The Miramar: Last Time for the Montecito Association

With the June 10 Montecito Planning Commission meeting fast approaching, the Montecito Association has announced it will hold a final public hearing regarding the Miramar before it makes a decision to recommend approval or disapproval of owner Rick Caruso’s plan. Although the board has voted to "support" it, representatives of Montecito’s largest and most influential homeowners’ group have not officially “approved” the project.

The MA Land Use Committee will open up the floor to public comment on Monday May 5 at Montecito Hall, beginning at 4 pm. If too many people show up, it will be moved next door to a larger room at El Montecito Presbyterian Church. This will be the last chance for Montecito residents to make comment, voice concern, or applaud the project before the Montecito Association contemplates a formal position at its regular monthly meeting the following Tuesday, May 13. Bill Palladini, President of the Association, told the Journal the board will not make a final decision on the project until the end of May, when members can thoroughly review the County Staff Report.

At last month’s Montecito Association Meeting, Mr. Caruso voiced his frustrations with the seemingly endless land-use process. "I would hate to leave the impression,” he stressed, “that the recommendation goes forward to approve the project subject to the twenty-seven different things you think need to be changed. At that point,” he continued, “I’d rather have a recommendation that says ‘we do not support the project.’ I think we are either moving forward or we’re not moving forward,” he concluded, before adding this footnote: “I say that with all due respect.”

We can understand his frustration, but, with all due respect to Mr. Caruso, everyone in Montecito has to go through what is often an arduous and tedious land-use process. Just ask Ty Warner, who has received few breaks when it comes to sympathy from the Planning Commission or even the Montecito Association. Although maddening at times, the safeguards put in place over the years by the all-volunteer Montecito Association have mostly been to the benefit of our village; other once charming “Paradise” communities have not been so fortunate (think Brentwood, Westwood, even Monterey).

We do agree with Rick Caruso concerning a laundry list of conditions. The Association should either vote to approve or not approve the Miramar project as presented. And, most importantly, that decision should be based upon factual information, not emotional fallacies.

(The Montecito Association Land-Use meeting will begin at 4 pm on May 5th at the Montecito Library (Montecito Hall, 1469 East Valley Road) Info: 969-2026)

Montecito Journal Website (montecitojournal.net) is (almost) back!

After being down for a considerable time, the Montecito Journal website (montecitojournal.net) is back up and running. The website is currently still under construction while we add a new e-paper feature that will allow visitors to easily scan through the printed version – ads and all. During construction, we will offer a few selected news-oriented articles online. The newest feature we have implemented is the ability to comment on each article. No registration is required; simply type in your name, enter your thoughts, and presto, your comment will be posted. This will be a terrific asset for those wishing to join the community conversation, as well as a resource for letters to the editor.