••• The City of Santa Barbara is looking into buying the News-Press building and adjacent parking lots, says John Palminteri. Maybe it’ll turn around and lease the building to someone who can do right by it.
••• “Santa Barbara is considering changes to its parking program, which manages downtown lots and structures [….] To make more money for the parking and plaza program, city staff are considering fee and policy changes, including a shorter free parking period or eliminating it entirely. […] Some of the potential changes to parking fees are: Reevaluating the subsidized 75-minute free parking period; parking validation models; paid street parking in high demand areas; altering the Parking and Business Improvement Area assessment levied on downtown properties (based on size or sales), which brings in about $1 million a year.” —Noozhawk
••• “Construction Set to Begin on Downtown Mental-Health and Housing Development […] Sanctuary Centers Will Break Ground on Five-Story, 34-Unit Affordable Housing and Health-Care Facility” at 115 W. Anapamu Street (Chapala/De La Vina). —Independent
••• “The Ojai Valley Inn will be closed for renovations […] from Jan. 2-11 for roofing repairs and an HVAC upgrade.” —VC Star
••• “Caltrans Announces Timeline to Fully Reopen Highway 1 Along Big Sur Coast [.…] Agency says construction work on the closure at Paul’s Slide should be complete in late spring of 2024.” —Noozhawk
••• The tree of the month is the Aleppo pine: “One of its distinctive features is its seed cones. It is a prolific cone-producer; additionally, its cones persist on the tree for many years, causing their numbers to increase significantly over time. As with all other pines, it is “monoecious”, meaning both male cones and female cones appear on the same tree. The 1-inch-long male (pollen) cones are oval in shape, form near the ends of the stems, and produce copious amounts of pollen. The pollen is blown on the wind onto the female (seed) cones that are located further down the stems.” —Edhat
The Carpinteria Farm Bungalows proposal includes 41 affordable housing units, a 99-room bungalow hotel, spa, restaurant and working farm on the last 27 acres of the bluffs. The proposal also includes newly conserved public open space, walking trails connecting the Coastal Bluffs trail along the cliff edge, and seal rookery lookout.
In all, there are a proposed 1.58 acres of low income residential, 10.72 acres of hotel, 1.6 acres of farmland and 13.6 of newly conserved open space and farmland. The City staff, planning commission and the architectural review board have all weighed in on the project. The formal review process will begin shortly.
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