Details About the Proposed Changes at El Encanto

••• As promised, here’s more about El Encanto’s submission to the Historical Landmarks Commission: “Proposed exterior improvements to the site, located in the Hillside Design District, including two new pools, a spa, outdoor dining area [south of the spa], fencing, trellis, a valet kiosk, removal of a tiered water feature on an existing fountain, replace the (Alvarado Place) driveway materials from concrete to brick, and hardscape and landscape alterations. The project also includes one window to door conversion on Building 14, and the removal of one native oak and ten non-native trees.” The first image below shows the overall placement of the two pools and the new spa; the second and third images are close-ups on the relevant areas. I’m sure guests will appreciate the upgrades, but I’m confident that most residents would prefer that Belmond invest in the restaurant.

••• And there’s a notice posted on the Architectural Board of Review website for a “a new 1,876-square-foot car wash” at 236 N. Milpas Street, which you know as the Trader Joe’s corner; it would be taking the place of C Tires.

••• Opening September 14 at Clay Studio: “Digital Handcraft is an educational exhibition that will introduce visitors to the world of 3D printing. […] The exhibit will include 3D prints in a variety of stages, including renderings, prototypes, models, and final prints. Concepts and techniques will be demonstrated and explained using video, QR codes and web links. Looped videos will feature time lapse recordings of forms being rendered on printers.”

••• Some friends and I were talking the other day about how we’d like to watch a launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base, but we have no idea how to go about it. Anyone have any advice about viewing spots? And is there any rule of thumb about how likely it is a launch will actually happen?

••• A question from M,: “The August 23 issue of the Independent addresses the efforts to address homelessness. The first paragraph identifies a new project, Patterson Point Apartments located at the intersection of Patterson and 101. More accurately, the location is most likely at the intersection of Patterson and Calle Real. Can Siteline find out more information about this project?” For those who didn’t read the Independent article, it also said that it’ll be 24 units and for “formerly homeless individuals and include an on-site manager, offices for supportive services, a community room, laundry and restroom facilities, and a non-commercial kitchen.” The address, according to a notice about an environmental assessment, is 80 N. Patterson Avenue, which the assessment describes thus: “on the east side of Patterson Avenue, approximately 218 feet southeast of the intersection of Patterson Avenue and Calle Real, within a mixed commercial and residential area of Santa Barbara County. The immediately surrounding properties consist of Patterson 101 Self-Storage (98 North Patterson Avenue) to the north, beyond which are single-family homes (5295 & 5299 Calle Barquero; 301 Santa Rosalia Way); a highway on-ramp to the south, beyond which is Highway 101; Patterson 101 Self-Storage (98 North Patterson Avenue) to the east; and Patterson Plus Self-Storage (5325 Calle Real) and vacant land to the west across Patterson Avenue.”


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Jann Jaffe

Amen to wishing a better restaurant at the El Encanto. No matter how many times I eat there hoping It’s improved; I leave unsatisfied


Ha, agree about the El Encanto restaurant. But the driveway upgrades are so welcome. I’ve been irked by the concrete from day 1. Looks so cheap.

As for a launch, you should absolutely go watch in person. I’d try to aim for a SpaceX launch specifically with relanding of the first stage when there is good weather. Many don’t reland at Vandenberg but rather on a barge off the coast of Baja, so make sure you’re targeting one that comes back to Vandenberg as it’s much more dramatic. Unfortunately you’re going to deal with a high likelihood of cancellation. I watch most launches from home and I’d say there’s at least a 50% abort rate, sometimes in the last few seconds. We got lucky and saw an amazing relanding launch in February ‘22 – our first attempt at going to Lompoc to watch in person and it was a success. We made sure to arrive to Lompoc 1.5 hours in advance of the launch and were shocked at how many people were already there lining all of the roads. We had researched various places to park but we ended up just pulling over on Ocean Avenue when we saw a spot. We were headed toward the beach but the crowds (I have never seen more Teslas in my life) made us think we should just snag the first spot we saw and so we did. We also assumed the crowds of SpaceX fan boys knew something we didn’t and we were in a decent spot to watch. It was stunning and a crystal clear day. Very exciting and definitely worth doing. A night launch would be spectacular as well. Fog would be less than ideal and can be a problem at Vandenberg. Plan for a good meal somewhere after and maybe some wine, so even if you have a cancellation you have something to look forward to. We did Industrial Eats and our launch aligned perfectly with lunchtime but timing is all over the place!


Depending on time- the west side of Full of Life in Los Alamos, Harris Grade has several optimal viewing decks- get there early, Bodger Hill, hwy 1 and San Antonio Road west of Los Alamos.

You never know about a launch and the abort factor- very frustrating when its a 5 seconds to go!

Dan O. Seibert

Well, I think most residents would prefer the hotel was sold to local investors, then I could get my old job back, head gardener. I have no problem with any of these projects but I think the multinational corporation that owns the hotel is a bid delusional. How will two more pools drive revenue when the online reviews often mention the lack of staffing at the current pool? Oh, and how about the number of new hotels being proposed in town? (Sarcasm here) The number of qualified, long term, well adjusted and mature future employees is overwhelming!!