Op-Ed: Montecito Businesses Want Parking Spots Back

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.


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

Op-Ed’s are written by community members and organizations, not representatives of edhat. The views and opinions expressed in Op-Ed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of edhat.
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