Fate of Ellwood Mesa Still Unsure

At the Goleta City Council meeting Tuesday, May 18, developer Bob Comstock announced his agreement to build nine less homes than the proposed land swap with UCSB and than the city of Goleta originally called for. He also agreed to reduce the heights of several homes in order to and lessen the number of trees destroyed in the building process.

The city council discussed the possibility of additional changes to the plan, such as a different configuration to preserve views from Hollister Avenue, but Comstock later said he would not make many more compromises. He said he would return to his original plans for development on the mesa if the city council continued to recommend changes.

UCSB and the city of Goleta proposed a land swap with Comstock, current owner of the Ellwood Mesa site, in 2002. The swap would relocate the development from the environmentally sensitive Ellwood Mesa to city-owned land near Sandpiper Golf Course and would decrease the development’s size from 161 units to 78 units. Under the proposal, UCSB would build 151 student housing units near Ocean Meadows Golf Course and 50 faculty housing units near the Coal Oil Point Natural Reserve.

Fire Destroys Lompoc Home

Santa Barbara County and Lompoc city firefighters responded to a blaze that had already consumed one home and spread to the adjacent house at approximately 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Eight residents occupied both homes, but no one was present when the fire broke out. All eight residents returned to make sure everyone was accounted for. Three dogs were rescued from the first home, which was heavily damaged by flames. The second home sustained only minor damages.

The American Red Cross is currently providing shelter for the displaced family. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Man Injured in Gibraltar Cliff Fall

A hiker fell over a cliff in the mountainous area north of Montecito on Sunday night, sustaining severe injuries.

At 11:23 p.m., county firefighters responded to a report of a man down in the Gibraltar area, fire department spokeswoman Tracy Gouette said.

Goutte said firefighters met a sport utility vehicle carrying the patient approximately one mile from the intersection of East Camino Cielo and Gibraltar roads. Due to the extent of the man’s injuries, he was airlifted to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital.

Gibraltar is popular for its hiking trails and scenic views.