‘Friends of State Street’ volunteers help business owners meet city rules and guidelines in Santa Barbara Promenade
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Business owners facing new rules and guidelines by the city to have a piece of the Santa Barbara Promenade have been supported by a new group called "Friends of State Street."
The group says it wants to contribute to the future of State Street on many levels. That includes businesses, organizations and surrounding neighborhoods.
The State Street master plan called CREATE STATE is well underway with community outreach and discussions about what needs to be done to balance the use of the street space for pedestrians, bike riders, business outreach, entertainment and overall vitality.
Over the weekend many volunteers were helping with a painting project at ten locations. They were supported by the Santa Barbara Paint Depot, Benjamin Moore paint, and Delgado's Painting employees.
Combined with the Friends of State Street they deployed to locations that had previously been in touch with for an approval to paint.
The color used was Black Magic.
Friends of State Street founder Sharon Rich said, "most everyone is very happy to get our help."
The group is ready to make a list of projects downtown and also in other areas outside of the core business zone.
Rich said, "where are the unmet needs? We can we fill in, we can recruit volunteers, we can raise money and we can try to get the word out to as many groups as possible in the county."
Bob Stout, the owner of the Wildcat Lounge is with the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization Food and Beverage Committee. He. says, "anyone who wants to pitch in and lend their support , that's very helpful and I think their voices are needed right now."
Stout said, "I think there is a lot of people in this town that really want to see Santa Barbara maintain its architectural character but also change with the times. "
In addition to having consistent colors the Friends of State Street have been helping the business owners adjust their parklets so there is adequate room for storm water runoff where the platforms meet the curbs.
Rich said at one business, Night Lizard, the parklet was completely removed. Tables are on the street, and the area is bordered by planters. "They purchased the planters, we sourced them so they would be the right colors. We helped them with the plants and the design of it."
There's an ongoing outreach by the Friends of State Street. "We're doing a lot of outreach. We're going to neighborhood associations. We talking to service clubs we want everyone to be involved this is a big project for the city," said Rich.
Already the changes can be seen on every block.
"We love it the way it is and we know that there is opportunity to enhance and revitalize it and so we are really excited for this project, " said Rich.
Stout looked around and said, "it looks so much nicer and I hope people in town start to see the improvements that the city and the businesses have worked together to improve it's pretty cool."
For more information go to: Friends on State Street or Create State
For more from John, follow him on Twitter below:Follow @JohnPalminteri