San Marcos Foothills Preservationists Have 90 Days to Raise $20 Million

••• Big news for the development next to the San Marcos Foothills Preserve: “A tentative deal [has] been reached between the developer and those hoping to preserve the open land. […] [Chadmar Group] has agreed to temporarily halt grading and development of new housing on a 100 acre parcel near the pristine preserve for 90 days. The window will allow the Save the San Marcos Foothills organization to try and raise $20 million dollars to buy back the land.” That’s a tall order, given that “the land preservation group has raised $1.7 million from roughly 1,000 donors.” —KEYT

••• “About 80% of Santa Barbara County’s 75-plus population has been vaccinated for Covid-19, according to the Public Health Department. […] As of March 5, the county reported 20,836 first doses administered to people in the 65-74 age range, which is 50.9% of the estimated population.” —Noozhawk

••• “The Santa Barbara Unified School District on Tuesday approved the reopening of secondary schools in person once the county’s adjusted case rate drops into the red tier.” —Independent

••• “The county has authorized funding for 80 additional Safe Parking spaces over the next three years. But finding new parking lot owners willing to join the program has long been a challenge, [said Cassie Roach, director of the Safe Parking Program] said. Neighborhood opposition, she said, has been an issue. To date, she’s signed contracts for two new lots and expanded the number of spaces at two lots already in the program. Combined, this has increased the number of spaces by 20.” —Independent

••• “Grocery store owners will have to retrieve their abandoned shopping carts or face fines, according to an ordinance approved Tuesday by the Santa Barbara City Council. […] California has 150 cities with shopping cart retreival ordinances, including Carpinteria and Oxnard. State law already says that it is unlawful for someone to remove a shopping cart from its premises.” —Noozhawk

••• “Former Santa Barbara City Councilman and business owner Randy Rowse is running for mayor.” The other candidates so far are incumbent Cathy Murillo and challengers Deborah Schwartz and James Joyce III. —Noozhawk (with more analysis at Newsmakers)

••• Newsmakers interviewed Eastside city council member Alejandra Gutierrez, who won’t be backing Mayor Cathy Murillo because she’s irked by what Murillo said about asking for her endorsement. (“I haven’t even broached her about it,” said Murillo. “It’s like if you’re asking your wife for a favor you kind of have to wait for the right moment and wait until she’s in a good mood.”) Perhaps the more important consideration is who would be the best mayor.

••• Montecito residents banded together to make sure that the San Ysidro Pharmacy stayed in local hands. The new owner is the pharmacy’s longtime bookkeeper/controller, Lara Edington-Hove. —Montecito Journal (article not online)

••• The Montecito Journal (article not online) looks into the Big Yellow House, now a creamy white; part of the property is now vacation rentals, but the restaurant space remains unrented.

••• Edhat gathered readers’ photos and videos of last night’s hail/snow storm. The one below comes courtesy of The Agency’s Jill Nelsen.


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Have you heard anything about More Mesa? I’m a lot more concerned about that than the foothills and it’s getting zero news coverage that I can find. The listing went pending this week.

Erik Torkells

Nope, but I’ll ask around. And if anyone out there has heard anything—this is about the 265-acre lot known as 0 More Mesa on the market for $50 million—let me know at [email protected] or 917-209-6473. All tips are confidential.