Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Miramar Pulled from MABR Agenda

Last week, I questioned why Rick Caruso got special treatment in being able to table for his cause in the County Administration Building parking lot. The Planning Commission hearing that day was continued to the 6th of August.

One of the things that the Planning Commission asked for was that the Miramar Project be sent to the Montecito Architectural Board of Review to get questions answered related to the size and scope of the project. An agenda for next week's meeting was made and yet the item has been pulled and the hearing will not be held in favor of an audiotape of an older hearing being sent to planning commissioners.

Not quite the opportunity for public review and consideration I would have hoped for. Apparently, some of Caruso's team didn't think they could attend the meeting on such short notice and didn't feel they were prepared. That's hard to believe when this is the kind of answers they should have been prepared for at the recent Planning Commission hearing.

What I haven't heard is who actually got to make that decision to pull the item? Does this decision serve the public? What about the size, scale and bulk issues around the Miramar Project? I also have to wonder if average applicants have the same ability to pull themselves off a public agenda. More questions than answers here....

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Anonymous wineguy said...

The Planning Commission, having requested additional input from the Montecito ABR, should now continue the item on their calendar until the MBAR is able to consider it...

7/25/2008 8:04 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Sara, did you miss the story of "Oops, we forgot to tell you Rick that yes we have no water...and did you notice the disparity of how much water is used by the average arrogantly piggish Monticito house VS the thrifty Good Landers?

Hey Caruso! I'm not home that much so I'd be willing to sell you some of my water for umm... $150 dollars a barrel!

7/25/2008 8:07 AM  
Blogger sbbulldog said...

Please register my objection to modifying and adopting a previously approved plan for the Miramar project. I cannot understand how such a large and important development can be allowed to proceed without the safeguards and requirements that would be typical of any coastal project.

The potential problems are numerous. The height alone, the lack of a COMPLETE EIR alone, the speed of process and apparent acquiescence of you, Mr. Carbajal, and some Planning staff, are more than enough reason to carefully modify the plan to fit our community standards. Why bother having a community plan if it is violated? We residents, owners, and voters are NOT in agreement with the existing modification requests and will not stand by silently. Why are we being left out of the decision making process and why are rules and procedures being abrogated in order to fit this massive exploitation of our neighborhood to the needs of any commercial venture?

I'd very much like to see a plan that fits the site, is respectful of the process, provides adequate (REALISTIC) parking, and doesn't endanger the sensitive seaside environment. I am NOT opposed to the rebuilding of a cherished community asset, the Miramar. What I object to is the distortion of a business from a local treasure into an overbuilt, hulking, eyesore. EVERY architect I know has criticized the design. If only this were an aesthetic issue, and not an overuse of a valuable site it would still be a travesty. But it's not, as proposed it is a lasting scar on our human environment.

I'm truly appalled by the handling of this process by the County. I applaud the bravery of staff that has tried to resist the pressure to "go with the flow". Those who take a measured, impartial review will be able to draw meaningful and lawful conclusions. Others will plant the seeds of distrust, disgust, and further delay in bringing a valuable plan into fruition.

Please join together with the community, the one's who have taken the time to actually examine the plan, to save this site for the great hotel it deserves.

Thank you

7/30/2008 8:27 PM  

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