Tag Archives: montecito local news

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Sotheby’s Montecito Office Represents Two Most Expensive Homes in America


Our Montecito Office represents number 6 and number 8 of the most expensive homes now for sale in America.

First 9-Months Real Estate Market Updates for Santa Barbara and Montecito Estates Sold from 2000 to 2013

Montecito and Santa Barbara, California Estates
Sold From $4 Million to $8 Million in the First
9-Months of Each Year From 2000 to 2013

Estate Market Summary 3 Graphs 3rd Qtr 2013.pub

Montecito and Santa Barbara Estates Sold From
$8 Million to $15 Million in the First 9-Months of Each Year
From 2000 to 2013

Estate Market Summary 3 Graphs 3rd Qtr 2013.pub

Montecito and Santa Barbara Estates Sold from
$15 Million + in the First 9-Months Each Year
From 2000 to 2013

Estate Market Summary 3 Graphs 3rd Qtr 2013.pub

Montecito and Santa Barbara Estates
Average Sales Price to Last Asking Price
On All Homes Sold Over $4 Million
From 2000 to 2013
(First 9-Months Data)

Estate Market Summary 3 Graphs 3rd Qtr 2013.pub

Montecito Journal: PLANNING THE FUTURE

Montecito Journal Bob Hazard

Reprinted with permission from the Montecito Journal

Editorial: Planning The Future

by Bob Hazard
1 – 8 August 2013

Click here to see the complete Montecito Journal Article_08-01-13

The Future of Montecito
Some three dozen community leaders and concerned citizens have responded
to bobhazard@gmail.com to share their ideas of what they love about
Montecito and what they think might be improved. That’s a very solid
beginning to an issue-oriented conversation. Keep those e-mails coming and we
will take one issue each week and explore it, while trying to include as many
views as possible on each.

As a kickoff, an e-mail from Dana Newquist is shown below in its entirety.
Dana has been a recognized leader in Montecito for the last 30 years. There is
hardly an issue he has not addressed in his long tenure as a former Director of the
Montecito Association. He is a founder (along with Diane Pannkuk) and ardent
supporter of the Montecito Village Fourth (of July) parade and celebration, and is
a former member of the Board of the Montecito Fire Protection District.

What follows are his comments on the future of Montecito:
“Before I moved to this ‘Promised Land’ of Montecito, I had a small chain of
five computer stores called Computer Village. I got an offer to sell my chain in
1985 and decided to take it. The sale gave me the money to buy in Montecito.
I knew the rural character of Montecito, but had no knowledge of the people.
“Being one of seven children, and the son of an entrepreneur from Chicago, I
wanted to get involved in the community, so I opened Montecito Video in 1986.
Charles Borgatello had a space available in the Upper Village, so I leased it!
Within a year, I became President of our Merchants’ Association. My learning
curve on our local community was straight up and I was loving it.

“Why am I giving all this background? I have lived in Chicago and its suburbs,
Riverside, Monterey, San Antonio, San Francisco, Boston, and finally
Santa Barbara-Goleta. There is nothing, in my opinion, that comes close to
Montecito. Why?

What’s Great about Montecito?
“It is not just the rural feeling with open space, not the lack of street lights
every 50 yards, not the lack of sidewalks, not the scenic stance of the Santa
Ynez Mountains as a backdrop, not the Channel Islands as stepping stones to
the beautiful Pacific. It’s also the people who live here now and who have come
before us. In an attempt to protect this very special place, they developed the
“Community Plan” that defines this community.

“The Montecito Community Plan is a preserve-and-protect plan, administered
by the Montecito Planning Commission, the Montecito Board of Architectural
Review and the Montecito Association. Montecito is not incorporated; it has
neither a mayor nor a town council. Hopefully, that will never be. When you
introduce local government, you lose independence. We have too much government

Community Service
“Thankfully, many honorable men and women have unselfishly toiled in
volunteerism to defend our semi-rural haven. Serving for six years on the
Montecito Association Board gave me the tools and experience to help adjudicate
many issues our hamlet has faced over the past 30 years of my tenure.

Threats to Montecito
“Time changes almost everything. With time, people also change; their opinions,
needs, and associations change. One of the many reasons government
grows is that it is driven by regulatory mandates whereupon elected leaders
tell everyone else how to live. Expensive regulatory mandates have become a
big deterrent to business success and an irritant to those seeking permission to
remodel, but they also protect a community’s character.
“The Montecito Association can’t negate what’s already ‘on the books’ but it
can and does influence current and future development. ‘Community Coalition
Alternative Plan for 101’ is one example.

Opportunities: Get Involved
“What would I change if I could wave a magic wand? Having sat on several
civic and non-profit boards, I have experienced that the 20% rule always holds:
20% do all the work. In Montecito, with respect to its residents, even with all the
treasured amenities, that rule changes. Perhaps 10% of the population, or less,
do all the work. Seems odd? This is such a magical place that a large percentage
of our citizens use this as a second home and reside elsewhere. That puts
additional pressure on full-time residents. With that, a plea! Help protect our
haven. Get involved. There are a multitude of tasks that can suit your talents.
Just do it!” •MJ

Montecito Journal Editorial: PLANNING THE FUTURE

Montecito Journal Bob Hazard

Reprinted with permission from the Montecito Journal

Editorial: Planning The Future
(or, where do we go from here?)

by Bob Hazard
25 July – 1 August 2013

Click here to see the complete Montecito Journal Article_07-25-13

Montecito is described in the current Community Plan, adopted in
1992 (the Montecito Community Plan celebrates its 21st birthday on
September 15), as “semi-rural.” That designation may have a specific
context to state planning commissioners, but, other than the fact that we are
surrounded by an abundance of greenery, it can mean almost anything to the
rest of us. Perhaps it’s time for a new look at how we are doing. It is impossible
to have a meaningful discussion of the future of Montecito without a realistic
understanding as to where we are today, where we want to go and how we
plan to get there. If Montecito were a business, a non-profit or a government
entity, we would begin with a review of our existing plan. What are Montecito’s
strengths? What are our weaknesses? What are our problems? What are our

Defining Montecito’s “Community Character”
What is community character? How is it defined and measured? What
should we be doing now to preserve and protect whatever Montecito’s community
character is? Perhaps even more importantly, how do we enhance the
future quality of life here? Community character represents the sum total of all
the attributes, assets and blemishes that make a community either desirable,
unique, or something else. It establishes a sense of place for families to live,
work, shop and play, and for businesses to function.
What will Montecito be like 21 years from now? Will Montecito mostly
determine its own future, or will that be left up to state and county landuse
mandates? Will independent decisions made by SBCAG (Santa Barbara
County Association of Governments) on 101 funding, or City of Santa Barbara
decisions about Coast Village Road regarding greater density, height and
mass affect that community character? Will ideology-driven government
agencies plan it all for us?

Despite the increased traffic over the past two decades, most of Montecito
continues to reflect California as it once was. Mother Nature has bequeathed us
a coastal wonderland worth preserving.

Montecito is most often described as a village, and no doubt most of us prefer
that Montecito remain a thickly wooded, low-density village. Although history
plays a large role in defining it, the area remains just a dot in the unincorporated
section of Santa Barbara County. It is 9.3 square miles (14,280 acres) in
size, and is home to 8,965 residents (according to the 2010 census) who live in
something less than 4,000 single-family households tucked between the Santa
Ynez Mountains and the sea.

Montecito is home to $8.4 billion of residential real estate, making it one of the
most expensive communities in the nation, and the source of some $82 million
in property tax revenues. With 0.03% of its population, Montecito contributes
12% of the County’s property taxes, or 400 times its share on a per-person basis.

Nation Building
If Montecito were a separate nation, at 9.3 square miles, it would not be the
smallest nation in the world; it would be the fifth smallest, behind the Vatican
at 0.2 sq. miles, Monaco on the French Riviera at 0.7 sq. miles, the Pacific Ocean
island nation of Nauru at 8.5 sq. miles, and the 9-sq.-mile land expanse of
Tuvalu in Polynesia (with its own small similar-sized population of some 12,000

Desirable communities such as Montecito don’t just happen, although they
could simply drift off into the Pacific as just another place destroyed by development
and indifference without elements such as community consensus,
proper planning, thoughtful reflection of difficult issues, and good governance.
The most important ingredient in this recipe is the last mentioned: good governance
consisting of a dedicated cadre of residents who regularly ask, “What
can we do today to make this place better tomorrow?”
That, by the way, is what the Montecito Association does and is all about.

Input Required
As a prelude to any future community planning, we would like to launch a
community conversation. For that, we’ll need you to share your thoughts. What
is your favorite thing about living here? What would you like to see changed?
If you could wave a magic wand and do one thing to improve Montecito, what
would it be? Please send your comments to bobhazard@gmail.com, and we will
explore your ideas in the issues of the Montecito Journal. •MJ