We are writing to ask if you have been able to draft your letter to Santa Barbara County Public Works in regards to the possible destruction of 29 iconic and historic Canary Island Date palms on Modoc Road?
The deadline for public comments is TODAY October 14, 2022 at 5PM…
The County Public Works Department is soliciting comments on the adequacy and completeness of the Revised Mitigated Negative Declaration (Revised MND).
So, please let them know LOUD & CLEAR that the Revised MND is deficient and inaccurate. It contains multiple omissions and obfuscations.
The public should comment by submitting written or oral comments prior to the close of the public comment period at 5:00 PM on Friday, October 14, 2022. Please limit comments to environmental impacts such as biological (flora & fauna), parking, traffic, noise, e-bikes, etc…
Go here to this petition update if you need help with ideas and/or talking points…etc…
Send comments (or call) to: Morgan Jones, at 123 E. Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 before Friday October 14, 2022 5PM
We also strongly encourage everyone to attend the Board of Supervisors Meeting in person on November 1st starting at 9:00 AM. We urge their rejection of the deficient and inaccurate Revised MND. More details to follow in these petition updates and on the Modoc Preserve Blog.
Urge SB County decision makers to support CAMP’s Greenbelt Alignment which would result in no trees being removed.
It should be noted that CAMP now has 4300 petition signatures…almost triple what the opposing petition started by longtime established Santa Barbara bike coalitions have…
We are now supported by Mike Stoker…candidate for 37th Assembly District…he represented the second and fifth districts on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors from 1986 to 1994.
As you probably are aware, I am hoping to be your next Assemblyman.
I am running against Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart. My campaign has been focused on the fact that I am the ONLY candidate that supports law enforcement (I am endorsed by the SB County Deputy Sheriff’s Association); supports small business owners (I am endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses) and the taxpayer (I am endorsed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn.). I’ll fight for energy and water policies that will lower the cost of gas at the pump and make water more readily available. Believe it or not, Hart even wants to eliminate natural gas as an energy source for California.
However, I am writing to you today in regards to a local issue. The County, with the support of Supervisor Hart, is pushing for the removal of 29 Canary Island Date Palms along the Modoc Road corridor in order to build a redundant bike lane. These iconic trees were planted in the era of Thomas Hope and civic leader Pearl Chase, the “First Lady of Santa Barbara.”
There is a grassroots effort being led by CAMP – Community Association for the Modoc Preserve. They have collected over 4000 petition supporters to SAVE THE MODOC ROAD TREES (SMRT), oppose this unnecessary urbanization plan to pave a 14’ wide road with concrete retaining walls through part of a protected nature preserve (Modoc Preserve).
As a former Santa Barbara County Supervisor, I strongly believe removal of these 29 heritage palm trees, along with at least 6 native oak trees, will do irrevocable harm to the aesthetic quality of a beloved scenic road, transforming it into just another sterile, milquetoast Orange-County-like street. I also believe the $8MM required for the project, including the CalTrans grant of $5.3MM, would be money better spent maintaining existing road infrastructure that is failing. (When was the last time your neighborhood street was re-paved?)
Sign the petition by scanning the QR Code:
Or go on-line at: SaveModocRoadTrees
While my campaign for Assembly will continue to focus on getting California back on track, this is a local matter that means a great deal to me.
Please sign the petition today. And if you want to help me in my campaign, please go to www.StokerForAssembly.com.
Feel free to contact me should you have any questions. You can reach me at Mikestoker@aol.com or (805) 708-9100.
Here are a few letters that you may find insightful from several folks that have been local advisors and decision makers for decades…
Subject: Modoc Path Comment–opposition
I have read the R-EIR on the Modoc path and I do not believe the environmental and aesthetic damages have been effectively mitigated. I can find no need to destroy an historic palm lane for a bike lane. The palm trees MUST be saved as they are a visual touchstone for that neighborhood and the entire Santa Barbara community. They have historic relevance (has this landscape removal been reviewed by HLAC? (Historic Landmarks Advisory Commission) and they ADD to the aesthetics and environmental health of Santa Barbara.
Communities all over California are replacing heat-retaining asphalt with cooler greenscapes–reducing pavement temps by 5-10 degrees! Why is SB out of step with current cooling climate-related landscaping? We should be adding shade–not removing it with hot, black, heat-retaining asphalt!
Alternative transportation is important, but not at the cost of local history, aesthetics and environment. As a senior I would NEVER be able to use this path for the stated use of transporting groceries on a bike, but I very much enjoy looking at (and painting) the palm lane–which is older than I am!
I believe the path can be suitably redesigned and relocated–serving all needs– therefore I oppose this revised plan as presented.
J’Amy Brown, 28-year Santa Barbara County resident, former Commissioner HLAC; Former Commissioner, Montecito Planning Commission; member COAST
I am very concerned about the proposed bike path, particularly after seeing the stakes last weekend when I was riding on the trail. It was shocking to see how many trees will be cut to accommodate this trail. Where is the Land Trust? The loss of all of those trees will irretrievably change the flora and fauna so painstakingly re-created in the preserve. It will change the temperature and make it difficult to maintain a wetland. I very much wish a trained biologist would weigh in on the biological impacts.
As far as the incompatibility with the horse back riding, I feel that this will be dangerous and not feasible. Furthermore, I have ridden on the trails in that valley for over 50 years. I have a prescribed easement to the use of those trails – both through the valley and near the road. There are other riders that also have ridden there consistently for decades. I do not want my prescriptive easement extinguished or negatively impacted.
I have never seen a project in my entire life that proposed to cut so many trees- and that includes 11 years as a land use attorney, many years representing the County planning commission and Board of Supervisors, and then a 5 year stint on the County Planning Commission. I feel this is unprecedented in Santa Barbara County. I would insist that the planning commissioners and Board of Supervisors take a site visit and walk the entire trail now that it is staked to understand the scope of this loss. I can’t imagine what decision maker wants this clear cut on their record or conscience. And to have such a biological travesty be at the behest of a governmental project is truly a bad look.
I understand there is a strong desire to continue another link of the bike trail. But I feel the County should consider a modest expansion of the existing bike lane with a barrier between the bike lane and the street even though it won’t be as wide as the Las Positas bike lane, save the trees, and accommodate the horse trails that have been there long before there was an idea of a bike lane.
Thank you so much.
Colleen Parent Beall