More Questions Answered

Two issues ago (MJ # 12/18) we asked readers to respond to “21 Questions” about Montecito. Those responses continue to arrive and we’ll continue to read and analyze them. We may even print most of them at year’s end. Before that, however, we’ll take a look at two more questions and their answers from the nearly 100 responses we’ve received so far.

One of those questions was what should happen to the Miramar property if Ty Warner loses interest or sells it. 47% say the Miramar should remain zoned as a hotel; 15% want the property to become affordable housing for teachers, firemen, Sheriff’s deputies etc; 10% believed that the area should become a park or recreational area (like East Beach) with easy access to the ocean; another 10% thought the area would best be served as luxury housing; 8% believe the hotel should reopen as a low-cost family hotel; 5% say luxury timeshares should be built; and 5% opined that Ty Warner should be able to do anything he wants with the property.

The idea of the Miramar becoming an ocean-side park is attractive in theory, but reality suggests such a park would be an open invitation to transients and adolescents. Luxury timeshares make more sense; such an outcome would serve two purposes: it would continue to bring tourists into Montecito and would have a smaller traffic impact than a resort/hotel. “Affordable” housing is a bad idea, especially by the sea. Building decent living accommodations so low-income workers can live in the area should not mean supplying them with prime real estate. Affordable housing is a courtesy to low-income residents, supplied by fellow taxpayers. We think, however, that Ty Warner will (and should) restore the old Miramar.

The responses to another question surprised us: 44% of respondents felt a nightclub on Coast Village Road was a bad idea; another 13% said it was a really bad idea. Yet, 37% were in favor of opening a nightclub, while 6% had no opinion. We like the idea of a nightclub on Coast Village Road as long as it reflected the Montecito demographic. A small, quiet place where one could enjoy a classical quartet or even a lazy jazz band sounds good to us. Any takers?

Question of the Week:

Q. Would you be in favor of a voter-approved property tax to fund additional County Sheriff’s deputies in Montecito?

Please respond to our question using or email your response directly to

In Memory Of Jeff Cain (Feb 1947 – Sept 2006)

Some people perform acts of kindness and then make sure the rest of the world hears of their deeds; others, like Jeff Cain, quietly go about donating time and energy to doing what is right and seek neither acknowledgement nor praise.

A short list of Jeff’s quiet accomplishments include:

• 14 years as a member of Santa Barbara Rotary Club and recipient of its prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship Award

• Chairman of logistics for Fine Arts Santa Barbara for three years

• Director and Vice President of Old Spanish Days, logistics

• Director of Santa Barbara County Bowl (logistics)

• Director on the Santa Barbara Traditions Committee (fireworks)

• Member of Las Positas Park Foundation

• Member of the Uptown Lions Club

• Chairman of a Santa Barbara City Council campaign and State Assembly campaign

• Chairman of the Revenue Commission, City of Santa Barbara

• Four-year member of the Santa Barbara Airport Commission

Jeff’s mellow voice could be heard during services every Sunday morning at Mt. Carmel, where he was a member of the choir. Jeff and his partner Jane Maurer (the lead voice in Mt. Carmel’s choir) owned and operated Aquarius Productions of Santa Barbara (an Event Producing Company) since 1999.

Jeff attended R.P. Richards’ 85th birthday party at Montecito Country Club on Friday, September 8 and died of natural causes shortly thereafter.

Strong, jovial, and generous, Jeff Cain was 59 years old and we miss him. – J.B.