Community Partners Help Keep Santa Barbara Santa Barbara ™ Partners

Why I Am Against Measure Y


Some days ago I received a letter from Mark Lee, the developer who proposes to build over twenty luxury homes on a picturesque hillside off Las Positas Road.  Surprisingly, Mr. Lee thanks me “for joining our  campaign for Measure Y” even though I am one of the signers of the official ballot argument against that measure.  Such errors can of course occur if you are running a huge mail and phone campaign.  Who knows, the campaign staff may even be paid according to the number of people who appear to have been swayed by their efforts.

So I worry that a list of supporters about to be published may include me.  To avoid misunderstandings, let me state below five of the reasons why I support — NOT Mr. Lee’s project but the campaign to Say No to Measure Y:

  •         If approved by the voters, Measure Y would give away a strategic piece of public parkland so that a new road and a two-lane vehicular bridge can be built across Arroyo Burro creek to the site of Mr. Lee’s proposed private development.
  •      The city’s environmental analysis determined that the construction of the proposed road and bridge would destroy large mature trees and cause unmitigable damage to wildlife near and along Arroyo Burro creek.
  •     Furthermore, Mr. Lee’s offer to “improve” a small section of the creek would delay or preclude any comprehensive project that could leverage already approved hotel bed taxes toward grants available for maintaining our watersheds.
  •     Likewise, Mr. Lee’s offer of a “safe route to the beach” is a very mixed blessing.  Kids and adults  wanting to reach the proposed trail from ElingsPark would need to cross the dangerous traffic on Las Positas Road instead of using the existing trail that leads within ElingsPark to the controlled three way intersection of Las Positas and Cliff Drive.
  •     Far from costing nothing to tax payers, the upkeep of the bridge and of the road’s public portion would be added to the city’s ongoing obligations.

These are some of the reasons why I will vote No on Y — shouldn’t you too?

Paul Hernadi
South Coast Vice President
Citizens Planning Association

92 Responses to “Why I Am Against Measure Y”

  1. Paul you agree-YES

    And Paul – we are still waiting for Betsy and now you to tell the truth about NOAA’s endorsement of the creek restoration.

    Waiting . . .

  2. Betsy

    You will get no more from me than what I’ve written. I do strongly suggest that rather than all this waiting (for Godot?) if you want the truth, more of the truth than he’s already written, that you contact Mr Patrick Rutten, Soutwest Region Supervisor, NOAA Restoration Center, in Santa Rosa, full mail and email with cellphone addresses available here: — for more information as to why to Vote NO on Y, please consult the web site:

    Thanks for your interest.

  3. Done.

    All of this about 1,500 square feet of vacant roadside dirty overgrown city land?

    I voted Yes.

    The developer got bad advice giving away more than he should have, fixing the creek was enough. Or just creating a park was plenty. Or leaving 44 acres of his land as open space forever.

    It has been interesting to read the debate – shills or not.

    I declare the YES side the winners of the debate, although obnoxious at times, thie arguments are true and convincing. The no arguments are weak and funny, like a kid looking for a reason he did something wrong.

    I just voted, will mail tomorrow. It says Yes.

    • Tipping Point

      I’d rather see 25 future conservative votes come from these new high-end homes, than 80 progressive ones if the alternatives is they would build high-density, bonus-density low-income subsidized housing here. We need to build the housing for the votes we want to run this city. Bring on financially secure, single-family home owners is what I say.

  4. Oh oh Betsy

    You got carried away and lied. Just admit it.

  5. ClownAct

    Don’t worry Betsy. We think this “waiting” poster is a jerk. Don’t bother. You posted the letter. We get it, and this goading poster really needs to just pick up his/her Troll of the Year away and exit stage right.

  6. el_smurfo

    Yuck. paid astroturf politics are gross.

  7. Oh oh Betsy

    So assuming AstroTurf. You accept a flat out lie instead. Says a lot.

    Just tell the truth. The creek restoration is endorsed by NOAA.

    Just because you deny and deflect, IEs not change the truth.

    el_smurfo – I am deply sorry we offend you. We stand for truth.

    And we are waiting . . . . .

    Betsy. Truth?

  8. Why I'm voting Yes

    1. Privately funded creek restoration

    2. New 6 acre park.

    3. Safe trail to the beach.

    4. 44 acres of open space in addition to new park

    5. Homes already approved by city of Santa Barbara

    6. Homes already approved by Costal Commision.

    7. The environmental city council supporta by 4 of 7

    8. Environmentally advanced bridge

    9. NOAA says restoration of creek is a plan they would fund

    10. Propert funds itally – no tax payer cost

  9. City council ethics similar to bait and switch fraud

    I voted yes on Measure Y. Approximately one year after Y was defeated, the city’s income from building permits has decreased by around 89%, or $5.6 million dollars. The City of Santa Barbara charged developer Mark Lee for permit fees, planning department staff fees, consultant fees to assess various impacts of his proposed project, EIR preparation costs, etc, etc. When the City of Santa Barbara (Planning Commission) approved his project, the City of Santa Barbara (city council members) lobbied extensively to ensure that this major investment in his proposed project would amount to flushing hundreds of thousands of dollars down our decaying sewer system. Is this ethical city planning or fraud? Can the city anticipate future potential investment based on this track record? The lottery makes more sense.