Op-Ed: Montecito Businesses Want Parking Spots Back

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By Coast Village Road and Coast Village Circle Businesses

Dear Mayor Rowse, City Council Members, Rebecca Bjork, and Ariel Calonne,

We, the undersigned, are writing in support of restoring equity to all businesses on Coast Village Road (CVR) and Coast Village Circle (CVC).  The rationale for this is simple; the conditions that created parklet’s temporary existence, namely, indoor dining restrictions haven’t been present since June 15, 2021 and thus are no longer required.  Businesses on CVR and CVC do not have the benefit of public parking structures to support themselves as businesses downtown do, resulting in a pre-pandemic parking shortage.  Businesses on CVR and CVC count on public street parking to support them, including restaurants that do not have parklets.  Therefore removing 20% of the available public street parking spaces on CVR, to build a handful of 'temporary' outdoor parklets, was never sustainable for; most businesses in the area, has exacerbated the preexisting parking shortage, and compromises public safety.

The parking problem on CVR and CVC is compounded when you consider the impact of adding 253 restaurant parklet seats, many of which are in violation of the sizing guidelines posted on the city’s website.  Using the city’s own municipal code requirement of one parking space per three restaurant seats, 84 parking spaces are required to support this added seating.  Rather than adding 84 parking spaces, parklets have subtracted 28 parking spaces resulting in a net deficit of 112 parking spaces.  To put these numbers in perspective, there are only a total of 117 parking spaces available on CVR today.  The overall parking problem is further exacerbated with the reduction of parking on Coast Village Circle caused by the ongoing 101-freeway construction.  Has the impact of the upcoming roundabout construction at Olive Mill Road and CVR been considered? 

The public safety issues noncompliant parklets create are numerous.  Alleys, bike lanes, sidewalks, and driveways are being blocked; cars are double, and triple parked on a daily basis.  At least two serious automobile accidents have resulted directly from parklets on the 1200 block of CVR.  Bicycles are constantly being forced from established bike lanes and into traffic lanes due to noncompliant parklets extending as much as 21 feet from the curb.  The substantial reduction in parking enforcement also compounds the problem, and further differentiates CVR and CVC from downtown Santa Barbara.  The negative environmental and public safety impact of distracted automobile drivers circling the block looking for parking must also be considered.

The quantifiable infrastructural differences between Coast Village Road and downtown Santa Barbara detailed above require different treatment with respect to parklets.  Extending parklets on CVR to the end of 2023 with only half of the parking required by the city’s municipal code is unacceptable.  Doing so will continue to negatively impact the majority (92%) of businesses, continue the current inequity on the street and further jeopardize public safety.  We understand that adding 112 required parking spaces is impossible in the short term for many reasons, thus we request for the removal of parklets from the public right of way on CVR.

Sincerely,

Coast Village Road and Coast Village Circle Businesses:
Ara 24K Collection 
Allora by Laura & Staff - Proprietor - Laura Dinning
Baske - Proprietor - Dave Sumares
Calcagno & Hamilton
Caldwell Snyder Gallery - Oliver Caldwell and Susan Snyder - Proprietors
Coldwell Banker Realty - Jorge DeLeon
Cos Bar Montecito
Daniel Gibbings Jewelry & Staff
The Ebbin Group - Luke Ebbin
Halo and Horns Salon
J. McLaughlin
Johnny Was
LMT/NMT - Rene A. Saragosa
Legacy Montecito 
Lily - Proprietor - Lissa Liggett
The Liquor & Wine Grotto - Brian Brunello and Jason Herrick - Proprietors
Mad Dogs & Englishmen Bike Shop
Maison K - Proprietor - Kimberly Hayes
Norvell Brass Cleaners
Pandora Nail Spa
Patricia Noel Studio
Paul Cashman - Cashman State Farm Agency
Peregrine Galleries
The Tennis Shop of Montecito
Whiskey & Leather - Proprietor - Ariel Hujar 
 
Coast Village Road Landlords:
Ingela Pagliassotti - Property owner CVR
Jeffery Harding - Property owner CVR 
Jim McFarland
Claudia Staffel
Beverly Palmer
Jennifer McCloskey
Susan J. Pate

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8 Comments

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yacht rocked Aug 03, 2022 06:58 AM
Op-Ed: Montecito Businesses Want Parking Spots Back

True, except they won't be there if they come by car and there's no place to park. Yes, I support cycling and alt transportation, but sadly these businesses are seeing the impact of not enough parking for employees and customers.

KarmaSB Aug 03, 2022 09:06 AM
Op-Ed: Montecito Businesses Want Parking Spots Back

there is only one business on that list that I have even set foot in and my friends in Cito don't even go to these stores (nor their parents), they go downtown. I second the "Boo-hoo" comment from David593. If anything, this is getting people out of their cars and make them slow down and walk and notice businesses that they just drove past for 20 years. I still highly doubt those businesses will see any extra traffic. Perhaps its the collection of useless businesses? I mean really. Look at the list. The Bottle Shop isn't affected by this as they have their own parking and they are the busiest spot on CVR.

Gimli Aug 03, 2022 09:58 AM
Op-Ed: Montecito Businesses Want Parking Spots Back

I do agree with all these business owners that those that do drive and cannot find parking on CVR or on CVC. But it has been a problem as far back as the 80's to find a parking spot on CVR when I use to drive and own vehicles. But yes, those parklets should be removed. It is very frustrating for those who do drive and need to find a parking space on CVR or on CVC. And for all of you who believe that every single person in SB should ride a bicycle, you are all nuts. Not everyone in SB can ride a bicycle. There are those with disabilities from the very young to the very old. And many of them can drive, they rely owning and driving a vehicle. Hence, Handicap Parking Spaces for those who can drive or cannot. As Frank Hotchkiss said when he was a City Council Member, in a City Council Meeting (I was there), Frank said "Santa Barbara is not Amsterdam". referring to removing one car lane on E. Cabrillo Blvd. to put in a bicycle lane which the city did. I agreed with Frank. I sure do miss him on City Council as well as Dale Francisco.

BigDD8 Aug 03, 2022 10:11 AM
Op-Ed: Montecito Businesses Want Parking Spots Back

The good news is that for a very long time now the conditions that drove the necessity, creation and legal allowance for the restaurant "parklets" have passed--indoor dining is back and looking to stay. In fact, all of these restaurants now have much more seating than ever before--they are certainly the post-pandemic winners on CVR. Meanwhile, parking for all businesses (including eateries) continues to be at a premium. More often than not, there is not a space to be found when I attempt to go to the UPS Store, the Montecito Deli, CVS, Bree-Osh, or the Wine Grotto. Instead, I abandon my search for a parking spot and take my business elsewhere ... to the Upper Village or Santa Barbara. No one has mentioned the impact of the Farmers' Market on Fridays. I enjoy farmers' markets in general and the one on CVR is good, but talk about exacerbating the parking situation--sheesh!

First District Aug 04, 2022 08:01 AM
Op-Ed: Montecito Businesses Want Parking Spots Back

Bravo, too.
As a second-generation native whose g-grandparents settled in the County circa 1895 I have a definite opinion not only about CVR, but also State Street. I definitely miss Dale and Frank. What is happening to our City!

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