It is time for Goleta officials to tell the truth.
Tell the citizens of Goleta that their roads are not going to get fixed. In fact, they are getting worse and will continue to do so.
Tell the people that you are spending millions and millions of dollars on projects that might be nice but will have no better expectation of being maintained than our streets.
Tell Goletans you are building a $22 million drop-in center for the homeless under the guise of being a train station.
Tell your constituents that you are building a $33 million bike path that you have no studies to show it will be used.
Tell us the truth that your planning staff massively screwed up and left you in the position of making bad choices to avoid California’s builder’s remedy law.
Tell the public that you don’t really care that you are ghettoizing low-income housing while ignoring state Department of Housing and Community Development standards for selection, ignoring local traffic conditions and impacts, and that you just don’t care that 74% of these high-density, low-income, poorly sited projects are in City Council District 3 — a district that you made sure would have no member on the council until the 2024 election.
It’s time to admit that our city has failed leadership. You are spending us toward disaster, you are allowing our infrastructure to crumble, and you praise your planning staff rather than holding them accountable for the knee-jerk disaster their housing element has become.
Santa Barbara County plans to dump 4,500 housing units on our borders, but that is not any different than the ill-considered dumping of massive sites by our own city.
We could hardly be worse off if we close the city and return to the county fold. Portions of Goleta will hardly notice builder’s remedy because the city already trashed them.
• • •
Being a fourth-generation Santa Barbaran (by my mother, Dolly Jordano) and here since 1963, I have come to the conclusion that the present city administration is the worst we have ever had, excluding the present mayor, Randy Rowse.
State Street is deplorable, and I haven’t been downtown for way before COVID-19. Our streets are in disrepair. The State of California wants more housing — just fit it in somewhere.
The city wants affordable housing. That was roughly 30% of income maybe, in 1975. I sold residential real estate here for 16 years and, for real people, it’s more like 50% or more. For working folks, what’s affordable?
We need an administration of people with more vision and real decision making. My vision of Santa Barbara is it will be unrecognizable in 10 years.
The city has $11 million to dress up the State Street underpass but can’t fix the streets or downtown.
The city also is spending $800,000 for an outside opinion of how to fix State Street. Their telling us no local planner or architect can do a plan that fits Santa Barbara?
• • •
Isn’t it fascinating how opinions about the “State Street Underpass Project” differ so widely?
In an Aug. 20 commentary, “Stepping Back for Broader View, Santa Barbara Has So Much to be Proud Of,” Mayor Randy Rowse wrote:
“We are finally teed up to construct the State Street Underpass Project, something that’s been in the works for well over a decade.
I share the feeling of sticker shock with a lot of folks, as we are in a bidding cycle that isn’t currently favorable to big capital projects.
On the other side of the coin, this effort is largely grant funded, and is designed to provide a light, clean and inviting walking, biking and driving experience to draw folks from our waterfront to our downtown.”
But Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen, in his Aug. 4 column, “Santa Barbara News-Press Leads Off, Probably for the Last Time,” wrote:
“Who among us hasn’t dreamed of hanging out under a freeway bridge?
Can there be anything more idyllic than cars and semi trucks whizzing past overhead while you chill in the shade with some weed and a 40-ounce Bud Light the liquor store was practically giving away?
Well, the Santa Barbara City Council is about to make that fantasy a reality, thanks to an $11 million commitment to transform the State Street underpass at Highway 101 into a ‘gateway’ to downtown.”
Time will tell which opinion becomes Santa Barbara history.
My two cents’ worth?
The City of Santa Barbara damn well better make “Lower State” and the “State Street Promenade” more enticing so they will, as Rowse suggests, “… draw folks from our waterfront to our downtown.”
If the city can’t make that happen, it won’t matter how pretty that “gateway” might be because the “folks” who do get drawn “from our waterfront to our downtown” by walking through the State Street Underpass are going to trip over empty Bud Light talls and step around piles of empty cannabis bags while listening to throbbing Peterbilts, Kenworths and Macks “whizzing” by above.
Then, they’ll pass too many empty retail spaces and an inordinate number of homeless. Once they arrive at the promenade, they’ll need to be wary of speeding bicyclists, insane skateboarders and aggressive panhandlers.
The State Street Underpass Project is a “done deal.” I hope the city 1) keeps its $11 million underpass devoid of behavior that results in too many people “… chilling in the shade …” and leaving behind residue from cannabis and liquor consumption and 2) makes policy decisions that will draw many more of those “folks” from the Funk Zone to downtown.
• • •
Who owns the 150-foot yacht anchored off the Santa Barbara Breakwater?
• • •
Regarding the Aug. 22 article, “Matt Jones is the Man in Charge of UCSB Women’s Volleyball,” I do not know Jones but I’m a fan of all local sports.
I thought sports editor Barry Punzal’s article was incredibly well written and enjoyable to read. The way he brought in Jones’ history, the legacy previous coaches have had at UC Santa Barbara, and even his future goals made me want to learn more about this coach and the previous coaches.
Really a great article with some leadership lessons woven into his story. Looking forward to more great articles.
• • •
The public needs to know that the comment period on the Master Cachuma Project’s proposed three-year extension with the Santa Barbara County Water Agency closes on Sept. 27.
The project is deemed exempt from environmental review because it is for less than five years duration, but this will be a second three-year extension so the exemption really does not apply.
To say the largest public works project in the county has no significant impacts on the community is really absurd. There are significant impacts that are not being studied and are being ignored by all of the involved decision makers.
Public comments requesting a public hearing should be directed to Rain Emerson at email@example.com.
• • •
Noozhawk welcomes and encourages expressions of all views on Santa Barbara County issues.
Letters should be BRIEF — as in 200 words-BRIEF — and letters under 150 words are given priority. Each must include a valid mailing address and contact information. Pseudonyms will not be used, and repeat letters will be skipped. Letters may be edited for clarity, length and style.
With rare exceptions, this feature is published on Saturdays.
By submitting any content to Noozhawk, you warrant that the material is your original expression, free of plagiarism, and does not violate any copyright, proprietary, contract or personal right of anyone else. Noozhawk reserves, at our sole discretion, the right to choose not to publish a submission.