Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Washington Drops By

This afternoon we received an email from Congresswoman Lois Capps office. We appreciate they have an interest in what is going on in the Goleta Valley and the time they took to email us.

For those that are interested, Congresswoman Capps does have a blog on her site, and I invite you all to stop by, and continue to make your voice heard to our elected officials.

Click Here for Lois's Blog

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Goleta Chamber - Action Alert - March 5th

An email that was sent from the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce:

Action Alert!

It is time to come and support the new Goleta City Council and their plan to fix the General Plan. Monday, March 5th, 6:00pm at City Hall, the Council will discuss revisions that need to be made to the General Plan, including: housing policies for new housing, restrictions on remodels, locations for businesses, jobs and commercial shopping, traffic, environmental protections and more.

They will also address the issue of removing internal consistencies (fixing policies that cancel each other out), and bringing the plan into compliance with state law.

The Council needs to hear from you. Please plan to attend this great session of public participation, dialog and discussion. Many of you in the past have voiced your concerns for the future of Goleta, but now is the time to bring those issues to the Council when positive action is achievable.

Thanks for your support. Please attend, notify your employees and neighbors and we'll see you there. You may also want to write a letter - a template to get you started may be obtained by clicking here.

Please call or write me if you have any questions.
Kristen Amyx

City Council Public Hearing - Regarding the General Plan
Monday, March 5th, 6:00pm
Council Chambers 130 Cremona Drive, Goleta
click here for a map

(The phone number for the Goleta Chamber is 805-967-2500.)

Feb 26 City of Goleta Special Council Meeting - News-Press Coverage

The News-Press (must be a subscriber to view) is running a story by Leana Orsua about the special council meeting held yesterday. The following is a brief quote from the story:

It was a disappointing turnout Monday at a special open forum session of the Goleta City Council. The meeting, which took place at the council's chambers, was designed to help target specific long-term goals in a public forum setting. However, only a handful of community members turned out to give their input.

What is disappointing is that the Council would have a meeting like this scheduled during a Monday afternoon, rather than holding a special open forum session during the evening hours when more residents could attend and be sure their input is heard.

City of Goleta Special Council Meeting - Feb 26 - Update

The Daily Nexus is running a story today about the Goleta City Council revisiting its 10-month-old Strategic Growth Plan yesterday.

Goleta City Manager Daniel Singer said general goals and tasks were acceptable to include in the plan, but the purpose of the Strategic Growth Plan and the special meeting were to facilitate the city staff’s job in implementing the plan.

Get the full story at the Daily Nexus by clicking here.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Jewel of the South Coast: More Mesa

More Mesa is one of the most outstanding scenic and environmentally sensitive pieces of undeveloped open space remaining on the Coast of Southern California. Its open grasslands provide both valuable habitat and miles of informal trails. With sweeping views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the coast, More Mesa is fronted by one of the largest and most pristine white sand beaches on Santa Barbara County’s South Coast. This 300-acre coastal bluff mesa is located in the Goleta Valley, just west of the community of Hope Ranch and about two miles east of Goleta Beach Park and UCSB. Incredibly, given its very desirable location, surrounding growth and past building proposals, this unique site remains undeveloped. Sadly, this jewel of our coast could be lost to potential development.

More Mesa For Sale: The asking price, $110 Million.

For more information on More Mesa, be sure to stop by the More Mesa Preservation Coalition website.

City of Goleta Special Council Meeting - Feb 26

Guess we missed this one, but this afternoon, there was a Special Council Meeting for the Goleta City Council. Topic: Strategic Planning Process

Agenda is Here

Anybody catch the meeting? Have any input?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Feb 28 - County of SB Planning Commission Agenda

The Agenda for the County of Santa Barbara Planning Commission's February 28 hearing has been posted. (Click on the Upcoming Event item to the right and it will take you to the agenda.)

Two Goleta Items:

  • Sprint @ Patterson Self Storage - 99 North Patterson Avenue
    Time Extension
  • Hourigan Residential Development - 1118 North Patterson Avenue
    Residential Development

Saturday, February 24, 2007

LAFCO: Sphere of Influence Changes

The regular meeting of the Santa Barbara Local Agency Formation Commission will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 2pm in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 105 East Anapamu Street, Fourth Floor, Santa Barbara, California.

Of particular interest for Goleta Valley residents is:

Proposed Sphere of Influence Changes

Proposal by the Committee for One, endorsed by the City of Santa Barbara, to expand the City of Santa Barbara Sphere of Influence. The proposal area consists of the Eastern Goleta Valley extending from the current Sphere of Influence to the City of Goleta.

Friday, February 23, 2007

City of Goleta Public Hearings - Design Review Board

Hearing Location:
Goleta City Hall, 130 Cremona Drive, Suite B, Goleta, CA 93117

Hearing Date and Time:
March 6, 2007, 3:00PM

Public Hearing to Consider:


  • 222 N. Fairview Avenue
    A request for review of proposed changes to approved roof screening.
  • 505 Pine Avenue
    A request for review of 360 SF vestibule addition, four as-built accessory structures, and circulation/parking changes to the UPS facility.
  • 5610 Cielo Avenue
    A request for review of architectural changes, a carport, and patio cover on a property with an existing 2,422 SF residence.


  • 75 S. Ellwood Station Road
    A request for review of a Verizon 70-foot mono-pine.


  • 5820 Calle Real
    A request for review of signage associated with the Carl's Jr. restaurant.


  • 7127 Hollister Avenue
    A request for review of an Overall Sign Plan associated with the University Village Shopping Center.
  • 5763 Alondra Drive
    A request for review of an interior conversion of 420 SF, additions of 132 SF, and a new 510 SF garage to an existing 1,065 SF single story residence.
  • 6051 Stow Canyon Road
    A request for review of a new 1,000 SF two story accessory structure on a property that includes a 2,572 SF two story residence.
  • 90 Vega Drive
    A request for review of garage conversion of 480 SF and construction of a new garage of 490 SF to an existing 1,340 SF residence.


  • 151 S. Fairview Avenue
    A request for review of a proposed 16,885 SF mixed use structure (retail, office, and residential space).

City of Goleta Public Hearings - Zoning Administrator

Hearing Location:
Goleta City Hall, 130 Cremona Drive, Suite B, Goleta, CA 93117

Hearing Date and Time:
March 8, 2007, 2:30PM

Public Hearing to Consider:

  • Cortona Partnership/Daketta Pacific Lot Line Adjustment at 6860 and 6868 Cortona Drive.
  • Sandpiper Golf Course Above-Ground Fuel Storage Tank at 7925 Hollister Avenue.
  • Biomechanics Light Industrial Addition at 75 Castilian Drive
  • South Coast Church as-built Trailer at 5814 Cathedral Oaks Road

Appeal Over Ellwood Sewer Line Dumped

The Goleta Valley Voice has a story on the appeal brought by Santa Barbara Shores resident Cynthia Brock and Ellwood environmentalist Chris Lange to the Goleta City Council on Monday, February 20, to deny Goleta West Sanitary District's permit application to construct a pipeline that would serve the nearby Comstock Homes development.

Click here for the complete story by Sonia Fernandez.

The fight isn’t over yet for the appellants: the segment of pipeline in question falls within the Coastal Zone, under the jurisdiction of the California Coastal Commission. Brock and Lange anticipate a hearing by the CCC on the matter, and are considering talks with GWSD.
-Goleta Valley Voice

Council Study Session on Planning Processes (Update)

The Goleta Valley Voice has a story in this weeks online edition about what was discussed at the Monday City Council Study Session.

Click here for the story.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

March 5 City Council Meeting Agenda

The link for the March 5 City Council Meeting has been activated, however, there is currently no agenda posted. As of this evening, the only item posted is Agenda Item C.1, General Plan Amendment.

Here we go again...

Three Council Winners Received More Than $120k From Developers With Both Projects and Lawsuits Pending

Martha Sadler over at the Independent has the complete story on the three new council members, who unseated three incumbents in last November's election, received an assist of more than $120,000 in donations from developers with both projects and lawsuits pending before the council.

Click here for the complete story.

How are these last minute donations going to affect the way the Council votes on future projects that come before them?

In The Backyard: 'Angel of Death' Visits Goleta News-Press Printing Plant

While trying to stay clear of the News-Press meltdown, and feeling that there is plenty of coverage on other various blogs, we are trying to keep an eye on Goleta. Thus, the following story:

As being reported by Craig Smith's Blog, the 'Angel of Death' has paid a visit to the News-Press Goleta plant on South Kellogg, and bestowed upon two pressman their termination letters.

Ramon J. Lopez had been with the paper for 15 years, and Carl Batchelder had been there for 26 years.

Update 02-22-2007:
Fired News-Press Printer Speaks Out - Story at the Independent

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Close To Home: Suspect Arrested in Isla Vista Robbery

Click Here for KEYT Report (also quoted below).

On Saturday February 10th at approximately 6:30 pm, two UCSB students were robbed at gunpoint in an apartment in Isla Vista. The victims were in an apartment when two individuals knocked on the door. One of the two subjects was an old roommate of the victims and the two were invited inside.

A short time later, one of the subjects produced a handgun from his waistband and demanded any cash they had on hand. The suspect was apparently aware of a safe in the apartment. The suspect led the victim to the safe and demanded its contents. The victims placed approximately 3 oz. of marijuana and approximately $5,000 cash into a backpack. The victims were escorted into the bathroom and advised not to contact authorities. The suspects then fled the apartment.

Sheriff’s Detectives were called to investigate. One of the suspects was a former roommate of the victim’s and was immediately identified as 24 year old Nathan Martin. The second suspect (who produced the handgun) was identified several days later as 27 year old Billy Wayne Gossett of Goleta. Gossett works as a youth basketball coach at the YMCA. Late last week, Sheriff’s Deputies observed Gossett leaving a residence on Bradford Dr. in Goleta and initiated a felony traffic stop. He was arrested without incident. He was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail for robbery, kidnapping, false Imprisonment, burglary and assault with a Firearm; his bail is set at $100,000. A subsequent search warrant served at Gossett’s residence recovered marijuana, cash and several firearms. Detectives determined that Gossett acted independently during the robbery. Nathan Martin was not arrested or charged with this crime.

In The Backyard: Goleta Tire Slasher Sentenced to 1 Year in County Jail

Click Here for KEYT Story (also quoted below).

During a time period from July 2006 through December 2006, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department investigated a string of vehicle vandalisms in the area of Ellwood Beach Drive in Goleta. In all, 79 vehicles over the course of 6 months were vandalized. The vandalism consisted of all four tires on the victim’s vehicle being slashed and punctured. Over 25 of the cases were classified as felony vandalism (damage over $400).

Sheriff’s Detectives investigated the case and ultimately arrested 45- year old Patrick Matthew Ortiz, of Goleta. He pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 1 year in county jail and 5 years felony probation.

In The Backyard: Suspects Tie Up Victims With Cord During Home Invasion

KEYT is reporting on a home invasion that took place Sunday evening at 86 Necatrine Avenue.

Click Here for KEYT Report (also quoted below).
Click Here for Daily Nexus Story.

On Sunday evening, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to check the welfare on a 911 caller from 86 Nectarine Ave. in Goleta. When the Deputies arrived they found 10 Hispanic male adults, all bound with telephone cord, who had been robbed at gunpoint.

Sheriff’s Detectives responded to investigate the robbery and learned that two Hispanic males forced entry into the home where the 10 victims all reside. The suspects were both armed with handguns and ordered the victims onto the floor. The victims then had their hands bound with telephone cord. The suspects demanded money from the victims and took their cell phones and wallets. The suspects then ransacked the home looking for more money and valuables. During the robbery, one of the victims was taken into a bedroom, where he was punched in the stomach while the suspects interrogated him about hidden money.

The suspects fled the home with approximately $7,000 in cash. The victims were not able to provide any suspect description. Sheriff’s Detectives are asking that anyone information about this robbery or any similar crimes are asked to contact the Sheriff’s Detective Bureau at 805-681-4150 or the anonymous tip line at 877-800-9100.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Close To Home: UCSB Soccer Player Facing Rape Charges

Right next door to Goleta lives UCSB and Isla Vista, and a completely different culture.

Various media outlets are reporting that a UCSB soccer player has been arrested, posted $100,000 bail, and is now awaiting his first court appearance.

Click here for the KEYT report.
Click here for the KCOY report.
Click here for the Santa Barbara Daily Sound Blog report.

Update 02-22-2007
Click here for the SB Sheriff's Department Press Release

Feb 20 Council Meeting... Interesting Undertones

While the evening council meeting appeared relatively uneventful, one couldn't help to notice the paper monarchs pinned to the shirts of those making public comment on the Brock/Lange Appeal of the Zoning Administrator Approval of Goleta West Sanitary District Hollister Avenue Interceptor Replacement Project. One can only draw a conclusion that 'Cynthia's butterfly' is alive and well and was fluttering about the evening council meeting, making sure that Councilmember Bennett saw that indeed, monarchs can still be found in Goleta. (The council unanimously voted to deny the appeal, for those who are interested.)

After the public hearing and council debate, most of the public, if not all in attendance, left the council meeting. During council comment, Councilmember Bennett brought up a point about fees charged to parties filing appeals, and asked that staff returned with information regarding fees when filing appeals. City Manager Singer asked that his request be rolled into the fee updates that would be coming before the council no later than June, but probably in May.

Was it just me, or could one draw a conclusion that the Brock-Bennett rift is still alive and well?

City Council Meeting Dates Won't Be Changing

Agenda Item D2 of today's Council Meeting was another one of Michael Bennett's hopeful changes that quickly got derailed.

With Councilmembers Aceves, Onnen and Wallis voting No on moving the Council Meetings to Tuesdays, they clearly spoke in support of the fact that the City of Goleta does need to have representation at other public agency meetings held throughout the week, and that they possibly wouldn't be able to attend or have input at, if the Council meetings had been moved to Tuesday.

Feb 20 - Council Study Session on Planning Processes

Interestingly enough, the City Council and Design Review Board held an untelevised study session this afternoon, the third in its series, on the topic of planning processes. The meeting, held in the Council Chambers at City Hall, was not televised.

Remember during the election blitz the promises of open doors and councilmember-elects wanting to hear public comment and input? If they were so interested, why did they schedule a study session that was not televised, and scheduled in the afternoon, when most people are at a job and possibly can't get away to give input? Perhaps someone in attendance at the afternoon session can enlighten the rest of us as to what was discussed.

I hope this isn't setting a tone for the future 'study sessions' and other 'special meetings'.

Monday, February 19, 2007

KEY News Special Assignment: Cafeteria Food

KEYT has done a special assignment on school cafeterias in the Goleta School District.

For fact lovers: "Cooks in this district prepare about 2,300 meals each day for the ten elementary schools."

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Goleta Files Criminal Charges Against Local Couple

The Goleta Valley Voice has an article posted in regards to local couple Anthony and Joann Gomez and the criminal charges the City of Goleta has filed against them for their unpermitted second garage.

Apparently the Design Review Board (DRB) was involved when the couple had put through a proposal two years ago to construct a second story addition. The DRB wanted the garage torn down in order for the couple to be permitted for the addition.

In reading through the article, someone dropped the ball somewhere along the way, and the next time the couple heard from the City, it was not a love letter, but instead criminal charges.

In all fairness, the article states that City legal counsel was not available for comment on this at press time, so hopefully there will be more information forthcoming about what went awry in this circumstance.

Add one more case to the legal load at the City and more funds to be sent to Riverside.

People Staked Out on Goleta Overpasses and Intersections

Edhat has posted a community question as to who the folks staked out on Goleta overpasses and intersections are.

According to reader comments, they are people doing traffic studies, and as David Pritchett comments, "The most accurate method simply is to watch and count...". David goes on to suggest that he has "heard that people in The Good Land are concerned about traffic." and "The new City Council majority there will make traffic worse in a hurry."

Other reader comments that were posted are related to signals at intersections that are "...working just fine thank you." and another reader comment hopes "someone at CalTrans reads Edhat and can put in a good word on fixing a few lights in Goleta."

So, along those lines, how is the traffic in Goleta? We all know that Goleta hosts the worlds worst traffic signal at the Fairview and 101 North intersection. Should the city council take a more proactive stance at addressing traffic issues, especially if they are backed by the pro-development camp? Edhat is reporting that Jonny Wallis was at the SBCAG South Coast Subregional Planning Committee Meeting on February 7, 2007.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

First Steps in Change to General Plan?

The Santa Barbara Daily Sound Blog is reporting that the Goleta City Council has asked the Planning Staff to prepare a report for the March 5, 2007 Council Meeting regarding setting up a process for considering possible changes to the City's General Plan.

This was definately a major issue brought up time and time again during the run up to the election of what is now three new faces on the Council. All three of them said they would take the time to listen to the public and gather input on changes to the Goleta General Plan, while the old trio on the Council sought to move forward with what they had crafted. This, of course, had many people in an uproar, including the Goleta Chamber (aka the Chamber of Concrete).

So, I at least commend them on keeping with their promises of looking at and making changes to the general plan.

Let me ask you, what process(es) should be setup (or you would like to see) to consider possible changes to the General Plan?

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

NP Tom Shultz Gone?! Who's on duty in Goleta now?

As reported by Craig Smith's Blog (and several other blogs and media organizations), several more News-Press firings took place Tuesday, one being Tom Shultz, who covered the Goleta beat. With Tom gone, and the AP Feeds stacking up in the News-Press, who will now keep an eye on our fair city?

Missed it on KEYT last night? Click Here for the Video

Feb 5 City Council Meeting, Agenda Item B4 - Goleta City Logo

If I recall correctly during the months leading up to the election, the three new council members were screaming and yelling about the fiscal (ir)responsibility of the former council. Now, there is an item on the agenda regarding recreating and replacing the City of Goleta logo, at a minimum immediate cost of $69,696.23 (through attrition).

Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't this money be better spent elsewhere in our city, rather than recreating a logo and having to rebuild an identity? What do residents (and others) actually think about this?

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