A Huge Probation Office Is Proposed for Downtown

••• Lots of interesting stuff on the city’s agendas this week. The big one, on the Historic Landmarks Commission’s November 9 agenda, is a new headquarters for the Santa Barbara County Probation Department. It’s on the west side of Garden Street, between Figueroa and Carrillo, where a parking lot is now. “Project proposes to construct a new four-story (three floors over one partially subterranean parking level) 33,438-square-foot office facility.” And the description on the plans says, “Program includes underground parking, office admin, interview rooms, classrooms, and public meeting rooms and support facilities.” I can’t imagine the HLC is going to love the design, by RNT Architects of Ventura: it looks like three different building smushed together, the upper floors are begging for setbacks, and it doesn’t make contextual sense anywhere in Santa Barbara, least of all downtown. The agenda item is listed as a courtesy review; I don’t know whether the city has the jurisdiction to do anything about it.

••• According to Monday’s Architectural Board of Review agenda, the Leadbetter Beach restroom on Shoreline Drive is headed for refurbishment. From the plans: “Remodel the existing Leadbetter Beach Restroom that houses men’s and women’s facilities totaling 756 square feet. The project consists of replacing all floor finishes, partitions, electrical fixtures, plumbing fixtures, waste line, and ADA improvements. Exterior work to include replacement of window screens and removal of exterior partition walls. New column showers to replace showers at shower partition walls. Existing changing area partitions to be enclosed for custodial storage. Paint building to match existing color. Refurbish existing landscaping and mulch.”

••• And on the November 10 agenda of the city’s Planning Commission agenda: an itty-bitty hotel at 42 Helena Avenue in the Funk Zone. “The project consists of the conversion of an existing 758-square-foot (net) one-story commercial building to a small hotel with two guest rooms, shared kitchenette, and shared restroom. The existing exterior barn door would be replaced with a new double door. A new outdoor display/storage area for an adjacent e-bike/scooter/golf cart rental company is proposed in the front portion of the project site. Although there is currently a security fence on the project site, this fence would be removed as part of the project.”

••• An update from A. about the long-planned to upgrade the Vons in Montecito to a Pavilions: “My husband talked to a manager at Vons last week who said that all details regarding the lease had been worked out and that the renovations were to begin soon.”

••• I’m sure you have opinions about the State Street Promenade. The folks working on a master plan have an online survey you should fill out.

••• A while back, someone wrote in to complain about the decrepit condition of the gazebo at Alameda Park. I went to check it out, but a bunch of homeless people were in residence. Anyway, I just saw on the Parks & Recreation Department‘s website that it’s closed for refurbishment.

••• Up now at My Pet Ram in the Funk Zone: “Light Chasers featuring new paintings by Kathryn Lynch and Charlotte Lethbridge. Both painters carry landscapes like tokens, taking snippets of life back to their studios where they capture their unique recollections of a place.” Below: Lethbridge’s “Mom’s Lamp.”


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One Comment


Closing State Street to automobiles is a good start but I want to feel safe when walking, dinning or shopping on State Street – it’s that simple. I don’t want to be dogging reckless bicyclist or experience angry people standing on street corners. State Street is about enjoying our town and of course commerce. Make it safe!