Community Partners Help Keep Santa Barbara Santa Barbara ™ Partners

Sidewalk Behavior and Panhandling Ordinances

After a year of discussion, the Santa Barbara City Council will likely pass the Sidewalk Behavior and Panhandling Ordinances. In addition, the Council will be discussing specific proposals to include: updating the Sit-Lie and Abusive Panhandling Ordinance and enacting a new ordinance prohibiting urination and defecation in public.

homelesssleep2The municipal code currently prohibits sitting or lying down on public sidewalks and paseos along the first thirteen blocks of State Street during the hours between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. The recommendation is to expand that to 2 a.m. and add a prohibition on sitting, standing or lying down upon any planting, railing or statue place or installed on a public sidewalk. The municipal code currently prohibits abusive panhandling anywhere in the City. “Active” panhandling—meaning a verbal request seeking a donation of money or other items of value is prohibited in certain locations only, ie: within 25 feet of an ATM. The recommendation is to increase that to 80 feet and expand the ban on solicitation to buses and other transportation vehicles.

Finally, neither the municipal code, nor state law, directly prohibits urinating or defecating in public. The recommendation is to add a prohibition on urinating or defecating in public in order to facility enforcement against this “nuisance” behavior.

Other ordinances up for discussion would:

  • Prohibit street or sidewalk obstruction by congregations of people.
  • Prohibit the use of street furniture to display goods for sale or offering for donation.
  • Prohibit active panhandling within 25 feet of outdoor dining areas and queues of persons waiting to gain admission to a place of business or vehicle, or waiting to purchase an item or admission ticket.
  • Authorize the Library Director to promulgate regulations for the use of library facilities.

Das Williams to Run for County Board of Supervisors, not Congressional Seat

dasWilliamsYesterday, Assemblyman Das Williams announced that he will be running for the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors and not California’s 24th Congressional District, which will be vacated by Lois Capps. Here was Das’ announcement to the community.

“I would like you to be one of the first to know that I am officially announcing my candidacy to run to represent the First District of Santa Barbara County on the Board of Supervisors.

I’ve spent a lot of time being very thoughtful about how to best continue to serve this community after my Assembly term ends in 2016 and how to coordinate that with honoring my family, which is about to grow when my wife Jonnie and I welcome our first child in September. County Supervisor stands out as a clear choice to continue the work we’ve done over the years on the City Council and in the State Assembly. The issues that most directly affect my constituents at home have always been at the heart of the work we do together. Being a County Supervisor is something I have wanted to do for a long time and it would be the opportunity of a lifetime to continue to advocate for this community. As County Supervisor, I will:
Continue reading…

Mountains and Sea Mural is Complete

magicmountainIn March, the Hotel Indigo replaced the linear, black and white Darth Vader mural on the side the hotel with a more colorful collaboration with the Santa Barbara Museum of Contemporary Art. The new public art is titled Mountains and Sea, below… not Magic Mountain, titled after the classic 1924 novel by Thomas Mann, which pays homage to Santa Barbara’s history as a spa town.

The mural currently on the wall is the finished piece, not working towards the image presented right. It was done by a Los Angeles artist, Yunhee Min and is meant to reflect the healing and therapeutic properties of the natural world.
photo 1

Fire Razed Potter Hotel on April 13, 1921

On this date in Santa Barbara history the magnificent Potter Hotel was destroyed by a fire. Crowds watched in horror as flames quickly engulfed the Potter Hotel on April 13, 1921. The hotel opened on January 19, 1903 and cost over $1 million to build.

100+ guests were safely evacuated, but with winds gusting from fifty to eighty miles per hour, the fire spread quickly and burnt the hotel to the ground within three hours. Flying debris even set fire to Stearns Wharf and to the tall palms that line the boulevard along West Beach. Only few chimneys were left of what had been one of the finest hotels on the West Coast.

Faulty wiring was found to be the cause, although many historians suspect it was arson. Several attempts were purportedly made to burn down the hotel which had been heavily insured and was steadily losing money, and the fire department believed that all the fires they extinguished has been deliberately set. Although arson was suspected, it was never confirmed.

Santa Barbara City View

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Santa Barbara City College Panoramic View
The panoramic view of Santa Barbara from Santa Barbara City College. To give you an idea of the expanse of this beautiful vista, on the right you can see the Santa Barbara Harbor and Stearns Wharf. All the way on the left where you see the red tile roof peeking out from under the fronds is the Santa Barbara Courthouse.

(Click to see the full size view to really appreciate it) -Bill Heller

EcoFacts: Almonds and Economies‏

Weekly column by Barbara Hirsch

I sat this morning happily eating a dish of local almonds and strawberries with some (not local) cereal, coconut and soy milk, and was grateful to have been able to speak to Nate, of Fat Uncle Farms where my almonds came from. Since almonds are a huge product of California AG and use lots of water in a drought stricken state, they’ve been a controversial item in the news lately. Nate’s family relies on these bits of goodness for their living, and he is a cool and articulate guy. As one who is truly knowledgeable, he made it clear to me that this is indeed a complex subject. And so here I am trying to express a nut’s worth of it here.

almondsThere are basically two types of irrigation used for almonds, etc., flood and drip. Flood, as its name would express, uses much more water than drip, which is an expensive system that bigger farms have come to employ, to save on water bills, a good thing. There can be a positive side to the flood type though, and that is that it goes into the ground and recharges acquifers, the water is not “used up”. If there are no bad things in that water, e.g. pesticides and chemical fertilizers, we get it back.

Most of California’s almonds are exported, 80% of the world’s supply comes from California. It is a lucrative cash crop for the state. This gives the big growers more political clout and subsidies, but can also make them less responsive to local conditions. A farmer who sells his goods locally, like Fat Uncle, is perhaps more aware of any local, social and climate repercussions of their activities. Water prices will go up, and the almonds will cost more, people will make that connection. Right now, all almond farmers are risking that they will continue to be profitable, meaning that they will be able to get the water they need, and that is between nature and the state’s water infrastructure and regulations to determine.

Santa Barbara’s Pagoda House on the Market

pagodahouseSanta Barbara’s famous Pagoda House, the main attraction at the 2012 Pearl Chase Historic Home Tour, is on the market for a cool $3,495,000. Located at 707 East Valerio Street, the historic home has been called  the empress of the American Riviera.

According to the listing, the Pagoda House is “an exquisite example of an Asian-style Craftsman home, this turn-of-the-century pagoda with its sweeping roof lines and dramatic style perches above downtown Santa Barbara offering red roof, harbor, island and ocean views. Gently restored with a careful hand, this fine home with its notable redwood paneling, high volume living space and specimen gardens with hidden seating oasis is a glorious example of gracious living in Santa Barbara. Settled on over .5 acre, this approx. 6,000-sq.ft. Craftsman home offers 4 bedrooms, 2 full and 2 half baths, library, sun room, brand new kitchen, grand master suite, in-law apartment and two viewing decks in the main house. The lower level offers a large one-bedroom apartment. This finely crafted Santa Barbara home of merit is filled with high volume rooms, period redwood paneling, white oak floors and unique exterior architectural details, all adding up to make this a fine distinctive home.”

For all available properties and open houses in Santa Barbara, click on the Property Search tab at the top of every page on Santa Barbara View.

Santa Barbara Content Challenge

Have you ever wanted to write or contribute to an online magazine? Santa Barbara View would like to hear from you as part of a 10-day content challenge. Whether it is a guest column like Daniel Brennan’s blog on our community’s immunity, a letter to the editor, videos or drone photos like Mark Sanchez’s… please submit your idea to

IML-_Lobero_web_ad_300x250As an incentive, if we receive a local-focused content piece worthy of publishing, you will be sent two tickets to In My Life, a musical tribute to the Beatles at the Lobero Theatre on Sunday, April 26.