Santa Barbara Residents to Vote on a Sales Tax Increase

••• Santa Barbara Magazine has a profile of Zaca Lake, “the only naturally occurring spring-fed lake in Santa Barbara County” and “the centerpiece of a 320-acre resort that remains secluded, spiritual, and stylish.” Located outside Los Olivos, The property is under new ownership and currently only available for buyouts; whether that will change is unclear. (Photo courtesy Zaca Lake.)

••• Noozhawk and the Independent both reported on the longstanding friction between users of the Hot Springs Trail and nearby homeowners. Noozhawk’s post includes an interview with “a man who has built the pools since before the pandemic. He rebuilds them after storms or people damage them. He noted that there was a huge surge of visitors over Memorial Day Weekend. ‘I think the residents got really pissed off and retaliated, and went up to demolish the pools,’ he said.” I actually heard that a resident has hired locals to go up and destroy the pools. Which reminds me: one homeowner has listed his/her trailside property on VRBO, touting that it’s a “health and wellness retreat with a six-person barrel sauna overlooking the creek, a cold plunge pool and a wood burning, natural hot springs fed soaking tub.” Underline mine.

••• “Santa Barbara voters will decide in November whether to increase the sales tax by a half-cent, the City Council decided Tuesday.” Apparently, the ballot language will be stacked with crowd-pleasing goals, like “911 emergency/fire/paramedic/police response, keeping neighborhood fire stations open; improving housing affordability; addressing homelessness; keeping public areas/parks safe, clean; protecting local drinking water, stormwater protection; improving natural disaster preparedness; retaining local businesses/jobs, and for general government use.” They might as well throw in free beer. —Noozhawk

••• “Santa Barbara County […] will be asking voters to increase the hotel tax rate this November. The county Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to place a transient occupancy tax rate increase on the November 5 ballot, to 14% from 12%. TOT is levied on visitors staying at hotels, motels and short-term vacation rentals.” —Noozhawk

••• “For the third year in a row, the county CEO’s office is projecting a budget shortfall in cannabis revenues, this time because tax receipts from pot shops is lower than expected. The shortfall for this fiscal year, covering June 2023 through June 2024, will likely be $1.8 million [….] This fiscal year, the county was counting on four cannabis dispensaries to come online in Orcutt, Los Alamos, eastern Goleta and Santa Claus Lane in the Carpinteria Valley, officials said; however, the owners still do not have their building permits and business licenses.” —Newsmakers

••• “Chaucer’s Books, a Santa Barbara book lover’s haven for the past half-century, will begin its next chapter under new ownership after its original owner, Mahri Kerley—who opened the shop in 1974 and has run it ever since—agreed to sell and pass the torch to a couple of fellow bookworms, Jen Lemberger and Greg Feitt, who not only know the shop well, but also fell in love between the shelves nearly 20 years ago.” —Independent

••• “The trail connecting Tunnel Road to Santa Barbara’s coveted Inspiration Point will be closed for about six months, starting late June or early July, for an environmental restoration project. Southern California Edison [needs] to restore wildlife habitat damaged in 2019 by its own crews.” —Noozhawk

••• “Santa Barbara’s Waterfront Department plans to raise slip fees for boats and parking fees in the harbor lot. […] The cost of the slip fees can change based on the length of the boat. A 20-foot boat is currently $10.97 per foot. A larger vessel, such as a 50-foot space, can pay up to $14.12 per foot. Under the proposal, fees would rise 10% beginning July 1.” —Noozhawk


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Zaca Lake has some crazy juju running thru it- while beautiful, there is a force to be reckoned with blowing thru the trees. Beautiful stellar jays will steal your lunch crumbs! I need to hear the road has been fixed and is passable- no bus or trash truck has been back there in years


Great news round up. I really, really hope Chaucer’s changes their book shelves setup and makes it a more open air space. Also, SCE closing the trail to fix its own damage oh la la