Letter to the Editor provided by Sharon Byrne
The transient problem on Milpas Street paints a sad picture of what is allowed to happen to a neighborhood when homeless and transient facilities are allow to operate without regard to the impact on the community.
I strongly support the Milpas Community Association’s call for a review of Casa Esperanza’s conditional use permit. If they are operating within their conditional use permit, then the City has failed to protect our neighborhood with strict conditions. And if they are not operating within their permit, then action must be taken.
I have attended a few Milpas Action Task Force meetings and found them a waste of my time – everything that goes wrong around Casa Esperanza is blamed by their staff on someone else – the economy, liquor stores, not enough police – I have even heard them blame local businesses and property owners because they do not do enough to patrol their own properties!
Casa Esperanza is a magnet for transients, including those released from jail and then brought into our community – a program to which I believe the City has made a financial contribution. Imagine my feelings at realizing my tax dollars help bring more transients into our area.
I ask the City Council to do more to help the local community in the Milpas Street area. Casa Esperanza should be held to a strict review of their use permit; police budgets should be increased to help create more patrols in the area; and finally the City needs to recognize the burden it has placed on our neighborhood by allowing Casa Esperanza to operate.
Jed A. Hendrickson, CM, AICA
Santa Barbara Monumental Co., Inc.
3 N. Milpas St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93103