Carpinterians launch YES! Save Our Downtown Open Space campaign for November’s ballot

Carpinterians launch YES! Save Our Downtown Open Space campaign for November’s ballot title=
Annie Sly, representative of YES! Save Our Downtown Open Spaces, on Linden Avenue with the public parcels that YES! Save Our Downtown Open Spaces in the background. (Photo by Robin Karlsson)
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Source: YES! Save Our Downtown Open Space

Less than one year ago, a determined group of residents gathered far more than the required number of signatures to put an initiative on the Nov. 8, 2022 General Election ballot. That’s the power of passion and spirit of community behind the City of Carpinteria’s YES! Save Our Downtown Open Space campaign, which launched on July 7.  

"The gateway to the beach should not be developed," said Annie Sly, spokesperson for the all-volunteer grassroots organization. A high profile Carpinterian, Ms. Sly co-owned the popular Linden Avenue eatery Sly's, which is credited with bringing fine dining to the World's Safest Beach. “In November, Carpinterians will decide whether to change the zoning of Parking Lot #3, at Linden Avenue and 5th Street, from General Commercial to Open Space/Recreation, securing the high-use lot from commercial development."

Along with the conviction that a well-utilized public property should not be given by the City to a developer for private gain, the YES! campaign’s concerns include: 

• saving downtown open spaces from traffic and congestion

• protecting the community’s finite water supply,

• preserving existing the community garden,

• keeping mountain views for all to enjoy, and

• maintaining Carpinteria’s small town charm as well as the look and feel of its famed beach neighborhood.

“Based on the response to our signature gathering, we are very optimistic about our public piece of land at 5th and Linden remaining public,” noted Ms. Sly. “We have our work cut out for us, but Carpinterians are no strangers to protecting what’s best for all. Everyone is welcome to join our good fight.” 

The YES! campaign will host an information table at the Seal Fountain on Linden Avenue Thursday afternoons, 3:30 to 5:30, coinciding with the Farmers Market. More information is available at and

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yacht rocked Jul 09, 2022 08:33 AM
Carpinterians launch YES! Save Our Downtown Open Space campaign for November’s ballot

The determined group of residents is being backed by a determined group of rich neighbors whose houses are adjacent to the City property - some who have extended their backyard plantings and paths onto City property. Of course they would prefer the City does nothing with the property. They are well financed and will likely succeed.

blazer Jul 09, 2022 10:21 AM
Carpinterians launch YES! Save Our Downtown Open Space campaign for November’s ballot

One question that has never been answered by the Anti 40 room hotel crowd is why didnt the petition mention the proposed hotel development? Instead they set about changing the city's general plan to save a parking lot that isn't in danger of losing any spaces. The community garden will be undisturbed if the hotel gets a green light.

The city website has a parking study from August of 2019 clearly showing no shortage of parking in downtown Carpinteria.

The height of the proposed hotel is no higher than the buildings directly across the tracks, exactly the same as the old train depot that existed in the same spot for years.

The land under consideration for development is owned by the city and the project is backed by a majority of the city council.

Those in favor of denying the hotel project should say simply "I don't want a hotel, it's too close to my house" Don't pretend you are an advocate for open space by ginning up a mob to change zoning in hopes of preserving an asphalt parking lot. What would Joni Mitchell say?

blazer Jul 10, 2022 10:56 AM
Carpinterians launch YES! Save Our Downtown Open Space campaign for November’s ballot

The proposed hotel project in Carptinteria is worthy of discussion. Should Carpinteria build or not deserves all the scrutiny it is receiving, this is not something to take lightly. I would hope that all friends and neighbors would be open to discussion and examine the facts fairly. Often this hasn't been the case.

Take for instance getting excited about "Saving A Parking Lot" is pretty far from protecting Open Space. The Coastal Commission will no doubt have an opinion on the topic.

Consider the parking study conducted by the city which clearly shows no shortage of parking during peak summer use.

The finding of the above study confirms 85% of the current available parking in downtown Carpinteria is unused in peak summer.

Furthermore the proposed development calls for using the area next to the railroad tracks for overflow parking and will INCREASE the amount of spaces in parking lot #3.

The community garden will be unchanged under the proposed development, there is also room for expansion of the garden that could take place to the west on city owned land adjacent to the tracks.

It's necessary to have a discussion about this proposed development but let's start from a place that doesn't distort the facts.

The initiative on the ballot would change the city's general plan and prevent any future public/private use for the sake of patch of asphalt.

Let's be clear, if you don't want a hotel, just say so. That is obviously what this petition gathering has been about, don't shroud it with an emotional appeal to save Open Space.

I respect those who say they don't care for the design of the Surfliner hotel project, that position is crystal clear. I question those who misrepresent the facts in an attempt to sway the community to their side of the issue.

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