The Development of San Marcos Foothills
By Julia Laraway
I am writing to you in desperation and at the last minute regarding the development of the San Marcos Foothills West property that is set to begin this year by the Chadmar Group out of Los Angeles.
I am wondering if the fires burning up and down the state of California are giving you pause as you think of the fact the County okayed the development of a property where fire ravaged the landscape a mere ten months ago in November of 2019? Without a doubt, you know that those hills have burned or were threatened before last year in 2018, 2014, 2013 and 2009. Five times in one decade alone! How can you continue to be complicit in allowing the development of land where there is such a great chance of it burning again?
Does the fact that water is scarce already in Santa Barbara make you wonder at all whether the building of excessively large homes which will undoubtably utilize more water than is needful is appropriate?
After the heat waves of the past weeks when the temperature got to an easy 109 degrees at the Foothills, and was probably hotter, do you still think 9 gargantuan homes gulping up the electricity to cool 3000 to 5000 square feet of living space is a good idea?
I recognize that this deal was made long ago, and that it is coming to fruition on your watch. I know that you do think about the impact this development will have on the community. My heart is broken for the animals that already live there and the loss of habitat this development will entail, and I know in my bones that what is planned is an abomination. Do you know how many people take solace from the landscape as it is now? The climate is changing, and heat waves and fires will only get worse in Santa Barbara. You must have the will to stop development of places that will burn again and again in the coming years.
My family and I have donated to Channel Islands Restoration Project, which is spearheading an effort to buy the property, but when I last checked there is not a chance that the 5 million dollars will be raised by September 15 of this year. There must be something that could be done to make sure that this property stays in its present state in perpetuity.
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