Santa Barbara Beaches Will Stay Open for the Holiday Weekend

••• L.A. and Ventura counties are closing their beaches for the holiday weekend, but the Santa Barbara city council voted to keep its open. —Noozhawk

••• “Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for three men who tried to trick a resident using the almost-forgotten ‘paving scam.'” —KEYT

••• “Recreational shooting in the Los Padres National Forest will remain suspended. The ban remains in place through the remainder of 2020 due to fire risk. It was extended for a six-month period for the same reason back in January.” —KEYT

••• “City leaders are once again fine-tuning the biggest tool in their toolbox to build more affordable units. This Tuesday, the Ordinance Committee made a set of recommended changes to the Average-size Unit Density Program […] The proposed changes focused on creating affordable housing in the downtown core, a strategy nearly all agree would reinvigorate State Street by injecting much-needed energy and capital. They included increasing the maximum building height in the area from 45 to 48 feet, eliminating open yard requirements for AUD projects between Chapala and Anacapa streets, allowing parking to be leased separately from housing, and reducing parking requirements to a maximum of one on-site space per unit.” Every time I’m in the Laguna/Haley area, I wonder why all that prime real estate is being used for light industrial and parking. The owners should be incentivized to develop it. —Independent

••• “The epic saga of 711 Milpas St. [at Ortega] is getting a bonus chapter. The Santa Barbara City Council voted 6-0 Tuesday night to allow Alan Bleecker and Ed St. George to negotiate a development agreement for their housing project on the Eastside.” Below is the new Spanish-style design, replacing a boxy contemporary one. —Noozhawk