The League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara recommends a no vote on Measure Y-2012, the Veronica Meadows referendum.
This is based primarily on the two major negative impacts identified in the project’s EIR — the biological impacts of the bridge over Arroyo Burro Creek, and the contribution the project would make to traffic congestion along Las Positas Road.
Furthermore, the bridge would be built on a piece of city park land. Although the parcel is small, it would be a bad precedent to allow a developer to use city park land for private purposes.
The biological impact of this bridge that cannot be mitigated is its interference with the normal movement of wildlife along the creek. It is important for the ecology of the area that it not be chopped up into separate patches.
As for congestion, the league believes that good planning includes managing traffic and circulation so as to prevent or reduce heavy congestion. The two major intersections that would receive traffic from the project are already operating below city standards. This situation should not be worsened. A number of projects are being planned for Las Positas Valley; it needs first an area plan to address traffic issues.
The league finds no overriding benefits in building a project of mostly large homes in an open space area that has important habitat value for wildlife and provides visual benefits to the public. Vote no on Y-2012.
Beth Pitton-August, co-president
League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara