A Coordinated Effort to Improve Downtown Santa Barbara

••• I had the opportunity to visit Rose Story Farm in Carpinteria—even with the roses far from their peak, it was clear that Danielle Dall’Armi Hahn and Bill Hahn have created a truly magical place. If you ever get the chance, go! In the meantime, you can preorder Danielle’s book, The Color of Roses, due out in March.

••• Two local organizations—the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Organization—are working on the formation of a Community Business Improvement District for downtown Santa Barbara. (One was recently established for Coast Village Road.) From the release:

Community Benefit Improvement Districts are property-based assessment districts for the purpose of funding increased maintenance and services that will benefit the defined area. […] An initial survey has been mailed to downtown property owners seeking feedback on the primary issues affecting the area and gauge the level of support for the proposed proposed CBID [which] would fund improvements and services over and above those currently provided by the City of Santa Barbara. […] Concurrently, the City of Santa Barbara has commenced the State Street Master Plan with oversight from the State Street Advisory Committee which both the Downtown Organization and the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce are also involved in. The State Street Master Plan is a long-term visioning document for the revitalization of downtown over the next 30 to 50 years that will lead to a capital improvement plan. The proposed Community Benefit Improvement District for downtown, if implemented, will create a funding source for enhanced services to the district as identified by the stakeholders of the CBID, which could be provided as early as 2024.

There’s a survey for downtown property owners. As for what constitutes downtown, I was told that “the CBID feasibility survey is being sent to all property owners in the downtown central business district including the Funk Zone. The final defined district will be determined from the survey.”

••• You’ll recall that when we learned about the plan for the Las Aves complex at E. Cabrillo Boulevard and Los Patos Way, the developer said it was in the process of buying two more properties on the street. One just closed: 40 Los Patos Way, site of the Montecito Athletic Club, for $7.125 million.

••• Believe it or not, the holiday season is approaching fast. Buy tickets now for The Nutcracker by Santa Barbara Festival Ballet at the Arlington (December 12) and/or by State Street Ballet at the Granada (December 19), or Ensemble Theatre Company‘s A Christmas Carol at the New Vic (December 1-18).

••• From Channel Islands National Park: “Channel Islands National Park is reopening Anacapa Island to public visitation on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Construction of a new wharf that prevented the public from visiting Anacapa Island is near completion which will now allow the island to reopen to day-use-visitors and overnight campers. Anacapa will be accessible via fixed ladders, much like the previous wharf. Once complete, the new wharf will have an adjustable platform that will allow visitors and park staff to easily move from vessels to the landing, which will improve overall safety and experience to the island.”

••• According to the Hayes Commercial Group‘s third-quarter report, the building at 730 State Street (De La Guerra/Ortega)) was “purchased by a regional hostel business.” The buyer is listed at Shared Properties LLC, which appeared to me to be more about affordable housing; either way, it’s a somewhat strange location. The 2,219-square-foot building also fronts De La Guerra Plaza—here’s hoping the new owner sees the potential for both the terrace and the plaza.


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