Update on the Quest to Buy Part of the San Marcos Foothills

••• A few items of note from Noozhawk‘s article on how the Biltmore has canceled all events through at least 2022 (first reported here, of course): the general manager is leaving; the ongoing closure of the property is hurting county tax revenue; and employees are really getting screwed by the fight between owner Ty Warner and operator Four Seasons:

The workers have technically been furloughed, which means they have not been laid off. They are eligible to receive unemployment benefits, but for many it is a mere fraction of what they are used to earning. They said their employment agreement contains an “impact” clause, which means they are entitled to severance pay, based on years of employment, if the hotel closes at no fault of the employees. They have not been laid off, however. […] While on furlough, the employees have no health insurance or benefits from the luxury hotel.

••• “After successfully reopening schools in a hybrid model, the Santa Barbara Unified School District will further reopen its schools full-time. Elementary schools will be open five days a week starting April 12, and secondary schools will open four days a week with one day of remote instruction starting April 19.” —Independent

••• “The near-quixotic quest to raise $20 million in four months to buy 100 acres of the San Marcos Foothills met its first $4 million goal on March 24, said attorney Marc Chytilo, through a combination of a kicking social-media push […], generosity from the community, and a loan through Montecito Bank & Trust. Now a new target of $5 million by April 13 looms—bringing the necessary total to $9 million—and the Foothills Forever Fund needs a spark from the large-donor community, said Chytilo, who represents the activists, ‘ideally a $3 million pledge that would kick us into viability.'” Time to step up, rich people. —Independent

••• “Goleta’s Storke Plaza [i.e., the one with Target] is preparing for a significant renovation that has been signaled Since January by tall story poles and flags waving in the parking lot next to Target. The new project, called The Grange, will replace the façades of beige stucco walls with corrugated galvanized metal […], add an elevator tower at one end, and also erect a new building to replace one demolished due to wind damage, at three buildings at 250, 260, and 270 Storke Road.” —Independent

••• Newsmakers interviews former mayor Santa Barbara mayor Sheila Lodge about development in the city.

••• “You may have driven by Coronel St. and Loma Alta Dr. numerous times where a sloping hillside near a home is covered in seasonal grasses and some aging landscaping. Layne Campbell who lives there saw the land was an area where much more could be done mainly for others. He and his family decided to use their stimulus money, which they felt they really didn’t need, to invest in a few fruit trees for the site. Eventually with area support, there may be multiple trees and garden fresh vegetables.” —KEYT


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