Is a Hip Little Hotel in Montecito’s Future?

••• I got so excited about Austin/Aspen restaurant Clark’s opening an outpost in the former Cava space on Coast Village Road that I forgot all about the bank of 16 rooms/apartments located behind it. My understanding is that, for now, the deal with Clark’s owner, MML Hospitality, includes only the restaurant, with the hotel a possibility for later on. (MML has a couple of hotels already.) The old Cavita outbuilding, once the site of a pair of hotel rooms, sure would be a cute little lobby….

••• Speaking of motels…. Another week, another hotel changes hands: the Motel 6 off East Beach sold for $14 million. It has long struck me as ripe for reinvention.

••• There’s a petition to save 63 trees slated to be removed to make way for the bike-pedestrian path along Modoc Road.

The current plan to spend $5.35 million to construct the Modoc Road multi-use bike path, a new 3939′ (.74 mile) off-road path which is in addition to the current existing bike path along Modoc Road in Santa Barbara, will result in the REMOVAL of a number of beautiful, mature, and distinctive Canary Island palm and Eucalyptus trees…as well as a number of native California Coast live oak. 63 trees in total.

We feel that the removal of the trees, and their shade canopy, will cause adverse environmental changes in this area, as well as negate the “distinctive visual character and park-like setting” to the Modoc Road area adjacent to the Modoc Preserve, as noted in the Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration.

Keep this valuable natural open space undeveloped. Preserved in its natural state “in perpetuity” as signed by Deed of Conservation Easement in 1999, a battle that we fought long and hard to win. It’s not OK to cut down 63 trees and put in a 14′ wide bike path…that is equivalent to losing an acre to development!

••• On August 13, I’m finally getting my chance to explore the MOXI museum in a kid-free environment at its Afterparty party. See you there?

••• From Monday’s agenda of the city’s Architectural Board of Review: “a proposal from the City’s Arts Advisory Committee to install a bronze statue honoring the rich diving history in Santa Barbara. The project will be fully funded by the Santa Barbara Diving Monument Committee and provided as a gift to the City of Santa Barbara and Waterfront Department.” It’ll be 10 feet tall, as you can see from the rendering.

••• No one guessed last weekend’s Where in Santa Barbara…?, so here’s the answer: it was at Educated Car Wash in San Roque (where they do an excellent job!).

••• I loved Official Competition, which has been extended through Thursday at the Riviera Theatre. The big screen suits it. And Penélope Cruz is one of those actors worth watching in anything she does.

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Comment:

13 Comments

Lauren

Oh FFS. That petition fails to mention they’re planting 60-120 live oaks, 80% of the palms are staying, and they’re mostly removing the invasive and highly flammable eucalyptus. So a net increase in trees, replacing invasives with natives, lower fire risk, AND most importantly… the protection of lives with a protected bike lane. That’s a sketchy section of a very popular bike route to UCSB. As someone who bikes it on my commute 100+ days/year, please don’t prioritize some invasive trees over my safety.

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BW

Thanks for clarifying, Lauren. If they’re in fact keeping most of the date palms (which are so elegant and beautiful in my opinion), then I wouldn’t mind. The petition made me think they were cutting them all down! I didn’t sign it because it also seems, just, anti bike path?

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Modoc Preserve

BW…definitely not anti-bike…our group…CAMP – Community Association for the Modoc Preserve has a number of cyclists…including me…in fact, one member has been active in advocating for bike paths and lanes in this area for decades…

We want to see high visibility green painted bike lanes…speed limit reduced from 45mph…to 35mph in the area it exists…speed indicator unit turned back on…proper maintenance…etc…on the existing Class II lanes…which are safe…vast majority of bike accidents are at intersections…not along straight-aways…and, the Class II lanes can be made safer…

We are also recommending that a better, value added, Class I alternative route through this area would be along the southern border of the Modoc Preserve…Vieja Drive…

Again…back to the 63 trees…it’s going to [email protected]@K like a war zone…tornado…between the Encore Dr. entrances…at least 6 of the 10 Canary Island palms slated for destruction are in this area…possibly up to 8…we live here and [email protected]@K at them every single day…and, are stoked with the biodiversity of this ecosystem….the palms are home to migrating orioles…the dates feed the preserve’s mammals…the eucalyptus are bee, butterfly, and bird habitat…etc…

Go on our Facebook or Instagram pages and take a [email protected]@K at these trees marked for destruction…it’s a way bigger project than you can imagine…over 1100′ of concrete retaining walls…

https://www.facebook.com/ModocPreserve

https://www.instagram.com/modocpreserve/

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BW

Oof. Over 1000’ feet of retaining walls? That genuinely sounds awful. Modoc, is there somewhere we can see the plans being proposed? Why do they need these retaining walls. I personally prefer Class I bike lane and will support alternative plans that incorporate that. Class II isn’t good enough through this corridor in my opinion.

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Modoc Preserve

It’s a 36MB download…click the link in the petition…
Go to the bottom where there are attachments…click on Public IS…

https://ceqanet.opr.ca.gov/2022050194

We have found many flaws in this document…especially, when it comes to birds and butterflies…eg., it actually states that no Monarch butterflies were sited…and, the closest Monarch habitat is 1 mile away…complete BS…so many impacts were minimized as “insignificant” or “less than significant”…

Regardless, CEQA requires notification of projects to people residing within 300’…which was a failure by this firm…we are home owners across the street…and, we can hear chainsaws 1/2 mile away…let alone stump and asphalt grinders…etc…

“This project consists of expanding an existing Class 2 bike lane to a Class 1 multi-use bike/pedestrian path along the south side of Modoc Road. The proposed bike path alignment extends approximately 3,930 feet from near the western Encore Drive intersection to near the Via Senda intersection. The western end of the proposed bike path would tie into an existing bike path about 50 feet south of the Modoc Road/Encore Drive intersection. The eastern terminus of the proposed bike path would be about 30 feet west of Via Senda along the southern shoulder of Modoc Road.
The bike path would be 10 feet wide with minimum two foot-wide shoulders on each side. The bike path would be paved with asphalt concrete over an aggregate base. Two retaining walls (approximately 1,134 linear feet in total) would be required along the bike path to provide a level surface and limit earthwork. A 538 foot-long northern retaining wall would be visible from Modoc Road, with an average height of about five feet. A 596 foot-long southern retaining wall would be located on the south side of the bike path alignment and would not be visible from Modoc Road. A 300-foot-long segment of the existing equestrian trail would be realigned by providing a three-foot-wide earthen equestrian trail about three feet south of the proposed bike path. The limits of earthwork would vary from about 18 to 24 feet wide along the bike path alignment.
An existing 750 foot-long earthen drainage swale located parallel to Modoc Road would be slightly re-aligned and incorporated into the bike path design. The drainage swale would have a top width of about six feet and depth of about two feet.”

Modoc Preserve

We have recommended several alternatives…
They are not thinking outside the box…
Why not go with a Class IV with raised flexible vertical barriers like on Cota…also, painting the lanes using high visibility green?
There are ways to improve bike safety on Modoc Road without mowing these trees down…

“The new Cota bike lane stand apart from other S.B. bike lanes are the new cylindrical delineators placed every 25-30 feet from Milpas Street to Santa Barbara Street. These reflective vertical posts act as a physical divider so that cyclists not only have their own lane of travel, but can ride with an added sense of safety knowing they have that extra 3-dimensional buffer between them and motorists.” 1. PROTECTED BICYCLE LANES! We want to see where the city can improve on existing (or new) bike lanes by adding a physical barrier. This type of treatment is great on streets with higher speed limits or especially wide lanes. Protected bike lanes are gaining popularity throughout the state and it’s time we bring some here! A pre-cursor to a physical buffer can be painting a small buffer between the bike lane and the car lane, like the County did on Hollister Avenue.
https://www.sbbike.org/4_easy_ways_to_make_goleta_better_for_bicycling

Dan O.

Your first words reinforce my opinion that bike riders in this town are jerks.

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BW

I’m pro bike path but anti cutting down the trees. Can’t they figure out a way to do both? We are rapidly losing mature trees around SB due to development and drought and it’s changing the character in a negative way. I don’t see why the planners can’t come up with a creative way to keep the trees and plot the path.

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Modoc Preserve

Exactly…it’s not just the number of trees…the “kill zone” is concentrated in the East Encore Dr. to West Encore Dr. area…decimation of mature and established habitat and shade canopy…

The oak saplings that are mitigated for the removal of the 14 California live oaks…will be 1 gallon and 5 gallon little bushes…that won’t provide the existing habitat or shade canopy of existing trees in our lifetime…and, will require precious water and care…in the middle of an extreme drought…

Cutting down iconic and historic trees…survivors of the 1990 Painted Cave Fire…replacing organic pedestrian paths with asphalt…planting little baby oaks in wire cages that require water and care…etc…is not using common sense…

Those of us that live across the street from this catastrophe will have a front row view to climate change in action!

The environmental (63 trees) and financial ($5.35MM) is not worth the 3930′ (.74 mile) Class I bike path when the existing Class II can easily, and inexpensively, be enhanced…and, traffic calming solutions employed…they need to use this grant money elsewhere…

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Temmo

I despise the term “invasives” for trees, especially eucalyptus. It’s like calling human beings “illegal aliens,” and it also smacks of eugenics. Eucalyptus have been in California since the 1850s. Not many present-day Californians, proportionally, can make a similar claim for their families! Eucalyptuses are an integral part of most people’s mental California landscape and should be treasured.

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Modoc Preserve

29 Blue Gum eucalyptus, survivors of the 1990 Painted Cave Fire, are targeted for destruction along Modoc Road, adjacent to the Modoc Preserve. These trees are much maligned and have been unfairly tarnished with fake news…

Eucalyptus are not invasive…that’s just one of the myths that the anti-euc eradication folks try to propagate…

These articles debunk these myths…

https://milliontrees.me/2018/06/15/putting-another-eucalyptus-myth-to-rest-lifespan-of-blue-gum-eucalyptus/

https://sutroforest.com/eucalyptus-myths/

Locally, the Carpinteria Bluffs and Ellwood Butterfly Grove groups cherish them…

The city of Burlingame (SF Bay Area) consider their Blue Gum eucalyptus trees a valuable asset to their city…they designated them as “Heritage Trees” in 1975…then they fought for, and saved, their Blue Gum Eucalyptus from being cut down by CalTrans…and, are now legally protected protected on the “National Register of Historic Places”…

We can save these trees…they are a part of our local heritage…

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BW

While on the topic of date palms… question for Siteline + readers…

Anyone know why Hope Ranch appears to be replacing Canary Island Date Palms with the less majestic Medjool? I just drove Las Palmas and Marina and it seems multiple Canary Island Palms that probably died or had issues are being replaced with Medjool palms. I might not have my ID exactly correct, but these do not seem to be Canaries. Bad decision! Am I wrong? The trees are sparse, skinny, and have foliage that’s more blue. They won’t grow to match the size of the Canaries, either. Have I gotten my ID wrong and these will in fact grow up to match? Poor decision if not.

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