Milpas Street trees are at risk of removal

Milpas Street trees are at risk of removal

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••• “The City of Santa Barbara’s Milpas Street crossing safety and sidewalk widening project includes new sidewalk extensions, new lighting accessibility improvements and flashing signals, as well as three-foot-wide barriers along bike lanes for the safety of bicyclists along three blocks. The project also calls for the removal of mature ficus trees in the street. Please, no, not the ficus trees! Without them the Milpas would lose a tremendous amount of their charm. It would take decades for the new trees to make a similar impression. —Noozhawk

••• As Rich pointed out, Governor Newsom signed a law banning so-called “junk fees” in California; Effective July 1, 2024. — CBS

••• Noozhawk sums up the tension between hotel development and housing in Santa Barbara—that is, the city needs housing, but it has made hotels much easier and more cost-effective for developers.

City Planner Allison DeBusk told Newshawk that as of Sept. 13, there are currently 27 hotel projects underway, which includes 635 hotel rooms, with 130 already approved and 167 with building permits. For housing through the city’s Average Unit Size Density Program apartments, she said the city has 146 units pending, 320 units approved and 275 units for which a building permit has been issued.

Maybe it all depends on how you define the pipeline, but I came up with 1,864 flats, and that was as of May. UPDATE: “The disparity between your 1864 number and Ms. DeBusk’s number comes from whether or not the project takes advantage of the AUD program,” JC explains. “I’m not sure why she didn’t include the total in her presentation, though.”

••• A debris net dam in San Ysidro Creek has been cleared. -independent

••• “At the age of 19, Texas-born photographer Jimmy Mitiko arrived in Santa Barbara. And as he releases a new book celebrating Santa Barbara’s 1980s surf heroes, he’s sharing his first impressions of the legendary break in Rincon. – C Magazine

••• Goleta’s plan to “reconfigure Hollister Street into one lane for cars and bikes in each direction” has hit a snag, as “the last two bids for the project came in at more than $4 million each — far exceeding the city’s original cost estimate of $1.8 million.” Elsewhere in the Independent article, we learn that replacing the San Jose Creek Bridge over Hollister Avenue involves constructing “two roundabouts — at South Kellogg Street and at Ward Street — on either side of the State Route 217 bridge.” And “an extension of Fowler Road and Equil Street (…) is in the works.” Working since at least 2011. Equil and Fowler are located two short blocks between Fairview and Kellogg. By widening them toward each other, with a roundabout on Pine Street in the middle, the city hopes to ease traffic through Old Town by providing a route parallel to Hollister. It took some time to figure out where Fowler and Equile might meet, so I prepared a map – the exact location of the new road may be different.

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