Increased Regulation Likely for Pandemic Restaurant Expansion

••• During the pandemic, the city of Santa Barbara passed a temporary ordinance so restaurants could expand outside onto private property; as the Independent and Noozhawk report, that ordinance expires at year end, and the spaces may run afoul of state regulations. (Street parklets are a different. matter.) Acme Hospitality owner Sherry Villanueva testified at a recent city council discussion, and The Lark and Lucky Penny provide a prime example. The two restaurants’ additional outdoor seating—around 90 seats total, by my count—has come (1) at the expense of parking, and (2) without a commensurate expansion of the shared restroom capacity.

••• The fall cruise season has begun, with 13 ships slated to visit Santa Barbara through November 10 (including five between October 2 and 10). —KEYT

••• A list of Santa Barbara infrastructure projects. —Independent

••• “Design plans for the Santa Barbara County Probation Department headquarters in downtown Santa Barbara are finished, and the county plans to bid out the construction project by the end of the year, according to the General Services Department.” The 33,438-square-foot facility is at 1019 Garden Street (Figueroa/Carrillo), and the rendering below is from last fall. —Noozhawk

••• “Carpinteria City Councilman Roy Lee is challenging Das Williams for the First District Santa Barbara County supervisor’s seat. […] The primary election is March 5.” —Noozhawk

••• Checking in on the ongoing restoration of Hammond’s Meadow in Montecito: “The meadow was overrun by non-native weeds, explained Ken Owen, executive director of Channel Islands Restoration [….] After eradicating non-native plants, they’ll cover the area with a nonbiodegradable geotextile fabric to protect the sacred ground underneath and lay on 10 inches of recovered soil, upon which a new, native garden of 26 different grasses and wildflowers can sprout. They’re just waiting on a grading permit to get started.” —Independent

••• “Enrollment in the Santa Barbara Unified School District has dropped by about 2,084 students over the past decade. On average, the district has lost about 208 students every year, according to a new enrollment report provided to the district’s trustees last week.” —Noozhawk

••• “The Goleta Design Review Board has recommended that the Planning Commission give preliminary approval to the Santa Barbara Humane‘s renovation plans, which […] is proposing a campus-wide renovation that would demolish and replace 10 buildings and one barn; renovate its existing education building; and relocate and restore Beck House.” A rendering is below. “The Goleta Design Review Board also conducted a conceptual review of a project that will relocate and repurpose the Santa Barbara Airport’s Hangar 5,” although it’s more of a rebuild-with-some-original-parts situation. —Noozhawk


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Dan O. Seibert

Hi Erik, I pretty much have the best job in SB, I’m the gardener for the ACME restaurant properties. I think you are sadly mistaken when you imply the loss of parking (eight spots shared by Lucky Penny and The Lark) and lack of bathrooms is somehow a negative. If there are 90 new seats then I see it as a positive. That’s 90 seats that are providing tax revenue to the city, and if you didn’t know the city is facing a $5,000,000 deficit this year. And the bathroom issue really isn’t one. If patrons were using the bushes, I’m the guy that would clean it up. Seriously, nobody is losing their shit over this. I can make that joke because I have cleaned up messes, but it was well before Covid and these 90 new seats. I can’t explain the fact that Lark, Lucky Penny, Wine Collective, Pearl Social, and Helena Ave Bakery are doing just fine with the number of bathrooms they currently have. Somehow it’s all working. One last thing about parking, and this is “whataboutism,” if Mayor Rowse and you are concerned about the loss of parking then you should drive by the famous Fig Tree on Montecito street. In the last few weeks a number of cars and RV’s have taken up permanent spots. These are spots that employees and patrons of the Funk Zone use on weekends. There is zero enforcement from the city to address those parking, living here. This morning I counted 15 cars and 6 RV’s. Alright, I feel much better now. . . .

Dan O. Seibert

Let me know when you see state, county, or city regulations being enforced. Because I’m only seeing chaos.

Jeff A.

Because they aren’t being enforced due to the Economic Recovery Extension and Transition Ordinance which expires at the end of this year.