Should All the Parklets on State Street Be Removed?

••• “A contingent of Santa Barbara architects and downtown business interests is asking City Council to remove State Street’s parklets in order to reestablish a more even playing field among the corridor’s retailers and restaurateurs. […] The group is suggesting the city [instead] make it easier for restaurant owners to secure sidewalk dining permits. They are also asking that the central bike lane be reconfigured into two lanes on either side of the road, which would make room for an open-air trolley and provide space for parades.” —Independent

••• It seems like everyone has Covid, right? But “while infections have increased significantly, hospitalizations—though higher—have not compromised the health-care system. Illnesses are less severe than before—many patients learn they have Covid when they go to the hospital for other procedures—either due to vaccination or remaining immunity from a recent infection.” —Noozhawk

••• The Garden Street Hotel in the Funk Zone moved forward; next up, the city’s Planning Commission. —Independent

••• The Independent and Noozhawk discovered that locals are upset about Pacaso’s model of fractional ownership. From the latter article: mayor Randy “Rowse said people who use the luxury units as second homes are not part of the community.” That’s news to half of Montecito.

••• “Two years after roundly rejecting the idea, the county Board of Supervisors this week voted 3-2 to tighten its regulation of outdoor cannabis cultivation on large farming properties, primarily in the North County. […] Board Chair Joan Hartmann and supervisors Bob Nelson and Das Williams voted in concept to require conditional use permits for all future outdoor ‘grows,’ beginning four months from now. […] It returns to the board for a final vote on August 16. Crucially, the stricter permits would not apply to cannabis greenhouse operations in the Carpinteria Valley.” —Newsmakers

••• “Santa Barbara County is likely to collect only $10.8 million in cannabis tax revenues this fiscal year, or 40 percent less than the $18.4 million that was budgeted last June, authorities say. Statewide, the newly legalized industry continues to produce an oversupply of wholesale cannabis as new operators get licensed and enter the market, driving prices down [….] The tax structure approved by county voters in 2018 sets a four percent tax on gross sales revenues from cannabis cultivation, as reported every quarter to the county Treasurer-Tax Collector by the growers themselves. That ‘self-reporting’ has led to some loss of tax revenues, county officials say, though they don’t know how much.” —Edhat

••• “Santa Barbara Supes Tighten Rules for Approving New Water Wells […] Five County Groundwater Basins Are Already Facing Serious Over-Drafting,” reports the Independent. My two cents: it seems pretty unfair that people who already have wells get to tap into a communal resource, with everyone else gets shut out. If everyone can’t have a well, then people with wells should have to pay for the water they remove.

••• “A brand-new two-mile trail in the hills above Ventura has opened to the public. It’s in the Harmon Canyon Preserve, which is a 2,100-acre nature preserve on the east side of Ventura, owned and managed by the Ventura Land Trust. […] It’s called Trail 203 for now, but it will be soon be renamed for some donors, as the Robert Smith Family Trail.” Probably not this Robert Smith. —KCLU


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