Update on Santa Barbara Park Projects

••• From the Montecito Fire Department: “For the month of June, Cuyama Lamb will bring their 400 head [of sheep] to graze approximately 40 acres along East Mountain Drive. Prescribed herbivory has shown to be an effective means to reduce continuity of fuels, fire intensity, and fire risk. The project will be closely monitored, and if successful, the Fire Department plans on expanding this fire mitigation tool to other areas of the District in 2021.” Photo courtesy Cuyama Lamb.

••• The two big projects on E. De La Guerra are proceeding. The first photo below is of 214 E. De La Guerra (between Garden and Santa Barbara streets), followed by two renderings courtesy Cearnal Collective. According to KEYT back in October, “We first brought you this story more than two years ago and it centered on the historic Louise Ygnacio cottage [….] The Italianate house, constructed in 1875, is being restored as part of a larger project to bring in more workforce housing. Plans include a refurbished duplex behind (the original structure was not historic, according to the City) and a three-story, mixed-use building next door. All together, the project will create 26 units. […] Automated, stacked parking will be built underground.”

••• And this is 800 Santa Barbara Street, at the northeast corner of E De La Guerra. It will have 23 residential units. The rendering is from HB Architects, and I don’t know how current it is.

••• “Stumbled upon your blog tonight,” emailed P. “Fantastic—very interesting and engaging. Appreciate your honest approach, which leads me to… I was looking up the home at 165 Middle Road, which you mentioned a few times. Can you tell me what you think it will trade at? It’s been on the market quite awhile and I am curious as to why it hasn’t moved. Is it priced too high for the market?” I love that house. I’m no expert, of course, but my guess is that it has sat on the market because it’s a lot of house and it’s old, which means that even if it has been maintained well, it’ll still be a lot of work. And while the walkability is great, the master bedroom is upstairs, which is a turnoff to a lot of the demo that buys in Montecito. For all that, it sure seems priced nicely at $6.78 million—well below the $8.2 million the current owners paid in 2016. Anyone have other thoughts?

••• A quick update on the huge full-block project proposed for the Funk Zone: The PC Concept Review, for the applicant to obtain preliminary feedback on a conceptual design, is likely to haven in June or July.

••• The Parks & Recreation department sent out an email about its Ortega Park renovation, saying, “the Santa Barbara City Council will hear a presentation on the Parks and Recreation Department budget for 2021 [last Tuesday]—and this will include recommendations concerning funding for the future of the Ortega Park Master Plan. The budget presentation also unfortunately includes some budget reductions due to Covid-19 impacts.” A reader asked me if the cuts might affect the pool, which would be a shame, because this city could use more lap pools. I haven’t heard back from Parks, but I did watch that part of the city council meeting. The Parks presentation starts at 1:02, and while there was nothing about changes to the Ortega Park design, other items of note came up.