Santa Barbara Cemetery
The Santa Barbara Cemetery’s proposed crypts would be stacked on top of existing burials, doubling the available square footage of the area. (Grace Kitayama / Noozhawk photo)

A plan to add more burial crypts to the Santa Barbara Cemetery is on hold after the Montecito Planning Commission requested that another arborist review the proposal.

The project presented to the commission this week called for adding 2,358 precast underground burial crypts — tombs — to a 1.17-acre area of the cemetery at 901 Channel Drive.

The cemetery was first established in 1867 and covers 57 acres of land.

According to the proposal, crypts would be stacked on top of existing burials, doubling the available square footage of the area.

The cemetery stacks crypts about every 10 years as it runs out of available space, according to Charles McClure, a landscape architect for the project.

Members of the Planning Commission requested to have the plan peer reviewed following the arborist’s report for the area.

An aborist’s report on the area suggested that the Moreton Bay fig tree that is in poor condition be removed and that three Canary Island pine trees be planted within the project footprint.

Commissioner Donna Senauer requested that the Moreton Bay fig tree not be removed and that the arborist report be peer reviewed.

“It’s certainly a heritage tree. It’s a significant Morton fig,” Senauer said.

She made a motion to request that Santa Barbara County staff have the arborist report peer reviewed before moving forward with the project that would remove the tree. Commissioners unanimously voted in support and delayed further review of the project until January.

Noozhawk staff writer Grace Kitayama can be reached at gkitayama@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.