Oprah Winfrey’s Creek Construction Makes Downstream Neighbors Nervous

••• “A boulder wall installed along San Ysidro Creek to protect media mogul and Montecito resident Oprah Winfrey’s estate from flooding and creek erosion is now at the center of a controversy over whether it was properly permitted,” reports Noozhawk. “Once Fish & Wildlife obtains more information about how the wall was installed […] the agency will decide how to proceed and whether any remedial action is needed.” The photo is courtesy of the Montecito Association—if you live in Montecito and haven’t joined, you should—which has its own write-up on the situation in a local paper.

••• “The County Board of Supervisors followed the City of Santa Barbara’s lead and passed an emergency ordinance tightening up the eviction code and making it much tougher for landlords to displace tenants.” —Independent

••• “The Santa Barbara Planning Commission gave little support this week to a proposed 250-room hotel at 101 Garden St. because it did not include housing. […] The city approved a Cabrillo Plaza Specific Plan in 1983, which allowed for both hotel and housing uses. […] The project’s architect, Brian Cearnal of the Cearnal Collective, displayed a rare moment of public frustration with the commissioners over their lack of support for the hotel project. ‘If an applicant can’t rely on a specific plan, then what the hell are we asking specific plans for?’ said Cearnal, one of Santa Barbara’s most prominent architects.” —Noozhawk

••• “The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to let the exclusive ambulance services contract with American Medical Response expire and enter into a nonexclusive, multiprovider ambulance arrangement for the county. That likely means both AMR and the County Fire Department will provide ambulance services for the county.” —Noozhawk

••• An update on improvements at Elings Park. —Santa Barbara News-Press

••• The 10,000-square-foot plaza outside the Santa Barbara Public Library should be done by October 21. —Noozhawk

••• “A proposal to create fish farms in the Santa Barbara Channel meets some local opposition.” —KCLU

••• “The Carpinteria Planning Commission unanimously approved a 72-room hotel project slated for 4110 Via Real [just west of the Sandyland Reef Inn and Motel 6] during Monday’s meeting, a project that has been in development for 10 years. The hotel will be built on the site of a single-story church, a parking lot, a vegetable garden and storage buildings.” —Noozhawk


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Take down that wall. She is relying on “better to ask forgiveness than permission “. She will not let it happen. You will not be able to take down the wall. She thinks she is God almost. Take down the wall. While you’re at it, take out the trash, the commoner, and the fake royal.


Oh Buffy.
What in life has made you so bitter?
Perhaps you should leave Montecito so the rest of us can enjoy living here without Karen’s like you…..


Thank you for your comments. Buffy and those who support her are Karens and worst. If not, why would they include Harry and Meghan when the issue is concerning Oprah.


The real Karens are those drawing media attention to this situation. Old entitled white people who need something new to complain about

Kyle Forsyth

From a reliable source, I was told that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued written consent for the rock wall to be repaired/replaced as that agency takes the lead for waterways . Additional forms have been filed with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.


No agency has “lead” on the waterways. Multiple agencies regulate different aspects of the waterways, and there is some overlap. You have to get approval from all of the ones that are relevant to your project before moving forward. Usually the County will tell you who else you need to talk to in order to get everyone’s sign-off, because they generally know what things the state agencies and the federal agencies want to weigh in on. Because the property owner went straight to the Feds and the Feds don’t keep track of what each state and what each local jurisdiction’s rules are, the Feds gave their approval but didn’t tell the property owner that maybe they should reach out to the State and County to see if they need permits from them. It’s easier for the local jurisdiction to know what the state entity and the federal entity above them requires than it is for the federal entities to know what the various agencies in all 50 states and the California State agencies to know what the various agencies in the 58 counties and the 482 municipalities require in their regulations. Thus, like many things in our dual sovereignty, federal system of government, the property owner should have started at the bottom and work up.

Matt McLaughlin

No address for the property, no map of the creek, local media is drive- by coverage.