First Look at the Plan for Montecito’s Dorinda Triangle

••• Here’s your first glimpse of the concept plan for the Dorinda Triangle at the intersection of Hot Springs and Olive Mill. The design is by Arcadia Studio, and the project is a joint effort of the Garden Club of Santa Barbara, the Montecito Community Foundation, and Casa Dorinda. I’ve included the explanation separately so it’s easier to read; note that the perimeter is sandstone cobble rather than DG, to discourage walking there, and the county may still be asking for tweaks. Obviously, it’s a huge improvement over what’s there now. The organizations are raising funds to make the redo happen; you can help by donating via the Montecito Community Foundation.

••• An update about the Ghost Village Road trick-or-treating tomorrow: Good on the Montecito Journal for doing the work of confirming with Coast Village Road businesses that they will indeed be handing out entitlements candy.

••• The 15-room hotel in the works at 513-517 De La Vina has been turned Spanish, according to materials submitted for Monday’s meeting of the city’s Architectural Board of Review.

••• Press release: “The Ojai Film Festival returns November 3-20 for its 23rd year with both in-person and virtual events, celebrating the works of filmmakers from around the world. The official festival schedule includes 84 selected films (varying from features, shorts, documentaries, and animated films), over a dozen seminars, panels, and receptions with filmmakers, live music from local artists, and the Awards Brunch. For the second year in a row, the festival will run in hybrid form, screening all films in person from November 4-7 at the Ojai Art Center, and virtually from November 8-20 […], doubling last year’s length of virtually available stream times.”

••• K. sends word that the county is working on another debris basin in Montecito—this one where Buena Vista Creek meets Park Lane.

••• I went and checked out the new Santa Barbara Hives store in San Roque (3328 State Street), and it’s a lot like the one in Carp, but bigger. You’ll find the brand’s own merchandise, of course, and lots of bee-related stuff (including the perfect MYOB gift). But there’s much more—basically, anything where natural meets local: pantry items like olive oil, coffee, and hot sauce; table linens; jewelry; and the list goes on. The shop is even doubling as a showroom for hemp flooring.


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Hot Springs/Olive Mill triangle… it is nice to see this garden come together, but I alway scratch my head why the four way stop sign is necessary there? With all the space now available a little roundabout would do well there in front of Casa Dorinda. Is it that difficult to replace some stop signs for a little roundabout to keep traffic moving calmly?

Erik Torkells

I couldn’t agree more, although I wouldn’t be surprised if many Casa Dorinda folks are more comfortable with the stop sign.

ES Corchero

While I am happy to see the plans for the garden, I could not agree more… the ONE place where there is room for a roundabout and it would actually improve traffic… is this spot! (Although yes, the driving population at Casa Dorinda might disagree)


Hi Erik, there’s an incredibly charming, vintage neon sign for the “Four Seasons Biltmore” located near the intersection of Olive Mill and Jameson Lane. I don’t think the sign is currently operational and I’m wondering with all the uncertainty around the Four Seasons itself if the sign is outright abandoned at this point. The location of the slender time warp appears to be at the epicenter of the pending roundabout work. Are you aware of the sign – and if perhaps there are plans afoot to preserve, restore and/or relocate it? If there’s some kind of volunteer effort percolating around it’s rescue I’d be happy to donate my own time and efforts.

Mark MacGillvray

I remember this sign being mentioned some time ago in the roundabout construction, that it would be likely moved and preserved. I also remember the sound wall being built all through Montecito, as well as the spectacular landscaping at the Hot Springs roundabout as well.


Thank you for bringing this up, Dan! I hope it will be preserved. That sign is great. The city is so misguided in its disdain for neon. It’s a beautiful and historic form of signage!


Wonderful sign, was thinking about this beautiful sign, thank you for bringing it up-I hope it stays … sort of like the old Miramar sign, which has been sidelined to a degree by new signage.


With regard to the neon sign, might Montecito have a protocol for declaring something to be historically significant? The reason I mention it, is that I raised this issue with the city of SB over the “Joe’s Cafe” neon sign in the 500 block of State St. In SB, that sign meets the first prerequisite – must be at least 50 years old. The city official I spoke with said if someone were to nominate the Joe’s sign, it’s quite possible that sign would be declared historically significant due to its uniqueness.

Barbara Laing

Hi, I’ve been curious about what’s going on at the corner of Chapala and Haley where Happy Shop used to be. It’s been cac t for a couple of years now. Thanks in advance for any info you may have!