character due to all the one and two story human scale buildings. lets at least preserve one place which has charming and beautiful small town character.

Yes, everyone can't live here. It's like living in a museum. Only a few are lucky enough to live here. But we are not preserving it for them, but as a historic special place for everyone to come visit and experience, enjoy, and see. The ultimate tourist destination. Anyone is free to live here if they pay their dues and want it bad enough to sacrifice. I sacrificed to buy a house here by paying a full 50% of my income to buy here. Many choose instead to commute and that their choice.

Everyone must come to the accept the reality that no matter how the city is developed it is simply always going to be an extremely expensive place to live, as long as it's a nice place to live.

Is there anybody who would want to totally ruin the quality of life, in order that it is no longer a desirable place to live, in order to drive prices down to where anybody can afford to live here?

2/13/2008 9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Growth happens. Providing incentives for accelerated growth is the product of a rapacious city council.

Throw the rest of the bums out. Francisco already is showing he has the right stuff and we need 6 more of him.

2/13/2008 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What finally happened to Jeff Shelton's East Cota Street project that failed totally to sell. Will he make the same mistakes on Chapala Street.

East Cota Street was whimsical, but totally unsalable. Three floors of living space it way too much to negotiate.

But his worst crime was putting hard, brittles, shiney floor tiles on all floors. The stairs were narrow and steep and all they did was create the instant fear of falling on all those hard, shiney, brittle tiles. Should have used carpet.

Or, was it because the city decided to put cheap housing for the mentally ill right next door to Shelton's $2 million plus condos?

The next test will be Berkus selling his affordable units that he placed to face the parking lot of the Salvation Army homeless shelter. Good way to get more market rate bonus density including these undesireable location affordable units where he couldn't get market rate if he wanted to.

Does anyone see what a total farce the city affordable housing program has become?

It ruins the good projects and it fails to supply anything remotely meaningful for their socialist agenda in the long run.

It is a total failure no matter what way you twist this agenda.

2/13/2008 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga says:

Less is More:

I hear you about Gaudi. Been there.

Don Jose has a little fantasy to have Jeff Shelton design a little French Provencal Pigeonnier on a small lot downtown where I could return to a festive cultural life downtown.

I hope all of you will google Jeff Shelton to see his work and a bit of his personality. The Cota Street Condos must be imagined in terms of what was there before.

Henny Lenny is another creative architectural force.

Berkus is too much of a mondernist for me.

Thinking about architecture and planning is the key to keeping Santa Barbara the essence of Santa Barbara in our minds.

Let's talk about the backbone of the community. We need to note the still existant landforms and characteristic historical features that help us understand where to take Santa Barbara.

Let's think about the old Chumash footpaths. Also The Spanish Design coming from the Plan of the Indies, with it's Mission, Presidio, Plazas,and Pueblo.

And let's note the American period when it first started.

What can you tell me about the old Chumash footpaths?

2/14/2008 8:02 AM  
Anonymous less is more said...

11:02 p.m.

The reason the units on east coat that Shelton designed didn't sell had nothing to do with his design. It had everything to do with the price being way too high.
this kind of an artistic design would sell like hotcakes if they were a 1500 sq. ft unit priced at $600 per sq. ft for a $900,000 selling price but 1500 sq. ft. units simply won't sell at $1,500,000 which is $1000 per unit.

This is not the fault of the architect but the greedy developer, who is the one who sets the price and tells the architect how big to make the units.

Yes, such a very artistic design will add an additional $100,000 cost per unit, but such a 1500 sq. ft artistic unit would sell for an additional $100,000 to pay for this extra cost.

2/14/2008 10:01 AM  
Anonymous less is more said...

reply to don jose

You asked about Chumash footpaths.

UCSB is the keeper of extensive information and maps of all the old Chumash village sites and footpaths.

This information is not open to the public because they don't want anyone to know the locations and go digging for relics.

any archeologist has access to this information.

I do know that the very biggest site was located at the Goleta slough where that big mound of dirt is located beside Ward memorial Blvd. and on the ocean side of the Goleta Sanitary district plant. there was a village of well over a thousand for hundreds of years if not thousands of years.
There was another big site at Hendry's beach where they made their canoes to go to the channel islands. They generally located a village next to a creek. There are hundreds of sites all over Santa Barbara.

They had trails from their villages up into the mountains. Very similar to the paths that occur today! Some of them had rocks along the edges. Several years ago I discovered one such trail when hiking in the foothills.
There was a big village at the 500 acre site where Bermant is just now breaking ground to put in a big new subdivision. It is located at the very end of Cieneguetas Road just past the church and is adjacent to hwy 154. One can walk around that whole undeveloped area and easily find a lot of arrow heads. baskets, and beads, bones, etc..

But not for long because the bulldozers have started massive grading and are uncovering many relics in the process. Please don't go there hunting for relics because these relics are very valuable and historical and belong in a museum, not sold to some collector for hundreds of dollars.

I know of several other sites, but it is improper of me to be revealing them this way to the public because the archaeologists have decided to keep all of them secret.

2/14/2008 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega says:

Good Day. Hope your day was jim dandy.

Less is More: I know about the map.I've seen the map.
But I would rather discuss what part of the City layout..street grid, paseos, and what not, downtown stuff which are there, and there because once long ago they were simple Chumash footpaths, going from the Mission to the Presidio or earlier down at Burton's Mound and Chumash village there. 10,000 year of walking makes a good baseline. Much better than an imaginary blue line for the future.

What historic plazas do you know?
What are they for?

Let's talk about the skeleton of Santa Barbara on which all the flesh is laid.

Don Jose

2/14/2008 7:29 PM  
Anonymous less is more said...

don jose:
I had thought you were talking about pre-Spanish.

I'm sorry I don't have any knowledge of what you are looking for. I wish I did because you are really onto something worth looking into.

Hopefully others with information can share it with us.

I did hear that around that time there was a footpath running along the bluff roughly where cliff Drive is running from what is now City college past Hendry's beach and them going through what is Marina Drive in Hope ranch and then connecting to what is now UCSB.

I heard that later on it was widened into a stagecoach road.

I would guess that there would have also been a path along what is now las Positas Road following Arroyo Burro Creek all the way to the foothills.

I would suspect that when the spanish came they would have made maps of villages and paths. maybe there are some very old maps up at the mission archives??

Maybe some historian has studied this and put into a book or research paper. Maybe some historian can help us with this?

And of course at the time the street grid was first laid out the designer must have made a drawing of any existing paths.

I have heard that the street grid was laid out at 45 degrees to true north on purpose to take advantage of the best sunlight. so this would have been somewhat different from the paths before such a rigid street layout was made. And once such a grid was laid out any plazas after that would have been of spanish origin as opposed to Chumash. But it still would be of some value as to there location and function.

I do know that there were several very early trails from the mission up to what is now the Botanic garden. I discovered an overgrown very old obviously Chumash built stone lined path up there under the weeds going along the East side of what is now Tunnel Road about 200 feet West side of the creek and not too far from the old water reservoir and Dam.

Would some historian please help us out with this discussion?

2/15/2008 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga says:

Good Evening! Less is More

I fear that our discussion will never be perceived by other participants in blogabarbara that reading way up there at the top.

But let's continue. We're talking to each other and that's great.

Let's think of the city as a palimpsest (a visible multi-layer outdoor manuscript) for planning.

The first layer is the Chumash World with all the wisdom that entails and that would have to do with the natural world, water, etc. There are footpaths, village sites,
dumps, a whole raft of information.

It seems to me that the second layer of the palimpsest (or think of zoning overlays) is the Spanish period. This layer comes from a document we do know, and it is the Plan of the Indies which is the "How to do it" book for the Spanish as they moved out throughout the world and founded Presidios, Missions, and Pueblos. Everything you need to know about building a City is contained therein. Additionally this planning document contains the wisdom of the Romans. If you remember your architectural studies, you can think of Vitruvius who if you remember, told architects to see where the sun was and which way the wind blew. You remember that right?

The plan of the Indies tells us about Paseos (walkways) and the necessity of Plazas and what they're for, where they should be, and what kind of buildings and activities to put around them. Plazas are a key element in this planning document and also in the world of Rome. It's about civilization you see.

Dinner calls... more later. More layers to come. Thanks for writing. I appreciate it.

2/15/2008 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Augusto Den said...


Not sure how you know what happened for each an every day of those 10,000 years you mentioned, and how you know that there were not gaps of a few hundred years now and then.

Also not sure whether other spots in California, say, where the Miwoks and Ohlones lived, were not superior to Santa Barbara for pre-European settlement.

But no matter. It is an exceptionally nice place. And the most exceptional aspect of this place was, after all, the Goleta Slough.

The City of Santa Barbara keeps the Goleta Slough under pavement. You want a real project to restore the South Coast, take that one on. A restored Slough would easily be worth another 50,000 folks in green 4-story smartgrowth homes.

2/16/2008 10:59 AM  
Anonymous less is more said...

don jose
Damn you're brilliant. Much smarter than me! I thought I knew this stuff, but I just learned there is always something new to learn and think about. Im am grateful to you for opening my eyes to this line of thought.

You really came up with something really worth looking into.
You made several very good points, but most of all you just came up with a brand new way of looking at Santa Barbara planning, and one that has never been done before, but one which is so very basic that it only makes sense to pursue it. You have just given me a huge homework assignment to catch up to you on this path, or thread, of thinking. it is going to take me a while to research and think about this. But I like it! A LOT!

I suggest you write, and post with your niece Sara, a new blog on just this subject, in order to get the proper group discussion that it deserves.

2/16/2008 12:58 PM  
Anonymous less is more said...

agusto den

I assure you that Im did not make this up. It came from experts at UCSB who make the claim that Santa Barbara is the site of the longest continuous settlement in the entire western hemisphere. Quite a claim.

But if one thinks about it it makes sense.

the first humans came to the Western Hemisphere via the Bering straight during the ice age when there were mammoths roaming North America. most of north america was covered with ice so they moved south along the coast until they came to a habitable area and that was Santa Barbara and they simply stayed.

This was the time of the Clovis people.

The point being that Santa Barbara is therefore a special and very historic place. and that it has a lot to do with it's special geography and climate and beauty. In other words it was a desirable place to live. Always has been and always shall be. .
and one deserving of protection of our historic resources and historic buildings.

Funny you should bring up the Goleta slough. About 20 years ago I had a vision that the airport could be relocated and the old sough could be dredged and made into a huge harbor with a marina and an urban village with 3 story buildings could be built in a ring all around the bay with lots of hotels and restaurants and shopping with mixed use residential apartments over them.
The aesthetic character would be overwhelmingly beautiful and would create a very special commercial and tourist area.

Plus it would benefit all of Goleta by removing all the nasty airplane noise.

But to make this dream a reality it would take relocating the airport and you can imagine how hard that would be. The airport has turned into a major force to be reckoned with.

2/16/2008 8:36 PM  
Anonymous augusto den said...


well, an Orange or Ventura-County style Marina doesn't float my boat. I'm thinking a purely natural area like the Carpinteria salt marsh.

I bet Cuyama would love to have the airport, and Cuyama would love to be part of an ultrafest maglev train spur from Santa Barbara up to Bakersfield, to joint he LA-SF route. But who dreams any more of superior infrastructure.

2/17/2008 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Greeting Less is More and Don Augusto:

Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega says:

The next layer thinking again of
our living and visible multi-layer palimpsest manuscript City, and we arrive at a consideration of the American layer.

As the Americans came they brought with them their culture. They had been busy crossing the continent and turning "free land" into a grid system that could be easily measured, bought and sold, and then turned into even smaller plots of land for sale. This is the true nature of the march of manifest destiny. So here in Santa Barbara...State St. is the icon element they established as a baseline (following pretty much an earthquake fault) and then making the grid from there. One should make reference to the Wackenreuder Map of the early 1860s to see the effect of this overlay. Pretty devastating! Right away, the Spanish Plan was in danger and lots of adobes in the grid's right-of-ways, were on their way to destruction.
We often talk in our community history about the effects of the Haley survey.

Anyway by the end of the 1870s there was an American style building standing right in the middle of Plaza de la Guerra. Naturally enough it was City Hall. And clearly revealed who was in charge in the new Santa Barbara. An old tall palm tree, growing from the period, marks the spot today. There used to be two palm trees but recent storms took one down.

Architecture that came into the community now came in a roaring wave, all was revival styles of this and that.

So the result is, that down at City Hall today the planners must refer to the reality of the "T"which is the long Cabrillo Boulevard, the intersection of the top of the "T" where the dolphin fountain is, and on up State Street into town. This constitutes the "T"--the new backbone of the City.

There is a constant fight between the old plan of the Spanish 'Plan of the Indies' concept and the American Plan. They are only fifty yards apart at the Plaza and State Street.

This juxtaposition is interesting from a planning perspective.

Planning in the City should take into consideration the values of the three layers and especially the nifty juxtaposition of nodes where these three City concepts come together, the Chumash, the Spanish, and the American.

There are more layers. But more of that next time. Thanks for reading.

Don Jose.

2/17/2008 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

We don't know who wrote the Laws of the Indies, which are a series of 142 ordinances meant to guide the Spanish place-making and City building efforts. The presumption is that the Laws were written via clerical advice to the King. The Laws were lost till 1912, when they were rediscovered and the translations began. Three translations have since been written, but none of them are complete, even though an attempt at a complete translation is under way.

The Laws of the Indies were respectful to the existing template laid down by the Indians. Every time the Spanish decided to destroy an Indian settlement, the Laws dictated that they retain key planning elements and spatial considerations, not to mention building materials. For example, the Spanish destroyed existing temples (were not talking Santa Barbara here), then used the space as a template to erect their new churches. The building typology that the Indians were using was easily modified by the Spanish. They took the foundations and placed a new Spanish roof on them. Monasteries, civic buildings, all were done in similar fashion. The Spanish had this balance between what went before and using it to become the future. This was also the Roman way, and the Christian way in Europe.

The plaza and building typology were already there, built with foundations that were almost impossible to move away. The Spanish realized that they would have to leave those building types and build on top of them. The only thing that changed was the physical look of them. The Spanish syncretized the Indian approach with their own. And, for the new residents of their 'new' towns, they created plazas.

Thinking about these relationships has not been done in Santa Barbara.

The Spanish created rectangular plazas and square plazas, primarily. It is perfectly described in the ordinances of the Plan of the Indies--the oldest planning document in the world. Plazas were big. Massive. The concept of a small street grid and cute little plaza was nonexistent in the Laws of the Indies. Some plazas were molded into a defensive posture, with agricultural uses inside them, surrounded by exquisite building types. Our Presidio had a Plaza. But all plazas were theaters of life; they were a point of focus for each town's residents.

2/17/2008 9:01 AM  
Anonymous less is more said...

agusto den

Please tell us where the Miwoks and Ohlones lived?
and why did they pick those spots?

2/17/2008 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Agusto Den: Why do you want to talk about these Northern California tribes? Ohlones are San Francisco types and thus obviously suspicious characters, and as for the Miwoks they're just living in an old glacier debris basin, I don't know what to tell you.

I believe Barney Bratingham has recently pronounced in a judicial journalistic ruling while criticizing the LA Times that we are Southern Californian...not even Central Californian. What can we have to do with those guys up there?

The Chumash get this 10,000 year residency award along with a different linguistic dialect that all the other Indians in California don't share.

I sure the Ohlones are wonderful up there in San Francisco with all the rainbow possibilities. And I do not the presence of the Spanish up there at Yerba Buena...might be a good place to test the living multilayer palimpsest planning theory.

Did you know San Francisco once belonged to the French? (Lemantour)

2/17/2008 6:08 PM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

less and don j d l g y n,

Miwoks and Ohlones were San Francisco Bay Area natives... pretty nice up there too.

I think they liked to live in the mudflats too, just like the Canalinos... who loved the Goleta Slough.

One palimpsest fragment... ever noticed that the densest old native american places become (sort of) working class neighborhoods/ run down areas? SF, Oakland, and Goleta Old Town...

2/17/2008 6:52 PM  

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