What is happening to our beautiful beach community? I am the owner of 4900 Dorrance Way, a six-unit building on the corner of Dorrance and Elm. This complex consists of mostly moderate-income families, and several units have families with small children. When the city approved its construction decades ago, setbacks and parking requirements were far different than they are now. There is diagonal street parking and a little yard area for the kids.

My tenants were horrified to see streams of cars and people directly outside their front doors last Friday morning. One mother was very frightened. Neither they nor I were given notice, and I received numerous complaints regarding trash, noise and destroyed plants within the bounds of my property. Small children are the real risk when a decision like this is made with no notification to property owners. These children who play at the dead end of the street were forced to stay inside all day while the public was routed through a gate suddenly opened at the dead end of Elm.

The city’s opening a parking lot against our properties is at the very least extremely insensitive, especially without some formal notice or process. It is simple human decency to prevent this from ever happening again.

This is a sad indication of what would occur should a permanent parking lot be erected on this corridor. The steady stream of cars and public make for a potentially very dangerous experience.

I strongly urge the City Council to rethink the idea of a parking lot bordering such a large residential area near the beach. I ask again: What is happening to our beautiful beach community that is such an integral part of Carpinteria’s identity?

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