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Measure B Backers Decry Alleged Push-Poll Tactics from the Other Side

Opponents of capping building heights decline to say what group's strategies are

Citing allegations of opponents “push-polling” Santa Barbara residents, supporters of a Nov. 3 ballot initiative to limit building heights denounced the tactic Friday.

Advocates of Measure B, a ballot measure that seeks to restrict building heights to 40 feet on new development, held a news conference Friday on the steps of City Hall.

Surrounded by local news media and supporters, Measure B leader Bill Mahan talked about the alleged push polling rumored to have taken place in the past few weeks.

“This is about a political process being fair and truthful,” he said before introducing Mayor Marty Blum, who also condemned the tactic.

“I think it is vitally important that we get the information fairly,” she said. “And it’s very important that people keep it clean and as informative as possible.

“I truly hope that this comes out to be a straightforward election. I’ve already seen some things on one side or the other that aren’t quite right, and I really am not happy with that,” she added.

Blum wasn’t specific about what tactics she’d witnessed and on which side of the Measure B issue, but she exhorted all parties involved to follow the rules.

According to the city’s charter, callers are supposed to identify the name of the candidates or committee paying for the communications at the beginning or end of the call.

But pollsters refused to identify who was funding the polls, according to several people claiming to have received such a call. Council candidates Frank Hotchkiss and Michael Self both received calls, Mahan said, as did Gil Barry and Richard St. Clair, all of whom are supporters of Measure B.

“Push polls are completely in opposition to what is fair and truthful,” Mahan said. “We would like to know who is at the bottom of these things.”

Barry, who is also on the Measure B committee, said he received a call, and although he didn’t record the call, he wrote down several of the questions he said the caller asked him.

Questions like “Are you aware that if Measure B passes that the city will get less affordable housing?” and “Are you aware if Measure B passes, it will affect Cottage Hospital?” were two of the four questions Barry presented.

Mahan called push polls a “festering thorn in our political process,” and he challenged the media to uncover the identity of the pollers.

St. Clair said the pollsters had called his home three times in 10 days. Although the pollster wouldn’t tell him who he was representing, St. Clair said he learned the company was named Sun Surveys, based in Miami.

“This is Chicago politics right here in Santa Barbara,” he said.

Speakers at Friday’s gathering didn’t accuse any one group of being behind the alleged calls, but individuals on the other side of the issue vocally disapproved of the event.

Brian Robinson, who works on the “No on B” campaign committee, said he could neither confirm nor deny the polls, and that his group would not comment on what political strategies they’ve taken internally, including polls.

He did, however, call Yes on B’s tactics “crazy accusations and totally unverifiable.”

Robinson said he sees the push-poll accusations as a diversions from the amount of funding given to Pro Measure B groups by Texas developer Randall Von Wolfswinkel.

“That’s the story,” he said. “That’s an individual from out of town who is perverting our local political process.”

Finance filings from June show that Von Wolfswinkel, president of Arlington-based First Texas Homes, contributed $30,000 to pro-Measure B groups and $8,000 to council candidates who back the building-heights initiative.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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» on 09.26.09 @ 09:23 AM

How is what the anti-B group is doing any more misleading that the pro-B group is doing by referring to any building over 40’ as a “sky scraper”? Plus, the reporter might have looked into whether the allegations made by the push pollers had any validity. For all we know, Measure B might have an effect on future plans for Cottage Hospital. If it wouldn’t, shame on the poller for dissembling - but voters have an obligation to actually read the Measure so they can’t be mislead.

» on 09.26.09 @ 10:13 AM

I find Brian Robinson’s comments about Von Wolfswinkel hypocritical and Lara Cooper’s failure to identify and recognize the fact he grew up here, graduated from high school here, has a home here and apparently has indicated an intent to move his family back here permanently, terrible journalism. A native Santa Barbaran who moved, still cares about our community and can afford to participate in the process. That is the story. I seriously doubt Brian Robinson is a native Santa Barbaran. I still expect Measure B to pas easily.

» on 09.26.09 @ 11:16 AM

I wish these rumor milling old busy bodies, with all their spare time, would go feed the homeless, sweep a filthy street gutter or help school age children get across a busy street.

» on 09.26.09 @ 11:19 AM

Apparently, these push polls are funded by the National Association of Realtors - with which the SB Association of Realtors is affiliated. The California Association of Realtors Issues Mobilization PAC, based in LA, gave $5,000 to the No on B Coaltion—- I’d guess that in the next reporting period, there will be an additional contribution shown. The numbers of questions, drawing them up,  as well as the phone banking are expensive.

They must have forgotten… to identify themselves. 

Santa Barbara municipal code clearly requires that phone calling and other advertising clearly identify itself at the beginning or end of the message. See Muni. Code s. 2.03.120, Public Disclaimers on Campaign Communications.

» on 09.26.09 @ 11:47 AM

Accusing the No on Measure B campaign of push polling is a political tactic in itself. So how will lowering our building heights create more affordable housing? I suggest watching the following videos to get the facts straight.

» on 09.26.09 @ 12:44 PM

Well, they are mad because it is true and supporting Measure B goes against smart growth, sustainability and the way that many cities have already gone (Portland, Boulder) and away from the old SB Geezers suburban way of life.  It is time for a change and a more vibrant walking urban core.  No on Measure B!!!

» on 09.26.09 @ 01:08 PM

“This is Chicago politics right here in Santa Barbara”

Don’t think developers up and down the State aren’t watching this election. People in California taking back their Cities is dangerous for corporations who rely on loose regulations for their profits.

» on 09.26.09 @ 01:09 PM

Wolfswinkel has given over $250,000 to pro B groups, let’s get it right.  What does he want in return.  All of these council candidates and Francisco who have benefited from all of this are tainted.  So is the yes on B campaign…what are they promising in return?  The republican politics of smear and deception are back, alive and well in Santa Barbara.  I thought Marty Blum was a Democrat….when did she switch parties?  It’s silly season as Obama use to say!!!  Vote NO on B…don’t turn our city over to Texas developers and shaddy politicians.

» on 09.26.09 @ 01:18 PM

The News Press reported in their article today that they discovered that the Board of Realtors, a participant of the No on B coalition,  paid for this push poll. 

Alyson Spann, a local realtor, confirmed this to the the News Press.

Push polling is the lowest form of politics and the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) condemns “push–polling” as a clear violation of the AAPC’s code of ethics and a degradation and corruption of the political process.

Push polls violate the AAPC’s code of ethics rule against false and misleading attacks on an opponent or ballot measure.

» on 09.26.09 @ 01:23 PM

A “push poll” is a form of negative campaigning technique in which an organization attempts to influence, persuade, and alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting an unbiased poll, but the main purpose is to spread biased, and sometimes false and misleading, political propaganda.

» on 09.26.09 @ 01:35 PM

Look at the picture.  I hope enough young professional and working folks realize they need to look out for their future, vote against Measure B, and stop being pushed around by the established old guard elite.

And a press conference on a Friday?

» on 09.26.09 @ 02:00 PM

Thank you for sharing the videos Young at heart…they are amazing.  I just wish everyone could see them.  They do indeed tell the story of what will happen if B passes.  We need young professionals, environmentalists, low income families, and all enlightened beings, to VOTE NO ON B.  Thank you to the Independent for being the voice of reason and endorsing NO ON B.

» on 09.26.09 @ 03:52 PM

reply to Former Barbarian:

Get your facts straight, buckwheat.

The pro-group never once referred to any building over 40 feet as a “sky scraper”.

Not once—you liar!

Measure B will have no effect on Cottage hospital because Marion Medical Center Hospital in Santa Maria is building a new 4 story hospital in 60 feet, with four 15 feet stories.  Therefore it is a fact that Cottage Hospital could build a new 3 story hospital in 45 feet if they wanted.

  There is no State requirement for the minimum height of a story, and each story can be any height a hospital wants—-and 15 feet is a very typical and commonly used height of a story for a new hospital.

» on 09.26.09 @ 03:59 PM

Don, I wish you would move to a city that has the high rise building and traffic congestion that you desire.

The vast majority of us moved here to get away from tall high rise massive buildings and the traffic congestion that they cause.

We live in a great not so big city.  Why in the world does the anti -B group want to super size it, by adding one monster super size building at a time.

Most everyone I know, and that includes voters of all ages, says they are voting Yes on B.  This is a true grass roots effort to save our city from the nasty developers and the nasty Realtors.

» on 09.26.09 @ 04:08 PM

It is a scientific fact that in any ecosystem that a lower population is more sustainable than a larger one.

It is well known that the vision of many of those opposing Measure B is for Santa Barbara to grow vertically and in high density to 200,000 or even 300,000.  How sustainable is that?

It is a fact that we simply don’t have the resources, such as water or traffic capacity to be able to accommodate much more than 100,000 people.

So when it comes to the environment a Yes vote on B is the far more environmentally sustainable choice. 

Save our environment, be sustainable, and preserve our small town character and quality of life—-—vote Yes on B

» on 09.26.09 @ 04:16 PM

Hey Eco Gal,
I hate to burst your bubble but not one city that has implemented high density smart growth, including portland,  has had a reduction in traffic congestion.

In fact 100% of all cities that have implemented high density vertical smart growth like the anti-B coalition wants to implement here has reduced traffic congestion.  NOT ONE!

Why?  Because smart growth, although sounds good is but a new and unproven theory, and a theory that just doesn’t work as advertised.

Even if it might be appropriate elsewhere Santa Barbara doesn’t need it because we are already the most desirable city in the country in which to live. 

If it ain’t broke—don’t fix it!

Especially with a solution like high density vertical smart growth that cause an increase in traffic congestion in all neighborhoods with the new high density vertical behemoth “projects’.

» on 09.26.09 @ 04:26 PM

The videos are a lie!
They are deceiving, inaccurate and are a misrepresentation.

When measure B passes all the existing 1, 2, 3 and 4 story buildings of various heights will remain.
Remember, since Santa Barbara is already built out and already built to the full capacity of our resources, the new buildings will be relatively few in number and so the existing building will provide plenty of variety.

Also, the new buildings will be 1. 2 and 3 story and many will include 1 story components, 2 story components and 3 story components.

And even the 3 story components will vary with some at 35 feet, some 38 feet, some 40 feet and some at 45 feet.  And towers are exempt from the height limit!

Plenty of variety and not a flat or squashed city.  In fact it will continue to be about the same as it is today. and if thats a bad thing I’ll eat my hat!

So don’t believe the misleading videos as they are a misrepresentation of the facts by those desperate to super size our city.

» on 09.26.09 @ 04:34 PM

Steve, I guess you never heard the so true saying;  “wisdom comes with age”.

99% of the minority opposing measure B are in their early 20’s and not yet dry behind the ears.  (are just beginning to experience life, and although have good intentions, they just don’t yet know what they are talking about)

» on 09.26.09 @ 05:20 PM

Take back our city from the nasty developers and realtors by voting YES ON B

» on 09.26.09 @ 05:26 PM

B is for Blue Sky.

Please join with the 11,600 of your friends and neighbors, who but measure B on the ballot as a grass roots effort, so that we can see blue sky and the mountains, and get sunlight into our paseos and plazas, instead of canonization by hundreds of 60 feet high rise monstrosities that will ruin our city, one big super size 60-foot building at a time.



» on 09.26.09 @ 06:16 PM

Developers and Greedy realtors, who paid for this nasty and unethical push poll, don’t like it when the citizens take back their city by voting yes on B, because they can’t make near as much money. 
The No on B coalition is made up of primarily of those who will not make nearly as much money of measure B passes.
The voters of Santa Barbara, much to their dismay, are not fooled by their “Red Herrings” and outright lies,  and their underhanded political strategy. 

Take back our city from Greed, new super size 60 feet buildings like those on Chapala, and overdevelopment ! 

No more super size high rises!
Say no to the greedy developers and realtors!

» on 09.26.09 @ 06:18 PM

Gill thank you for you dozens of posts and multiple blog personalities.  You are truely the Ross Perot of the B crowd.

» on 09.26.09 @ 06:35 PM

It’s unfortunate that so many can’t believe that someone who grew up here might really just care about this special place.  Randall Van Wolfswinkel was in high school with two of my daughters, he plans to move back with his family, and he is genuinely dismayed by what has happened to Santa Barbara. He is passionate about SB and about preserving whatever small town character is left. 

By the way Carpinteria has a maximum building height of 30’ and Goleta has a max of 35’ (25’ in Old Town).  What’s the big deal about 40’ and 45’ in Santa Barbara? The only thing you can’t do in 40’ than you can do in 60’ is build luxury condos.  We don’t need any more of those.

» on 09.26.09 @ 07:03 PM

reply to Steve Fort:
Well Steve, aren’t you the arrogant and cocky young know it all!

For your information, Measure B was put on the ballot by 11,500 registered voters OF ALL AGES!  And with good reason to protect it from the developers, greedy realtors, and the likes of you.    And, when is offering the voter the chance to vote to take back our city being, as you say, “pushed around by the established old guard elite”?

The only pushing being done here is by those know it all like’s of you, who think you know what’s best for the rest of us.

Well I got a nooz flash for you, bub:  We voters are going to take back OUR city by voting, overwhelmingly, for Measure B, and there ain’t a damn thing the lowlife, lying, likes of you, can do about it! 

So, put that in your crack pipe and smoke it!

» on 09.26.09 @ 07:24 PM

I was called and I can tell you something is missing from the article and others reporting about this.  Those questions that begin “are you aware” were part of a section in the poll where the pollster prefaced it by telling me that the following were statements surrounded the measure b initiative and that I was supposed to rate the statements on how credible I found them.  It wasn’t like “Are you aware that if Measure B passes that the city will get less affordable housing?” and that I would answer yes or no.  I forget the exact barometer but the choices ranged from something similar to ‘very likely’ all the way down to ‘very unlikely.’

» on 09.26.09 @ 07:31 PM

To “Get your facts straight,” you excitable little guy, you: 
You’re right, I erred, the Pro-B folks didn’t use the word “skyscraper,” they used the term “high rise.”  Even though the court dismissed the suit against the ballot measure wording, that doesn’t mean the pro-B’ers weren’t stretching the facts semantically. Here’s an operative definition of the two terms:
“Buildings between 75 feet (23 m) and 491 feet (150 m) high are, by some standards, considered high-rises. Buildings taller than 492 feet (150 m) are classified as skyscrapers.”
So, you see, even with existing SB height limits of 60’, “high-rises” couldn’t be built. Don’t you find that misleading? 
By the way, with your propensity to call people liars, you might fit right in as a South Carolina Republican congress person.

» on 09.26.09 @ 07:56 PM

“political process being fair and truthful,” ??  What color is the sky in your world?

» on 09.26.09 @ 08:21 PM

I have lived in a city where dense downtown living is becoming popular. The city is Denver Co. Is that idea working the answer is yes. Are there still issues with it yes. The biggest issue is that we the people still want to latch on to our cars. Is there more walking to work or other outings yes. Are bicycles popular very much yes. Same with scooters. This trend is even noticed in the coldest of times.
Santa Barbara for many reasons needs to open their eyes to many issues. I guess this is just going to be the start of the issues that our society will start with in Santa Barbara. We have to start living denser and with less of a oil foot print. I personally have given up my car. I ride everywhere on my bike. I have found that going from Goleta to Downtown is about a 45 minute ride. I am sure the bus is probably about the same or quicker.

What is the logic of not being able to build higher in Santa Barbara? I don’t personally get it. So stop at 10 stories or something. Use the bottom stories for retail or food. Santa Barbara would still keep it small community atmosphere along with changing a bit of the area and bring in new local business. Good knows this city still needs to clean up some nasty areas. Just think less traffic less environmental impact. Plus it cleans up the area and makes it look fresh.

» on 09.26.09 @ 09:24 PM

State law requires that these once-anonymous “polls” must not only identify themselves, but also indicate who is paying them.

Robinson (Terrain Consulting) is a veteran of controversial issue battles. He should know better as a No on B consultant than to try to sluff this off.

Besides Housing-housing-housing Everywhere, addled Mickey Flacks, the only people really concerned about Measure B passing are:

architects, contractors, developers, landowners of Santa Barbara properties now
40-feet tall, who secretly aim to push them higher.

Measure B’s passage would take away City bureaucrats power for back-room deals,
and speculators ability to put up in-your-face, lower Chapala Street, ugly boxes on
other sites around town.

Is that important?

Well, given that two different developers want multi-story buildings adjacent to the
Arlington Theater right now ...

That another developer wants a multi-story building at Haywards on SB Street, just
175 feet from the Courthouse right now ...

That another developer wants to build a 3/4 square block, multi-story box on State
at the Arcade, where State emerges from under 101 right now ...

That another developer wants to build a “new” Sandman Motel on outer State Stree
with the same number of rooms as the current campus, plus multi-story housing on
the “remaining open space” right now ...

That two other developers have proposed multi-story development in the midst
of El Pueblo Viejo (historic district) right now ...

While the “Entrada” (whatever that is anymore) still sits as a hulking ruin, and the
Parker Hotel-2 still sits as a hulking “hole in the ground) right now ...

With nary a peep from the City government, you can see why every Santa Barbara
mayor elected the last 30 years supports Measure B, why over 10,000 residents
signed the petitions to put it on the ballot, and why architects and developers are
freaking that their greed-blitzkrieg over ineffective City managers may be coming to an end.

No wonder they need deceptive, tricked-up “polling” to try to confuse the issue. It
is a total mis-direction play.

Just last week, they convinced six area civic leaders (who should know better) to
co-sign a News-Press essay (someone else wrote for them) asking people whether we love Cottage Hospital.

Hey, this isn’t about Cottage Hospital, or about “affordable housing”.

It’s about a stampede of big, ugly, boxy, multi-story, view-destroying buildings proposed all over town, and about a tax-funded bureaucracy unwilling or unable to restrain them.

It’s not that we like Cottage less. It’s that we love Santa Barbara more.

Yes on Measure B.

» on 09.26.09 @ 09:31 PM

Jason is right, as far as he took it.

First the caller of the poll, that we now discovered was paid for by the board of Realtors, asked me if I was going to vote yes or no on Measure B.

Then he asked a series of about 8 or 10 questions, such as :

“Are you aware that if measure B passes that the city will get less affordable housing. Does that raise significant doubts, some doubts or no doubts about measure B.

So the statement was provided as fact and the voter was no asked whether they agreed with the statement. they were , rather, asked if the statement would alter how they felt about measure B.  A subtle form of biased persuasion.

Then at the end of the questions he again asked : “Now, how do you think you will vote on measure B? 

So it was clear that the whole purpose of the poll was to provide persuasive propaganda, but stated as fact to the voter, in an attempt to change his or her vote.

But the whole point is that the eight or ten statements are not fact, about what will occur if Measure B passes but are nothing more than speculation, and one side believes these statements are correct, and the other believes just as strongly that these statements are wrong. 

After all if a developer is allowed to build , say, ten 1,000 square-foot units on a property of a certain size, will they sell for a different price if they are built in a 3 story, 40 feet high, development or a 4 story, 55 feet high, development.  Of course not!  Because the market determines the price and if a 1000 sq. ft. unit will bring, say,  $600,000 then such a unit will be the very same $600,000 whether built in a 3 story building or a 4 story one.

» on 09.26.09 @ 09:44 PM

The voters are mad as hell over these high rise buildings and we’re not going to take it anymore.

» on 09.27.09 @ 12:38 AM

In response the person who responded to Don Mcdermott, I’m not him but do take a little issue with your statement of the following…“Don, I wish you would move to a city that has the high rise building and traffic congestion that you desire. The vast majority of us moved here to get away from tall high rise massive buildings and the traffic congestion that they cause.” 

Just so you know the town was much nicer before all you busybodys moved here, you ever think the actual think that makes Santa Barbara suck these days isnt building heights its the quality of those moving here and deciding they will tell the locals how to live? That would be people perhaps like you and we cant pass a measure to ban that.

And ROXANNE Measure B didnt get 11,500 valid signatures it was (and check the proponents website) 8000 something valid signatures is their estimate can we stop with that line already.  Its also worth noting signing the petition so they can get on the ballot does not mean someone supports it.  If it was so popular they wouldnt need to be spending some 250k plus promoting it and a slate of candidates it would be a slam dunk.

» on 09.27.09 @ 02:10 AM

The sad truth is that the majority of BS has already been spoken by the pro B camp. Statements like “with out measure B we will have hundreds of new high rise 60 foot buildings” are lies and the B folks know it. That and claims of the population growing to 200 to 300 thousand, utter rubbish and lies spoken to stoke up fear.
60 feet isn’t a high rise, and there won’t be 4 or 5 in the next 20 years, if historical precedent is kept, let alone 100’s. All the statements made by the B folks are pure rubbish and they know it. They have had 40 years to inculcate the population with this ignorant madness.
The sad truth is that even if B passes it will do nothing to stop growth, traffic, crime, the hobos pissing on the city, gang violence or do anything to reverse time and land this city of 90,000 back at the beginning of the last century when it was small and ironically when most of the tallest buildings were built.
This is a game where everyone loses.

» on 09.27.09 @ 03:03 AM

Dear John,

With hundreds of thousands more people moving to live in downtown Denver to live in hundreds of high rise buildings, sure more people walk, bike or bus than before—because there are a lot more people.

But you fail to mention that all this high density smart growth caused bumper to bumper gridlock traffic congestion.  The inconvenient truth is that people living downtown, while driving less, just don;t give up their car.

And do we really want to add a bunch of 10 story buildings like you desire, and transform our town into a big city like Denver, and and add another 100,000 people downtown?    The 11,500 residents, who put measure B on the ballot, don’t think so.

You anti-B folks, with your desire, and vision, for 10 story buildings, are way out of touch with what the vast majority of the residents want our city to be.  In fact most of the residents think our city is just fine city just the way it is, and don’t share the anti- B folks vision for lots of new big 10 story buildings.

I couldn’t help but notice you failed to mention the inconvenient truth of where we are going to get the water (OR NOT) for your dream of adding all these thousands and thousands of new people to downtown Santa Barbara.  Remember this is Southern California—a desert region with little water.

A side note to Ranchero:  Buy the way Ranchero, you have it backwards, my friend, it is the new people who recently moved here from a big city who want to transform Santa Barbara into the big city where they came from.  It is the long time residents who are fighting to preserve and save the small town character and quality of life we all love so much.

» on 09.27.09 @ 03:23 AM

Good to hear from you AN50 my old friend.

I have to admit that half the things you say are true.  A reasonable expectation for what any of us say here, seeing as how we’re all biased, are we not?

But lets look at the other half of what you say:
you say: All the statements made by the B folks are pure rubbish and they know it.

ALL the statements?  Common give us a break!  I have heard you say before that the voters are stupid, but do you really think thee voters are THAT stupid (don’t bother answering that).

The reality is much closer to:  “all the statements made by the anti-B folks are pure rubbish and they know it.”

So, dear readers, lets remove all the rubbish from both sides and lets see what’s left:

If you, as a voter, desire is to add a whole lot of new big 60 feet four story buildings like those on Chapala, and add a lot of high density population growth and traffic congestion, run out of water, or if you’re a developer or realtor and make a lot of money on new big buildings, then the vote is clear:  Vote No on B.

If you, as a voter,  desire is to keep, Santa Barbara pretty much the way it is, not grow too much, and not have a lot of new big 60 feet four story buildings like those on Chapala, and not increase traffic congestion, and live within our resources, then the vote is clear: Vote YES on B.

Removing all the rubbish from both sides, that sums it up nicely.

» on 09.27.09 @ 03:47 AM

Is that Commissioner Sheila Lodge?  I think that any single foreigner from Moneycito Texas that would spend $250K in our tiny little city, to buy elections, should not by any means be given a pass as a patriot, no matter how many of your daughters he went to school with.  What a silly statement.  I also would suggest that Van Wolfswinkel’s pick of at least one out-of-the-closet-right-winger (Dale Francisco) to endorse should through out a flaming red flag.  At least two other of Van Wolfswinkel’s selections are the most undemocratic and unqualified candidates that we should ever see run for council (Self and Hotchkiss.) And why are you denigrating Santa Barbara with your statement ” he is genuinely dismayed.”  You are falling into the same hype and trap that many right wingers hoped you and other liberals would fall into. I can’t help but wonder what effect a right wing council might have on access to the planned parenthood establishment that you support.

And what’s wrong with “luxury.” I keep hearing this selfish argument.  I seem to recall when you were mayor, you wanted a little luxury for your ailing father, so you were criticized for your narrow comments about some lesser populations when you installed an electric warming toilet seat for your father’s comfort.  So why are you being so selfish and controlling and making such a “big deal” over the 15’ to 20’ that just might help accommodate interesting stepped back architecture, generous creek setbacks, wandering paseos, pocket green spaces and if you might be so generous commissioner, varying, 8, 10 or 12 foot ceilings for the inhabitants of some dwellings that don’t take up as much space as your luxurious Riviera spread and all the pavement it takes to support you and your little green car?

» on 09.27.09 @ 12:35 PM

Thanks for keeping the discussion civil Roxanne. Any more false accusations or name calling you’d like to do? Nice work…

The 11,000 signature argument is as weak, self serving, and dishonest as this Measure in general.  Standing outside of Trader Joes asking people if they are worried about building heights and views and getting them to sign their name is self-serving at best and deceptive at worst. The development of this city (and it is a city) is a complex issue that deserves understanding, analysis and discussion by a wide range of residents. Ballot box planning is a bad idea.  It’s lazy.  It’s one of the reasons why Califotrnia is becoming the fiscal laughing stock of the U.S.  If the supporters of Measure B were sincere and acting in a professional and unselfish manner, they would admit that ballot box planning is not a good idea. It’s rational, common sense. VOTE NO.

» on 09.27.09 @ 12:58 PM

Join us in our vertical vision for Santa Barbara.  Its High time for us to leave the 20th century behind and Grow Up!

Instead of lowering the building height from 60 feet to 40 feet we need to increase it to 100 feet, and allow 10 story high rise buildings,

Our vision of social justice will provide a high density affordable unit, on the 4th story, for anybody who wants to move here.

Put your trust in the Realtors and Developers, give up your car, vote No on B, and we will make all your dreams come true!

» on 09.27.09 @ 01:23 PM

I was push-polled on this and found the whole bumbling thing kind of charming.  I guess I was the first to explain to the poller how to pronounce “Viejo”; he said he was calling from Iowa, where they don’t have that word.  Beyond that, I provided lots of misinformation which I suppose they are now carefully analyzing.  People who can’t figure out it’s a push-poll shouldn’t be voting.

» on 09.27.09 @ 02:31 PM

I am amazed at the level of ignorance of many of the comments apearing here in response to the political influence polling often described as a push poll. 

The many utopian pinheads continually carp about how there “sensible”, “sustainable” “green” growth agendas, which are no more than attempts to foist their social agenda on others.  They perhaps foolishly believe it will force people to ride a bus, a bicycle, or walk to work (obviously assuming their “work” is within walking distance).

They know in their heart that the vast majority of bus riders are those who are transportation dependent, i.e those too old or too young to drive, those who cannot afford a car, cannot get a license, lost their license or driving priviledge, or suffer from physical or mental disablity precluding them from driving, or are perhaps students, like city college students, forced to buy a “bus pass” as part of their enriollment fees and occasionally use the bus to recoup their money.

If the lack of common sense were not so ominous I wouold simply dismiss these fools as being naive’ and unaware of one iota of human nature.  They either forgot, were never taught in college or simply brainwashed by the “college carbon crowd”, that we had horses, bicycles and other modes of transportation a century ago. These were abandoned for the faster, safer, more convenient and more all weather comfortable automobiles, that brought a much greater freedom to travel and transport than anything before.

These utopians believe that by forcing people to live in stacked up taller buildings they will somehow change their ways and get them in line with their “hollier-than-thou” social agenda. Freedom of choice and resistance to autocratic opression is what has made this country as great as it is.

Yes, we have problems with air polution and traffic congestion but those need to be solved not by taking away cars and parking, narrowing streets, obstructing the flow of traffic with silly “traffic calming devices” and forcing people to live in higher density housing but rather with better technology.

There is nothing that says we have to cave in to such blatant social engineering. It is the high density, traffic congestion, crime and other negative impacts of urban life that created the mass exodus from city cores known as the suburban flight and what these utopians want to derisively call “sprawl”.

They cannot accept the fact that people do not want to live on top of each other and because those of us who have lived in Santa Barbara for decades and generations did so because we had the benefits of City life WITHOUT MANY OF THE NEGATIVES THAT CAME WITH CONVENTIONAL CITY LIFE, LIKE HIGH RISE BUILDINGS.

Now these same utopian social engineers and their developer/landowner allies are telling us we must convert to the very type cities many of us fled from, decades ago to get in step with their social agenda.  They extoll the virtues of cities like Portland (Ugh I don’t think they have ever been in downtown Portland) or Denver with it’s maze like streets and freeways with accompanying traffic congestion and crime.

As far as so called “affordable housing” that so called crises has been brought about by the creation of low paying jobs by the City of Santa Barbara, which attract workers who cannot afford existing housing. (The most recent study by SBCAG identified the City of Santa barbara as the only city in the County with a significant jobs to housing imbalance)  Why is it the responsibilty of everyone else here to provide subsidized or “affordabloe housing” for those who have been enticed here by foolhardy government policies and cannot afford existing housing in order to live here?

The developer crowd has seized upon this social guilt trip to foist high density development upon us and ruin the character of the City of Santa Barbara for their profit. (It is axiomatic that as land prices climb owners want to build more and more on the land to justify the price they have paid).

Mesure B may not be perfect but it is a last resort response to the fools in government, both elected and staff, who have approved trash like the towering monstrosities, without set backs, without parking or landscaping along the lower Chapala corridor, turning it into a canyon of buildings. The sensible people who care about the unique character of Santa Barbara have simply said ENOUGH!!  They seek to take discretion away from those who have abused that discretion badly and no longer deserve to hold the powere to ruin Santa Barbara. Even those who seek no profit but are merely misguided bleeding hearts who think the ends justifies the means, WHEN IT DOESN’T!!

» on 09.27.09 @ 03:02 PM

Less is More, you are right there is plenty of blame to go around. But sadly, as with John P., you keep adding to it. Where, in the thousands of words I have devoted to this subject, have I ever mentioned the desire for hundreds or even tens of new buildings period, let alone 60’ buildings? Go ahead, do a search, do some research, you won’t find it, not once. Your argument is a 40 year old red herring designed to instill fear into the unknowing population.
No one except the slum lords wants more growth, well the kind you and your merry band of extremists describe anyway. Most of us agree with you that mindless stupid growth needs to be stopped. But using one of three physical dimensions of a building to do it is as stupid as the “smart growth” being practiced here. Bringing housing into the downtown core is good. Putting it into taller buildings that consume much smaller foot prints is not only practical but makes it financially viable as well. To prevent the walling off of the skyline with buildings of equal height several factors come into play.
Usually, the building usage determines viable density and thus height. But you can have a much better and more diverse architectural effect by limiting density and air rights and then allowing trade offs on the market. The market would be limited so that density/air rights credits must be purchased from adjacent properties first in order to qualify. That insures no two buildings of equal height are ever built next to each other. This method also ensures that the over all density of the city is actually maintained or even REDUCED! This method would have prevented the massive land gobbling structure that prompted the B movement (Chapala One). It also takes care of the traffic problems SEPV has been BS’ing about. You could actually reduce the city’s growth over all, while still allowing the urban core to remain viable and intact and keep the over all number of buildings built that are taller to a minimum. A win win for all of us that is totally ignored in the current political morass now consuming everyone’s thoughts.
This is how real smart growth is done. It is not the build-what-ever-you-can-on-any-empty-lot-you-find method now being experienced.
The more irritating underlying story is that this whole measure B campaign is not about growth but rather a desire to re make the city into a new Palm Springs North, a wealthy retirement village devoid of pesky youth and any resemblance to normal life. SEPV is run by folks who want that low slow suburban life style where you drive your car to the front door and walking distance is determined by how far you have to park.
Finally, as I have repeated very often and you and SEPV have still yet to refute is that measure B will NOT stop growth, crime, traffic, crowds, vagrancy, skyrocketing living costs, canyonizing (as you folks mistakenly call it) or any of the ills you portend to tall buildings. B passes, we both lose. There is a better way Less and that is all I have ever argued for. If by chance we can stop B then we will have a chance to better formulate that better way. If B passes it will be the final coffin nail in the city of the newly wed and the nearly dead.

» on 09.27.09 @ 04:26 PM

If anything is dirty it is people calling a 60 foot building a high rise.

No for B!

» on 09.27.09 @ 04:32 PM

“Citizens taking back their cities”? That is a laughable statement considering measure A is funded by a Texas developer.

» on 09.27.09 @ 06:15 PM

reply @ Steve Fort:

Steve, you thanked Roxanne for keeping the conversation civil.  Well it was in direct response to YOUR extremely rude and disrespectful comment telling young people to “look at those in the picture”.  Steve can dish it out but can’t take it!

You say:
Obtaining 11,500 signatures and putting a measure on the ballot is lazy.
Well I’ve got information for you.  It took thousands of hours to collect those signatures and to put this important measure on the ballot so the PEOPLE not the politicians can decide the future of their city. 

The height issue was put on the ballot, by deeply caring citizens, because the city staff has gone wild, is totally out of control, and is hell bent on implementing high density vertical smart growth here and the high rises that “their” vision requires. 

In other words a ballot measure the only way for THE PEOPLE to get the kind of a city THEY want.  After all, our city is owned by all the residents, not city staff, as their toy to try their social engineering experiment on.
You don’t like the ballot measure because you know it’s not going to result in you getting the kind of high density city with tall buildings that YOU want.  All your comments about ballot box planning are self serving, and go against the will of the people.

Measure B to lower building heights IS on the ballot, so be a man Steve, suck it up, and live with the WILL OF THE PEOPLE for shorter buildings!  ( As if you had any other choice).

You say:
The development of this city is a complex issue that deserves understanding, analysis and discussion by a wide range of residents.
Well having this measure on the ballot is getting a whole lot more discussion and analysis and by a lot larger range of residents than it would under the normal planning process, which consists of staff preparing a staff report, the same small handful of residents coming to speak at a public hearing and having what they say ‘dismissed”,  then a city council, with a socialistic majority, voting to implement high density vertical smart growth and a tall height limit to accommodate city staff’s desired hundreds of new 60 feet tall buildings. 

Putting measure B on the ballot when the city staff has gone wild is indeed rational, common sense.  Power to the people!    VOTE YES ON B!

» on 09.27.09 @ 07:16 PM

Like I said before JAX measure B will do none of the things you want it to. I will only limit building heights and all the BS you and the B folks use as a ruse to get this passed will still occur, albeit 15 to 20 feet shorter. When you finally divorce yourself from the immense 40 year old emotional attachment to this idea you’ll see what I mean.
Unfortunately, you and most pro B supporters have so inculcated yourselves to the idea that building heights and growth are one in the same, divorce will be hard to come by. It doesn’t help at all that so many developers and housing advocates think the same way and actually encourage this inane notion. It really is rather pathetic that so many have swallowed such utter stupidity.

» on 09.28.09 @ 10:40 AM

AN50 Resistance to tall buildings has been a part of the zeit geist of Santa Barbara since I have been here (over 50 years).

Slow controlled growth has also been a staple in the minds of most of the people who have lived here more than a few years.  What has happened most recently is the power structure has been turning the City into a tourist trap for the benefit of those in that industry and the City government who see only the dollars they can make through various taxes that tourism provides.

This in turn has generated more demmand for housing that these kinds of labor intensive low paying jobs create but don’t pay the kind of wages needed to afford to live here. Hence there is the well documented imbalance between jobs and housing. If the City wanted to change this picture they need to stop approving the businesses that provide those low paying jobs and make a concerted effort to attract businesses that provide better jobs.

For many years the mantra of City government was to attract so called “smokeless industries” providing well paying jobs and minimal negative impacts on the City’s unique charm. It was that type of thiking that encouraged copanies like G.E. Tempo and others to come here!

The conversion of the Waterfront to a “Coney Island” West boardwalk and the downtown to a Disneyesque mall by day and a drunken combat zone by night has all but destroyed the downtown area for the residents and virtually abandoned it to the tourists, the bums and the gang bangers.

The “housing crisis”, as it is called, is not so much about the number of people seeking to live here as much as it is about the economic strata of those who want to live here but cannot afford to do so. The City government and staff have done nothing meaningful to solve this imbalance.

» on 09.28.09 @ 02:36 PM

allow me to reply to SB Res:

You said:  “Citizens taking back their cities”? 
That is a laughable statement considering measure A is funded by a Texas developer.

For your information the Texas Developer is not a member of the Save EL Pueblo Viejo committee, a grass roots organization that wrote Measure B two years ago and collected the 11,500 signatures and put it on the ballot over a year ago.  On after it was already on the ballot did the Texas Developer recently hear about Measure B being on the ballot and recently decided to support it.  He decided to support it because he grew up and went to school in Santa Barbara and has moved back to the South Coast to live to live.  He is not getting anything out of Measure B except for being a part of preserving it, as opposed to those Developers and Realtors contributing to oppose measure B so that they can overdevelop it, ruin it, and make a lot of money in the process.

Also his contribution represents about 10% of the total funds contributed to support measure B.  A relatively insignificant number.  Measure B has hundreds and hundreds of contributions under $100.

It is a fact that measure B, which is a true grass roots effort by the people, would be on the ballot with or without the contribution by the Texas Developer.

While the No on B committee has about 50% of their funds contributed by out of town greedy developers.  So its a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Be a part of the people taking back our city.  Power to the People.  Vote Yes on Measure B——the Peoples measure.

» on 09.28.09 @ 03:48 PM

What you don’t seem to get through your thick head is that there are three camps here.

1. Those few against measure B, primarily developers and Realtors, who make a lot of money on growth, because their vision is to leave the slow growth path that we have been on for 50 years and take us on a new path to super size our city, by growing a in population to 200,000 or 300,000, and add literally hundreds of super size 60 foot tall buildings to accommodate the huge population growth that they desire.

2.  The supporters of measure B, consisting of a true grass roots effort by the majority of the citizens to stay on the tried and proven slow growth path which has made Santa Barbara what it is today—-the most desirable not so big city to live in the nation.  Those voting Yes on B want to protect and preserve our cherished small town character, mountain views, and quality of life.  They desire to live within our resources and thus be environmentally sustainable. they want to protect our city from the bumper to bumper gridlock traffic congestion that comes with overdevelopment and tall buildings.

3. Then there is AN50—a man with a vision shared by one, who marches to the beat of a different drummer—-himself—- and who has a crazy idea that if measure B is not passed that, by some Mother of all miracles, things will be ‘his way’ and not the way of the greedy developers, who are opposing measure B, and who, if measure B fails, will super size our city as sure as the nose on your face, with hundreds of 60 feet buildings, one super size 60 foot building at a time, and laugh all the way to the bank.  (Remember just 5 sixty foot buildings each year comes to 100 over the next 20 years, and 500 over the next 100 years—talk about transformation!)

VOTE YES ON MEASURE B and keep our city a “not so big city”.  Lets not allow the greedy developers to super size it.
Yes on B!

» on 09.28.09 @ 05:13 PM

I like smaller buildings, but don’t like that one person (no matter where he’s from) is throwing so much money into this election. Even if he backed my candidates (Helene & David for sure), I wouldn’t be happy about BIG MONEY having INFLUENCE. Back off.

» on 09.28.09 @ 05:18 PM

Can anyone tell me how many 60’ buildings we have allowed to be built here in the past 10 years?  Does anyone have this info on a year by year basis?  I find it hard to believe that there are 5 new 60’ buildings going up per year(inferred by Less is More).  I can only think of a few in the past 5 years or so(hospital, chapala one, possibly paseo chapala)am i missing any others?

» on 09.28.09 @ 05:26 PM

To know how many of the pro-Measure B comments are coming from the same IP address, which coincidentally might be in the vicinity of…Gill Berry’s house?

» on 09.28.09 @ 05:55 PM

JAX, I agree with you 100% on the current state of affairs.  Santa Barbara has a rich tradition as a destination resort, not the cheap weekend Disneyland tourist crap we see today. The city also had at one time a rich history as the cultural, financial, commercial and political center for three counties. The reason we have such a wonderfully urban downtown at all with its many multistory commercial buildings was due to the city’s prominence in the state. You say you’ve been here for 50 years (I have as well), then you remember what an awful coma this city had been in for the last 50 out of 60 years. Some mistake rolling up the sidewalks at 7pm on a Friday night as “small town charm”, but it belies SB’s old cultural roots. In that respect I welcomed the renovation of the Granada and the resurgence of night life in the city (sans the drunks and vagrants of course).
The thorny issue here as I have often stated is the height of buildings. I have been to too many cities around the country and world to buy the Santa Barbara obsession with shortness. Maybe if you are on the rancho somewhere out in the Santa Ynez valley you could make an argument for low sprawling rancho architecture, but not in the city. It is senseless and like I said before, is predicated on the notion that you must cap height to stop growth. Limiting one dimension of a building leaves the other two to expand as in the case of the Doubletree, the Paseo Nuevo, the new Cottage rebuild and even Chapala One. These structures are massively sprawling and all because they could not go up. They are out of character with Santa Barbara’s historical building inventory and basically reflect the mistaken idea that Santa Barbara is a low slow rancho and not a city. The continuous belligerent lie that somehow without a building height limit the city will be inundated with Manhattan style skyscrapers is at an all time high and has one purpose, to stoke irrational fear.
I do not wish to see the city drown in new development, particularly the low rise Oxnard style garden apartment buildings that height limits will usher in. I do not wish to see a substantial number of new mixed use buildings like the low rise sprawling Chapala One (a perfect example of what limits will bring). I prefer taller buildings in the core on much smaller foot prints, with air rights involved to limit building out adjacent lots so that adequate light is allowed to street level. I prefer growth be limited by limiting city wide density with some density credits allowed to be swapped on the market. Two or three new taller buildings in the 4, 5, or 6 story range would not be “out of character” with the city’s skyline and would indeed enhance the downtowns urban feel. The traffic would be controlled by having new buildings conform to area wide density limits and thus have to buy up someone else’s traffic generation to compensate.
So there you have it. No I am not a developer, land owner or have any association with such. I am not an architect but that profession is my passion. I have no stake in the game from a development point of view. My only concern is that while the no growth community does battle with their arch enemies (developers and slum lord housing advocates), we don’t demolish the city in the process and height limits will do that for all the reasons I have alluded to.

» on 09.28.09 @ 06:10 PM

Undecided, you have Cottage which is a 60’ building replacing a 79’ wing (so not really an addition, though becase of height restrictions will take up 4 times the space), the new DA’s office, Chapala One, Paseo Chapala and the mixed use at 24 Anapamu. There are some others of the same floor count but less than 60’ (in fact most of the buildings constructed in the last 20 years are much lower than 60’). Most 60’ buildings only have a small portion that reach that height (bell towers and elevator towers typically) with the rest of the building closer to 50’. An interesting side note is that the front façade of the Chapala One (the building causing the big concern) is only 40 feet tall with the taller portions back off the street.
Any way Less is More is full of it and has from day one engaged in a campaign of lies, deception, hyperbole and fear mongering and when confronted just harkens back to the same baseless argument that building height and growth are one in the same. They are not and when this measure passes he and SEPV will be in for one hell of a shock when they see growth continue unabated.
To curious, I’d be very interested to know that too, since it’s quite obvious they are all the same writing style and engage in the very same baseless sloganeering.
Less everything you write is already thoroughly discredited. You may convince some poor old timer who really doesn’t know a 40’ building from a 60’ one, but you are fooling no one here. We have already been down this road, so trying to convince everyone of this baloney won’t work. In fact the more people read what I have to say the more you look ridiculous, which is now beginning to take on an air of desperation. Throwing out BS like “100’s of new 60’ buildings” and “population growth to 200,000 to 300,000” is so off the charts over blown it makes you look rather silly. But hey don’t worry, that poor little old lady you got all riled up, well sooner or later she’ll wise up to you and let you have it.

» on 09.28.09 @ 06:47 PM

To know how many of the pro-Measure B comments are coming from the same IP address, which coincidentally might be in the vicinity of…Gill Berry’s house?

» on 09.28.09 @ 06:51 PM

“Yes to B” you say you “wouldn’t be happy about BIG MONEY having INFLUENCE” but are supporting Helene and Dave Pritchett? Don’t you think the unions - fire, police and SEIU - are “BIG MONEY”?

I say vote against ALL the BIG MONEY. Vote NO ON B. Yes on Cushman, Thyne and House.

That is all.

» on 09.28.09 @ 08:07 PM

“Yes to B” you say you “wouldn’t be happy about BIG MONEY having INFLUENCE” but are supporting Helene and Dave Pritchett? Don’t you think the unions - fire, police and SEIU - are “BIG MONEY”?

I say vote against ALL the BIG MONEY. Vote NO ON B. Yes on Cushman, Thyne and House.

That is all.

» on 09.28.09 @ 08:24 PM

It is true that for the last 50 years we only had about one 60 foot building built here each year.
But that was before the new “high density vertical smart growth” raised it’s ugly head here 5 years ago.

All of a sudden we had about 5 such applications for tall buildings every year and we got some monster super size tall buildings actually built and many more approved but put on hold due to the economy.  But we still have many in the pipeline and the city wants to build a 60 foot Transit Village on the city block where the MTD bus station and city parking lot are located.

The No on B crowd, which consists of those whop make a lot of money off of super size tall buildings, have a vision of many many more 60 foot four story big buildings to be built in Santa Barbara.

The Save EL Pueblo Viejo group was formed due to the very real threat to our community from this new trend.

Even if only one such 60 foot monster was built here that comes to 20 over the next 20 years and 50 over the next 50 years and 100 over the next 100 years.

Nobody is saying that our city is going to grow to 200,000 over the next 20 years.  What we are saying is that many of the opponents to Measure B have publicly stated that they would like for Santa Barbara to grow by 2% per year. (The same as the world population growth rate)
Well to determine how long it takes to double a population one divided the number 72 by the growth rate per year.  So a growth rate of 2% per year will double the population of a city in 36 years and further double it again in another 36 years.  the population of the city of Santa Barbara city is now 93,000.  Therefore those opposing B would have no problem if the population doubled to 186,000 in 36 years and doubled again to 372,000 72 years from now.

They want all those living downtown in 4 story 60 foot buildings.  Well at an average of 10 units per project one can easily visualize just how many monster 60-foot buildings would be necessary to accommodate their high density vision.

Even 1% growth rate is excessive as it would result in 186,000 people in 72 years.
which would require hundreds of 60 foot buildings to accommodate. 

So, AN50, who just happens to be a developer, don’t give me your crap about Measure B not having anything to do with population growth.  (You would like for the voters to think that it has nothing to do with population growth)

What other purpose does the extra fourth story have except to provide capacity for 33% more people.

The threat to overdevelop and super-size Santa Barbara is very real.
Please join your friends and neighbors in Voting Yes on measure B.

Save Santa Barbara from over-development.  Yes on B.

» on 09.28.09 @ 08:56 PM

Do biased phone push polls like the No on B committee’s one stink?

You bet your bippy.

» on 09.28.09 @ 08:59 PM

It is true that for the last 50 years we only had about one 60 foot building built here each year.
But that was before the new “high density vertical smart growth” raised it’s ugly head here 5 years ago.

All of a sudden we had about 5 such applications for tall buildings every year and we got some monster super size tall buildings actually built and many more approved but put on hold due to the economy.  But we still have many in the pipeline and the city wants to build a 60 foot Transit Village on the city block where the MTD bus station and city parking lot are located.

The No on B crowd, which consists of those whop make a lot of money off of super size tall buildings, have a vision of many many more 60 foot four story big buildings to be built in Santa Barbara.

The Save EL Pueblo Viejo group was formed due to the very real threat to our community from this new trend.

Even if only one such 60 foot monster was built here that comes to 20 over the next 20 years and 50 over the next 50 years and 100 over the next 100 years.

Nobody is saying that our city is going to grow to 200,000 over the next 20 years.  What we are saying is that many of the opponents to Measure B have publicly stated that they would like for Santa Barbara to grow by 2% per year. (The same as the world population growth rate)
Well to determine how long it takes to double a population one divided the number 72 by the growth rate per year.  So a growth rate of 2% per year will double the population of a city in 36 years and further double it again in another 36 years.  the population of the city of Santa Barbara city is now 93,000.  Therefore those opposing B would have no problem if the population doubled to 186,000 in 36 years and doubled again to 372,000 72 years from now.

They want all those living downtown in 4 story 60 foot buildings.  Well at an average of 10 units per project one can easily visualize just how many monster 60-foot buildings would be necessary to accommodate their high density vision.

Even 1% growth rate is excessive as it would result in 186,000 people in 72 years.
which would require hundreds of 60 foot buildings to accommodate.

So, AN50, who just happens to be a developer, don’t give me your crap about Measure B not having anything to do with population growth.  (You would like for the voters to think that it has nothing to do with population growth)

What other purpose does the extra fourth story have except to provide capacity for 33% more people.

The threat to overdevelop and super-size Santa Barbara is very real.
Please join your friends and neighbors in Voting Yes on measure B.

Save Santa Barbara from over-development.  Yes on B.

» on 09.28.09 @ 08:59 PM

Yes on B= two 40’ buildings next to one another
No on B= one 60’ building next to a 20’ building

» on 09.28.09 @ 10:30 PM

No on B:  One historic charming 30 foot building with a 60 foot monstrosity building on each side of it.

Yes on B:  One historic charming 30 foot building with a well designed human scale 40 foot building on each side of it.

» on 09.28.09 @ 10:40 PM

Oh Hendry! There you and your merry band of fear mongering, shallow minded, nit wits go again. If you don’t like low rise sprawling development in the tradition of Southern California and Palm Springs then you must be an evil orange County developer. You intellectual narcissist just cannot believe anyone would reject your aesthetics on their own merit unless they are a developer can you? What a pathetic maroon! The more I write the more desperate you get.
Your drive will not stop growth. There is nothing in measure B that stops growth, NOTHING. Yes it will lower areal density but has no provision for preventing that same density from spreading out from the core to outer lower density neighborhoods. You people have hitched yourselves on a stupid star and you will be sorry you did not think this through more thoroughly before hand.
Insults and name calling aside, Henry, all I’m trying to do is get you folks to snap out of this 40 year old obsession with building heights and to realize it’s the wrong damned tool. If you could only for a second get past this brain dead obsession with labeling your opponents as developers and really read what I wrote you would see I’m on your side, ya nut case! I cannot fight the slum lord housing advocates if I have to fight this idiotic 40 year old love affair with mediocrity. Lose the damned height issue and you have a whole lot more people on your side.
‘How about this’, sums my case up as beautifully simple as it could ever be. You either want variety in architecture or monotony. With B you will have monotony and certainly a chance to recapture those comatose days of yesteryear.

» on 09.29.09 @ 01:42 AM


There is something that you just don’t get:

You may be somewhat right in some of the things that you say.

If you were King and had control of all development then what you say might make sense.

But face reality, man, you are not king.
and so there is now way that your vision would ever become reality.

This is because your vision is but a theory and has has no following. there is no way that you could ever get your vision to be reality,

Please consider this: (and I’m not saying it out of desperation or fear, but out of courtesy to you).

This is a free country.  The common practice of almost all developers and architects is to design their project to the highest and best use of the land.

It is a fact that city staff is encouraging high density mixed use projects.  This is, after all,  their vision for the future of Santa Barbara.  So with a 60 foot height limit the reality is that most developers of new mixed use projects downtown will submit an application for a 4 story 60 foot tall building.  yes, there will be some wedding cake type setbacks of the upper stories.

But the result of the larger projects will be almost identical to the monstrosities on Chapala.    It cannot be other wise!  The city simply dopes not say no to any new application that meets all the zoning requirements.  In fact state law prevents a city from denying approval to any project containing affordable housing.

There was no need for measure B during the last 30 years because we were only getting one application submitted for a 60 foot building about once every 5 years.

But all that changed dramatically when city staff started implementing their vision of high density vertical smart growth here.  I know many developers.  I have had many developers tell me that city staff informed them that if they would apply for a four story 60 feet high mixed use project on Chapala that they would see that it would be approved.

  Well all of a sudden many developers took the city staff up on their offer and over the last 5 years there has been something like 30 three story 45 feet projects applied for and something like 10 four story and 60 feet tall buildings applied for.
Many on Garden street, many on Anacapa street including a 60 foot one next to the freeway.  There was Radio square which started out as 4 stories,  there was a new three story 45 feet tall building proposed on each side of the Arlington Theater. The list goes on and on and on. 

We saw a big building approved for coast Village Road against the wished of the citizens, and tall ones proposed for Milpas.  We saw the Berkus Lofts three story 45 feet tall project on Upper state street.  The result is a new trend of building vertical like nothing Santa Barbara has ever seen.

Many if these are still in the pipeline and several have been approved but are on hold due to the recession.  If it had not been for the recession we would be seeing super size buildings all over Santa Barbara.

It is this trend for many many new tall buildings that caused the need for measure B.

Measure B is only way to insure that Santa Barbara is not overdeveloped and super sized with tall buildings.  We saw the city staff. planning commission or City Council were no help as they are actually the ones encouraging these tall buildings.

So the citizens, seeing that if they didn’t take matters into their own hands and put measure B on the ballot, the city would be totally transformed. 
Even one 60 feet four story building a year is too much as they are simply not compatible with the desired small town historic character of Santa Barbara and even one per year is fifty 60 foot buildings in 50 years.  But we were seeing a new trend for a lot more than one per year!  Those opposing B act as if this new vertical trend didn’t exist—-when in fact it is their vision for the future!

And no matter what you say, AN50, these four story 60-foot buildings provide for significant population growth and thus significant increase in traffic congestion.  they lead to overdevelopment which exceeds the capacity of our water recourse and there fir are not environmentally sustainable.

So now do you see why so many citizens are voting for measure B.  It is because they believe their eyes and not the assurances of the likes of you:  “Oh, just leave the 60 foot height limit and we developers wont use it (much).

let me ask you this question:  If you developers were not planning to use the 60 foot height limit then you don’t need it, right?  Then why are you trying so hard to keep 60 feet when you don’t need and don’t plan on using it.

Do you really think the voters are that stupid? ( don’t answer that)

» on 09.29.09 @ 12:25 PM

No Less I do get it and very well thank you. Your answer to the current crop of socialist engineers is to shackle the city in chains. If it were true that the only way to stop over development (which is a subjective term by the way) was to smash the city flat I would agree with you. But it isn’t. We do not need the draconian and narrow minded method you SEPV have come up with as a solution. As I described before it’s like trying to rid your lawn of weeds with a bulldozer. Yes very effective but you don’t have much of a lawn left when done. The methods I have described here and to you many times now are quite effective and have worked well in many cities across the country. Yes there are cases where these methods did not work, mostly in their earlier incarnations. We have learned much since then and we can now use those tools very effectively to thwart overdevelopment, traffic congestion and preserve the skyline as a city skyline and not a suburban shopping mall skyline.
But to use these tools two things must happen, one, you and the folks at SEPV need to stop using one single dimension of a building as a growth limiting tool. You need to get over this 40 year obsession with turning down town into a little Spanish village. Neither of these obsessions is rational or healthy but are predicated on fear of what MIGHT happen, not what HAS happened. Two, you need to push people to elect responsible leaders who have a clear vision for the city as a whole. Leaders won’t always tell you what you want to hear but they will listen to what you have to say.
Without a change in the type of leadership you have you will never have resolution. Imposing draconian measures like B will not stop the problems you associate with building heights. It will only mutate them into another form (which I have outlined many times). Change the guard, and implement the right tools to do the job, otherwise you solve nothing and in fact create more problems that will be even harder to fix.

» on 09.29.09 @ 07:44 PM

“Yes on Measure B

To hear the opponents of Measure B tell the story, the sky is falling, and they blame 11,500 misguided citizens who dumb enough and old-fashioned to have signed petitions to place the height limits measure on the ballot. 

We disagree.

The story of Measure B—which aims to lower building heights—is one of a grassroots effort by a cross-section of citizens to take back their city from the hands of the developers who have had their way on the streets of Santa Barbara for far too long. The majority of people who live and work in this special place have never been interested in transforming this historic jewel in a majestic natural setting into a tall, dense urban-opolis.

The still aren’t.

Back in 1941, the writers of the WPA guide to Santa Barbara noted, “This average Santa Barbaran and his wife and children are the people who make the city what it is. They voted the bonds with which to buy the ocean front; they worked for the elimination of billboards; they tend their gardens, keep their lawns looking like green Tientsin rugs, rim their hedges and keep the corners clean. They are proud of themselves and of their city.”

The heritage of civic pride and activism that moved citizens to put Measure B on the ballot is the latest in a series of community struggles over the years to protect Santa Barbara from overdevelopment. Without such determined civic involvement, two nine-story towers would stand today at the site of Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens; and there would be a massive housing development overlooking the ocean instead of the Douglas Family Preserve.

The recent boom in building luxury condominium complexes anywhere and everywhere began on a modest scale. But the tipping point came when Chapala Street transformed into something abhorrent to most Santa Barbarans.

Something had to be done to prevent Santa Barbara’s unique character from disappearing under the long shadows cast by buildings that just don’t fit. 

When City Council refused to act, concerned citizens took it upon themselves to gather signatures and gain impressive support for Measure B, which will lower the height limits from 60 feet to 40 feet in the historic El Pueblo Viejo area, and from 60 to 45 feet in other parts of town.

Measure B deals only with heights. But it sends a clear message to City Hall: no more building as usual. It’s time to heed the wishes of the people, and adhere to city ordinances once considered inviolate. Issues of neighborhood compatibility, size, bulk, scale, setback requirements can no longer be ignored, and modifications granted must be greatly reduced.

Measure B also sends the resounding message that the scarcest, most fragile local resource of all is the cherished sense of place that has defined Santa Barbara in the hearts of residents, as well as visitors from across the nation and around the world. And once again, the citizens of Santa Barbara have stepped up to preserve it.

Measure B’s increasingly shrill opponents—many of whom simply don’t comprehend the notion of stewardship of a unique community, and others who have profited enormously in the recent building frenzy—have resorted to negative, deceptive campaigning of the worst kind. Despite their wild accusations and dire predictions, the sky is not falling. And the way to ensure a clear view of it—unobstructed by big buildings—is for Santa Barbara to vote Yes on Measure B. “

above from the Daily Sound

» on 09.29.09 @ 07:49 PM

“I’m not convinced that the solution to our problems is increased height in
downtown buildings.  I think that would kill the goose that lays the golden
egg—and this is already happening on the Chapala corridor, which is
absolutely repulsive thanks to hulking buildings.  Why do we love Santa
Barbara?  Because by limiting heights we’ve created a human-sized downtown that
feels welcoming to locals and visitors alike.  It still looks and feels
like a village, which is the “pattern” we all connect to if we’re given a

Imagine if State Street had more buildings like the overbuilt monsters on
Chapala.  These buildings diminish people, make you feel small and
powerless, psychologically and politically.

The built environment is a key to how we feel emotionally in a given
location, even if we’re not aware of its psychological effects.  Packing more
people into the city core is what is being preached by the New Urbanism
architects, but I don’t think they’ve considered all the important factors.  And
I definitely don’t believe this is the solution to the need for affordable
housing. I also don’t believe that if we crammed more people into downtown
we’d somehow save ag land or prevent sprawl.

I don’t think this is a right or left issue, but an issue relating to our
vision for the city core of Santa Barbara. What kind of look and feel do you
want for our town?”

by Linda

» on 09.29.09 @ 09:08 PM

What kind of town do you want? Very good question. The answer is a real one, not a fantasy that does not or will not ever be what supporters of measure B continue to espouse. Santa Barbara is not a small town. It already has a dense core typical of cities this size. The vision espoused by many supporters does not exist today nor has it for some time. Much of the decay, crime, traffic and ugliness we see today are a result of such “bury your head in the sand” visions that really are a call to the fetal position rather than to real solutions. Sadly many ordinary folks have been brainwashed into believing that limiting the height of a building will magically solve all the cities problems. It won’t. Views will continue to be blocked by massive buildings like the new Cottage hospital, Chapala One and the Paseo Nuevo, the latter two already shorter than the existing height limit. Crime will continue to get worse and traffic will grid lock as none of these things will be affected by the limit. The limit is in effect a cover for the real problems facing the city. Picking a single building dimension as a growth tool will have minimal effect which is why developers are lining up behind Measure B. They know that once passed they will be able to once again begin building many new massive buildings only 15 feet shorter. They will lobby for and receive approval to build the maximum floor count and density allowed under the limit and transform the city into a large sprawling Oxnard. The measure B folks will be left stunned as the measure they thought was a panacea turns out to be one big fat mistake. Those of you who doubt this scenario only have to look at the last 5 years. Did the current 60’ limit stop growth? No, it did not. Did the current limit stop the city council from approving massive buildings that cover a quarter of a city block, with no setbacks and not enough parking? No it did not. The new limit will not stop any of these either and you will continue to get more Chapala One’s albeit 15’ shorter and most likely with flat topped roofs. Don’t believe it, SEPV have you buffaloed? They have run a campaign of fear based on a 40 year old attitude that denies reality and preys on fear. When this measure passes and I’m sure it will, I’ll still be around to tell you I told you so.

» on 09.29.09 @ 11:45 PM


You are out of touch with the attitudes of Santa Barbara residents.

Forget all about words or their definitions.

Here are the facts:
No matter what words one uses to describe it, and no matter how you personally feel about it, the vast majority of the residents think that Santa Barbara, in its present imperfect state,  is a very very special and unique place.  In fact many of the residents feel that it is one of the most, if not the most, the most desirable city in the country to live in.  Even though we are not a small town we have managed to hold onto a small town character.

A majority of the residents want to keep Santa Barbara as nice as it can be and to most that means keeping it as close to the way it now is as possible. 

Then vast majority of the residents don’t want to super size our city by adding a whole lot of super size 60 feet buildings.  the vast majority of the residents desire to grow slow and to not have a lot of traffic congestion.

Now the exiting character of our city is the direct result of the charm, size, bulk, height and human scale of our buildings.  The vast majority of our existing buildings are 1 and 2 story with only a very few 3 and 4 or more stories.  Yes, the taller buildings and the landmark buildings give it some of it’s charm.  But the key factor is the proportion of buildings taller than 2 stories is small.  Our nicest and most vibrant and charming street of all is downtown State Street, which is almost all two story buildings.  A new three or four story 60 foot building will not add any charm to State Street, but a lot more of them would totally destroy the charm and small town character and block mountain views which add much to the character of the city.  They would also block sunlight and result in a canonization effect. 

Many of us moved here to get away from big cities with tall buildings and the traffic congestion that they cause.

Why in the world would anyone want to transform Santa Barbara into just another big city USA?  The residents have resisted such urbanization and tall buildings for 50 years now and they are not about to change just because AN50 says its the right thing to do.

AN50 is right about one thing.  Measure B will not solve all our problems.  There is more to do.
But measure B a damn good start, and once it is passed we will take on setbacks and the bulk of buildings next.  One thing at a time my friend.  You have not heard the last of us and we are not going away, but will keep our exceptional great little city on the sustainable path that it has been on for the last 50 years. 

MY friends, there will never be another Santa Barbara.  Help us preserve what we have by voting YES on B

» on 09.30.09 @ 09:42 PM

When my parents settled here it was shortly after the 1950 census which placed the population around 55,000.  As recently as the 2000 census it had not even doubled in 50 years.  That is because slow controlled growth (and REAL SENSIBLE GROWTH POLICIES) anti-high density, anti-highrise, anti-big city policies worked for 50 years. 

It is only the majority of our current city government, the collection of utopian nitwits elected over the last decade or so that things began to change using a host of idiotic excuses to increase density, from “providing affordable housing” to providing “work force housing” to providing “subsidized housing for the poor” to so called “smart growth” then “sustainable growth” even “green growth” and a bunch of other buzz words to accomplish policies and agendas that enabled many of the government dingbats we elected, the commissioners they appointed and the staff they hired to set out on a course to ruin Santa Barbara for the benefit of a small collection of special interests all to the detriment of those who have lived here for years or at least truly appreciate what Santa Barbaras is !!.



» on 09.30.09 @ 10:36 PM

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

You made the following false statement: “There is nothing in measure B that stops growth, NOTHING. “

Measure B is ALL ABOUT GROWTH.  Why else would all the no on B pro-growthers in the development community be squealing like stuck pigs? ( a little play on words there)

It’s because a 60 foot building can accommodate 50% more volume than a 40 foot one.
So reducing the allowed building height by 33% reduces the population carrying capacity of our city by 33%.  ( sounds like an impact on growth impact to me). 

Nobody, except the few no on B folks, wants to increase our population to 200,000.

We don’t have enough water to accommodate that many anyway.  Therefore the fact remains that we don’t even want or need this additional holding capacity.  But if we have a 60 foot capacity then the developers will “build it and they will come”.    Vote for measure B and let LA keep living in LA.

Don’t be fooled by the false claim that our single family neighborhoods will somehow get high density units if measure B passes.  These neighborhood are already fully built out and occupied by voters.  No city council could ever get away with up-zoning any single family zoned neighborhood to multi family high density housing.    We citizens would simply never allow it and if we had to we would place another measure on the ballot to prevent it from taking place.  All single family houses will remain single family houses forever.

Slow population Growth—Preserve our quality of life—Vote Yes on B

» on 10.01.09 @ 11:56 AM

B will NOT stop growth. It is NOT a growth measure. You keep right on believing this incredibly stupid lie, right up to when the next 4 four story condos are built under the new limit. The old limit as you and SEPV have pointed out numerous times did not stop growth. You would think that a sane person would realize that maybe limiting a single dimension of a building was the wrong tool for the job. But the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. To make this insanity fool proof you and SEPV have so thoroughly indoctrinated yourselves with this idiotic lie that you are now incapable of recognizing you have been had. The only thing in our current culture that comes close to this sort of brainwashing is the left wing in this country and their insane insistence that we be like Europe. You people look at the behavior of Capps and Pelosi, that is you, shrill and mindless in your pursuit of some cause that has been shown a failure at every turn. Please, don’t listen to reason, it will only confuse you at this point. You have your delusion and that is all you need.

» on 10.01.09 @ 03:40 PM

More lies from AN50!
Measure B wont completely stop growth, but
Measure B WILL slow growth and prevent excessive population growth. 

This is because each three story 40 foot project will contain fewer units than a four story 60 foot project. 

Even though one can cram 4 residential stories into 40 feet the developers will not be building any 4 story buildings in 40 feet.  this is because only 3 stories are allowed in the Multi family R-3 zones and all the projects in the commercial zone are mixed use projects with a commercial component and so three stories barely fits in 40 feet.

Anyone can easily see that 40 feet instead of 60 feet will eliminate one of the three stories of residential over the commercial component and thereby reduce the carrying capacity of the residential by a whopping 33%.

40 feet with 2 stories of residential will provide for 10,000 new residential units in the commercial zone, but 60 feet and three stories of residential will provide for l 15,000 new residential units in the commercial zone—-an increase of 50% more new units.  Since the average is 2 1/2 new population growth for every new unit 40 feet will allow 25,000 population growth while 60 feet will allow 37,500 population growth.

So any thinking person can easily see that measure B will slow growth because each project will contain fewer new units, and result in a significantly 33% lower population.  ( and thats 33% less traffic congestion folks)

So if you don’t want to super-size our city with tall buildings and congest it with too many people,and cars,  vote Yes for B.

» on 10.01.09 @ 08:34 PM

Good grief Henry you are dense aren’t you?!! They will build whatever they want to and you will not be able to stop them because you and SEPV will have expended all your political capital on this idiotic limit! Read what I have written, without the stupid 40 year old blinders you people have on, and wake up out of your coma.  You people have made a major error and I am trying to help you! The height limit at 60’ did not work and neither will this one. You cannot control growth by limiting a building dimension any more than Goleta did with a water moratorium. Property owners, developers and builders will find a way and if you and SEPV had not been patting your selves on the back for 30 years thinking you were stopping anything then you would realize what a terrible mistake this is.
THERE ARE MUCH BETTER WAYS! Do you get that? Does anything sink into your thick, stubborn, brainwashed skulls?!! You people have so much fear and loathing invested in hating any development at all that you did not even see the last building spurt coming! WHY, because it was your own liberal, anti capitalist, European socialist worshipping government, elected on a no growth platform that clocked you upside the head. Then, so inculcated with the idiotic notion that limiting the height of a building will magically change that equation, you now can no longer see reason. I give up, I thought I was the most stubborn man on earth but now I see that all the most closed minded and stubborn people on the planet have joined forces under the SEPV banner!

» on 10.01.09 @ 09:50 PM

AN50, yes, you might as well give up for you have met your match!

You will never be able to get in the last word.  Every time you send another of your message full of lies, I am going to send yet another one straightening you out.

MY god man, are you not aware that our previous slow growth measures worked. How else do you spin away the inconvenient fact that the population has been essentially flat for the last 10 years.  No growth by anyones standards.

And reducing the building heights from 60 feet will significantly reduce the carrying capacity of buildings because the other dimensions are limited by the property lines, you numskull.  In other words of one has a 100 by 100 foot lot, there is a big difference between being able to build within a 100 ft by 100 ft by 60 foot box and within a 100 ft by 100 ft by 40 foot box.  Your just too ignorant to be able to understand it.

And as soon as measure B passes we are going to take on setbacks, and limit and control the other dimensions.

You seem to think that if you just keep insisting that your lies are right that some will believe you.  I’ve got some bad news for you:  Your strategy is not going to work with me making it my mission in life to point out all your lies in every single message you will ever send.

In the end the readers will get sick of both of us, and dismiss us both,  but that worth it to me just to be able to neutralize you and the garbage that come out of your uninformed mouth.

Preserve what you love about Santa Barbara by voting Yes on B.  And slow and control population growth and traffic congestion at the same time.

» on 10.02.09 @ 12:18 AM

Yes Henry you win. Measure B is about slow growth and preserving Santa Barbara, gang violence, trashy tourism, self centered narcissist and old stubborn coots who forgot how to learn many years ago. Thank you so much though for making my point for me. Yes, yes they will build that 100’ x 100’ x 40 foot box and many many more. You win, as ignorance and intellectual narcissism have as well. Fact is Henry, when all is said and done, the loser is not me, but Santa Barbara. This once proud city, the jewel of the central coast, the city my father, his father and my great grandfather were born in, the city that built the Potter, the Arlington, the El Encanto, resorts for the wealthy and famous, built the County Court House, picked itself up from the ruins of the 1925 earthquake and remade itself as a Spanish Mediterranean city, was once the cultural, financial and commercial center for three counties, now lies prostrate at the feet of old and effete creatures too stunned by the crumbling of our great country to muster the courage to go forward and now wish to die a comatose death. Preservation like preservatives is for dead things Henry. You win, so happy coffin nails to you.

» on 10.02.09 @ 02:34 AM

“This is about a political process being fair and truthful,” he said before introducing Mayor Marty Blum, who also condemned the tactic. SO SAYS MAHAN. The man who bandies about the word High Rises as if he’s talking about assualt weapons… never mind that he’s lying!

Anti-measure B folks have every right to have their side of the issue heard!

The small-mindedness of Mahan, et al, has hit an embarrassing low. They can’t take it when someone else plays politics like they have? Oh boo hoo…

This is YOUR town too. Do you want a bunch of cranky old gray hairs changing the city charter and crippling the chances of “contemporary” buildings being built for the rest of your life? Do you want to live in their version of a “museum” or a vibrant, ever-evolving city???

Futhermore, would you like to live in one of their four-story rat boxes just because that extra few feet of ceiling height per story was deemed sooooooo threatening that they insisted four stories be crammed into forty feet?

For sanity’s sake: VOTE NO ON MEASURE B!

» on 10.03.09 @ 04:06 AM

reply to sbnative:

You say:  would you like to live in one of their four-story rat boxes.

The Yes on B majority say: would any of you want to live in one of No on B’s 60 foot ticky tacky Rat boxes.—— Hell No!

You say:  Measure B will crippling the chances of “contemporary” buildings being built

The Yes on B majority say: measure B will cripple the chances of any more monstrosity high rises being built like those ugly bloated behemoths on Chapala that only a developer would call “contemporary”.—— If thats contemporary we don’t want it!

You say: This is YOUR town too.
You greedy no on B developers want to super size our town and grow it to 200,000 people—-all to line their own pockets.

The Yes on B majority say: yes we realize this is OUR town, and that is why we are taking back OUR town from the greedy no on B developers like you by first a grass roots effort by 11,500 voters to put measure B on the ballot and then by voting Yes on B, to keep Santa Barbara a nice place for us to to live.

Power to the People—-take back our town from the greedy no on B developers. Vote Yes and tell them what they can do with their greed and their high rises.

Stop high rises and overdevelopment, prevent gridlock traffic congestion, and protect our quality of life and small town character.  YES on B!

» on 10.03.09 @ 10:16 AM

An50 and SB Native are the same person. They want to turn SB into Orange County. I say why not just move there. Measure B will pass because the majority of us recognize what has made SB great which is slow growth. I too grew up here and what is really nice about this town is the low high rise and the fact that the population has stated basically the same for the past 20 plus years. Enjoy LA or San Diego or Orange County and leave us alone in paradise.

» on 10.03.09 @ 06:31 PM

The no on B campaign folks, who want to significantly grow our population, have been telling lies:

Two years ago these people reported that the south coast had 10,000 commuters from the North and south combined.  1 1/2 years ago these same people claimed we had 15,000.  1 years ago they falsely claimed it was 20,000.  And now during the campaign they claim it is 30,000 commuters. ( including 5000 they say if from Santa Ynez—which does not even have a population of 5000).    What lie is it going to be next week?  40,000?

The reality is that they don’t have a clue as to how many commuters their are.

Nobody has ever counted them!  Its nothing more than a wild guess. Exaggerated to help their argument that Santa Barbara has to grow to accommodate all of them.  We all know these commuters commute by choice, because they want to live in a cheap single family house and not in a box on the 4th floor on Chapala, with no yard or open space, and no schools or grocery stores nearby to walk to.

Many of the cars on the freeway coming to Santa Barbara are not commuters but are tourists or people coming here for a day of business or medical treatment.

SBCAG did a study recently that showed that we have somewhere in the range of 15,000 commuters, max, and that 10,000 from the South and 5,000 from the North.

But only half of them commute into the city of Santa Barbara, which comes to 7,500 commuters each day to Santa Barbara.

A far cry from the lies that the No on B folks are telling us when they make the false claim that their are 30,000 commuters coming to Santa Barbara each day.

I don’t think Santa Barbara has many more than 30,000 jobs.  Many of the residents of Santa Barbara have jobs in Goleta or at the University.

So ignore the lies told by those who oppose Measure B and keep Santa Barbara a great little place for you to live by voting YES on MEASURE B, along with all the 11,500 of your friends and neighbors who put measure B on the ballot to preserve our city and high quality of life

» on 10.05.09 @ 07:46 PM

Local and SBCAG keep repeating Henry’s and Less’s BS, now being echoed by former mayor Sheila Lodge. That somehow if you repeat the delusion often enough you can ignore the reality around you and just pretend.  What is the delusion, that Santa Barbara is a small town, no a charming small town.
People, Carpentaria is a charming small town or maybe Avila Beach, Los Olivos, Las Alamos, Solvang or hell Lompoc before the county made it the section 8 housing capital and invited the gangs of LA to live there. But Santa Barbara is a midsized city with a population of 90,000 and once was the commercial, cultural and financial center for three counties. Yes it’s true the city has been infected by a comatose attitude most prevalent in its hard core self centered wealthy retirement population (aka SEPV). It is the attitude my father once told me about (home of the newlywed and nearly dead) and I didn’t believe because it was the sixties and youth were in control. Ok so they weren’t and really the old and dying just wanted youth to go away and leave them alone in their private little Palm Springs North, the little comatose heaven where you went to die. Only nobody told them that Santa Barbara was a PUBLIC city and belonged not just to its selfish habitants but to history itself. And our history, minus the coma, is one of great ideas, grand buildings and a goal of being the place to be. None of this is embodied in the height limit which basically is analogous to forcing a grown man to dress in clothes he wore when he was ten years old and behave accordingly.
For those of you who tire of the only argument SEPV can provide in defense of B, growth abatement, and have seen the argument for why that is bogus you can now throw in the “small town charm” delusion as well. We have rampant vagrancy, gang violence, traffic jams and a crass low life drunken tourist crowd and you call that charming? We have all the problems of a city twice our size but ignore them because it’s not supposed to happen here. Then as a solution we trot out the 40 year old bogeymen, growth and tall buildings and set about blaming something we experienced little of or happens to be a building dimension as though by an odd twist of reality these things were actually responsible. And yet the next response from the SEPV convention will be to repeat the same tired delusion AGAIN, in some sick belief that those who repeat it might actually believe it.
You control growth with zoning laws and landuse statutes control density and use. Limiting the height of a building so that you can perpetuate some sick belief you are something you are not (small) and then calling that lunacy growth control is, well rather stupid for lack of a better word. But don’t take my word for it, just read what they wrote.

» on 10.05.09 @ 10:12 PM

reply to AN50:

AN50, why can’t you accept what the majority of the Santa Barbara Residents think and want.

GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK HEAD:  The vast majority of the residents dearly love Santa Barbara and think its the greatest little city in America.  We don’t care one whit that you don’t agree.

We all make a financial sacrifice to live here because, to us, Santa Barbara does indeed have a small town character.  Why do you try and tell us it doesn’t.  Maybe it doesn’t to you but all that matters here is that it dopes to us.

Many of us moved here to get away from the big city life with its tall buildings and its traffic congestion and crime.  We now enjoy a high quality of life and most of us are going to vote Yes on measure B to keep Santa Barbara nice and preserve our quality of life.  the very reason we have such a wonderful little city and such a wonderful quality of life is because Santa Barbara is a slow growth city. 

You and your greedy developer friends want to super size our city with dozens and dozens of 60 feet four story monstrosities like those on Chapala.  You and your developer friends want to grow our population to 200,000 or even 300,000 over the years by implementing high density vertical smart growth, for your own financial gain.

Vote Yes on B to stop excessive population growth, prevent traffic congestion, and to keep Santa Barbara a great little city in which for you to live.

» on 10.06.09 @ 09:55 PM

What I can’t get through my thick stubborn head is why you insist this city is something it is not. Yes, Lester the Skyline Molester, I know you WANT a little city to live in. You want it small and low rise with plenty of large parking lots close by everywhere you want to go. I know you want the architecture to resemble that which you would find on a Santa Ynez rancho, low and sprawling with plenty of room to park your Crown Vic. I know that you want your little village to be devoid of youth, particularly those who drink excessive alcohol and are generally rude and messy. I know you want the trashy tourists to go away with their shallow attitude toward your village. You want the life that was lived here during the 50’s, slow, very slow, ok comatose. I know many of you Less pine away for a simpler life with way fewer people, where nothing ever changes.
That place you want is not here. It will never be here. The coma many of you fell in love with was a disease, it was deaths grim reaper at your door telling you to go to sleep, life’s over, there is nothing more to do. But then those damned hippies showed up 40 years ago and turned the village on its head. At first they bought the preservation line from you guys hook line and sinker. They ran with you, shoulder to shoulder, against a common bogyman, the developer. You fostered a hatred that lasted 2 generations. Doesn’t matter that the hatred was irrational or that you managed to kill development in the city for 4 decades, the developer was and is still the prime bogyman. Now poor Fred wants to convert his rear lot garage into a granny flat and you and SEPV show up with signs calling poor Fred an evil Orange County developer. “How can the city allow this kind of high density vertical smart growth right here in our very neighborhood!” shout the protesters. Poor Fred looks bewildered, “it’s just a garage conversion, so that my mum can live here next to us”, Fred laments. “Not so fast Fred! There have been 5 conversions this decade! That’s real growth that will destroy the small town charm of our wonderful small little village” shout the SEPV protesters, “and your garage rises to a skyscraping, high rise height of 19 feet!!!!! My God how can you propose such a large bulky, monstrously tall and big structure like that?!!!” Poor Fred, “it’s the same building that’s been there since my great grandfather built it in 1927.” Yes, but it’s too tall and too big and your great grandfather was wrong to have built it and a trader to the cause”.
Sorry less that’s what I hear you folks shouting, irrational and delusional arguments based on a 40 year old emotionally driven cause that’s just plain wrong. Santa Barbara was always bigger than its population. That fact is recorded in the sheer number of multi storied buildings built before WWII. The city died though. It was a slow and muted death caused by the attrition of great and visionary leaders and civilians. The town was handed over to the old wealthy retirees club and has been struggling to be free ever since. Once youth realized what was up they began defecting. Even young conservatives began rejecting the “nearly dead” clause of that famous saying. The liberals defected to the evil Orange County developer camp, or so it seemed. Really they just saw a need to house people and just found out that lo and behold, that’s what developers do and do well, build housing. In fact almost everyone living in this town now has benefitted from the very industry they demonize. In fact most people living here NOW have benefited from some form of GROWTH. Those two facts make most of what you Less and SEPV preach rather shallow and hypocritical. Hard to put much sincerity behind a movement which basically says “I got mine, screw you” or “I’m here now, that’s enough”. It was probably way more than enough long before most of you showed up, so put that in yer pipe and smoke it!

» on 10.17.09 @ 06:20 PM


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