Pavement across Carpinteria will be getting an upgrade soon as the city moves forward with plans to rehabilitate a downtown parking lot and 109,000 sq ft of local roadways. On Feb. 10, the Carpinteria City Council voted unanimously to open a call for bids for two pavement projects.
The first project is to repave Parking Lot 2, including Cactus Lane from Wullbrandt Way to Carpinteria Avenue, where Tipuana trees planted three decades ago have caused extensive damage. Tipuana trees, lauded for their beautiful blooms and shade, also have shallow root systems that bulge and buckle pavement and sidewalks. In addition to new pavement, the downtown parking lot behind Corktree Cellars will have six Tipuanas removed and replaced with species selected by the city’s Tree Advisory Board. New lighting will also be installed along with ADA improvements. Three Tipuanas will remain in the area but will be contained by planters with root barriers.
During re-paving, the city also plans to install an underground utility conduit in preparation for a future, separate project to move overhead utility lines underground.
The second project now open for bids is the 2020 Pavement Rehabilitation Project, in which 109,000 square feet of local roadways will be repaved, including Carpinteria Avenue (between Santa Ynez and Sandyland Cove Road), 8th Street (between Elm and Maple avenues), and Nipomo Drive (between Linden Avenue and Tomol Drive). Streets were selected based on road condition data collected by the city. In a cost-saving effort, the city plans to use asphalt rather than reinforced concrete.
Recycling, still unresolved
Carpinteria City Manager David Durflinger reported that no viable solution has been achieved yet for a recycling station in Carpinteria. In August of last year, rePlanet, California’s largest recycling company, went out of business, shutting down 284 recycling centers, including the one located behind Carpinteria’s Albertsons on Casitas Pass Road. The state’s Convenience Zone law requires that there be a recycling center where beverage containers can be redeemed at grocery stores that have over $2 million in sales. In Carpinteria, Albertsons and Smart & Final are in the same zone, and require at least one recycling depository.
“There’s no indication that rePlanet is coming back,” said Durflinger. “We’re looking at options on the state level that might not require that grocery stores make the recycling center so close to the store.” The city is exploring several possibilities, including requesting state permission to combine two or three stores from Carpinteria to Montecito to create one Convenience Zone with a recycling center set in the middle. “The (recycling) market is turned upside down and it needs to be looked at from the bottomup,” said Durflinger. City staff will bring a comprehensive report to city council at an upcoming meeting.
Public discord over beach dumping
Several residents attended the Feb. 10 City Council meeting to voice grievances over the county’s proposal to continue dumping on Carpinteria’s Ash Avenue beach. Beach dumping has been occurring at the beach by an emergency permit following the Jan. 9, 2018 debris flow event. However, a current environmental impact report is being conducted to determine if beach dumping will be allowed to continue past the two-year emergency timeframe.
“It affects me in more than one way,” said one resident. “Three hundred trucks kicking up dust and rubble. God knows what’s in that dust. I have to have my house power washed now. My lungs are in terrible shape... You can’t walk the beach. The rocks are not river rocks, they are not rounded. They are left in a pile and you have to go up and around them… and the ocean floor is covered with rocks now.”
The city manager noted that the most recent beach deposit was last summer and that the city is involved in the process with the county developing the environmental impact report which will analyze different options, including trucking and dredging. Durflinger also noted that the city had been awarded a Living Shoreline Grant to study reestablishing a dune system.
City Council honors Carpinterians of the Year
Members of City Council presented commendations to the 2019 Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Congress Carpinterian of the Year, Lori Bowles, and Junior Carpinterian of the Year, Emily Calkins. Bowles and Calkins were honored at the Jan. 25 Community Awards Banquet held at the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County, Carpinteria Unit.