It’s a Wrap: NatureTrack Film Festival in Goleta

The NatureTrack Film Festival’s first year in Goleta brought out more than a thousand nature and film lovers the weekend of October 6-8. The three-day festival celebrating nature and outdoor adventure included one dozen features and 30 shorts. Most the festival took place at the Metropolitan Fairview Theatre with opening night at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara and several events at The Leta Hotel. Watch this short recap to see highlights from the fun-filled weekend.

This is the 5th year for the festival which is typically held in Los Olivos. The Best of the Fest screening still took place in Los Olivos. Here are the award winners:

Winner – Hudson River Wild
Honorable Mention – Range Rider

Winner – Big Wave Guardians
Honorable Mention – Out There: A National Parks Story

Winner – Between Earth & Sky
Honorable Mention – The Little Fox of Limuw

Winner – Between Earth & Sky
Honorable Mentions – Range Rider and Reel Rock: Resistance Climbing

Winner – Diagonal
Honorable Mention – My Neighbour is a Bear 

The NatureTrack Foundation is a 501c3 Non-Profit. All proceeds from the NatureTrack Film Festival will support NatureTrack in introducing school children and wheelchair users to outdoor spaces from the seashore to the inland oak woodlands of Santa Barbara County by providing cost-free outdoor field trips.

For more info go to

Looking forward to seeing the film festival return to Goleta next year! Stay tuned.

Pictured: Left-to-right: Goleta City Councilmember Kyle Richards, U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal, 3rd District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann and 2nd District Goleta City Councilmember James Kyriaco at Opening Night

Goleta’s Finest Winners Announced

Drumroll please…the 2023 Goleta’s Finest Award Winners have been announced! Recipients are:

  • Woman of the Year – Jackie Parker
  • Man of the Year – Marty Plourd
  • Educator of the Year – Scott Guttentag
  • Student of the Year – Valeria Tiburcio Romo
  • Volunteer of the Year – Fritz Olenberger
  • Innovator of the Year – Demis D. John, PhD
  • Public Servant of the Year – Allison Gray
  • President’s Award – Christine LeBon

Goleta’s Finest, presented by the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce, is a 73-year-old tradition honoring remarkable individuals whose contributions have enhanced the Goleta community.

The 2023 award recipients will be honored at a formal celebration on December 1, 5:30-9:00 p.m., at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara. The evening will include dinner followed by the awards ceremony.

Learn more about the award recipients and register to attend here:

Goleta’s Housing Element Revisions Meet State Requirements

Planning Commission Public Hearings Nov. 13

The City of Goleta’s draft revisions to the Housing Element 2023-2031 have been accepted by the State of California’s Housing and Community Development Department (State). The City received the notification on October 16, 2023, via a comment letter, that the draft Housing Element revisions provided by the City address all statutory requirements and substantially comply with State housing law. 

The revisions submitted by the City include rezoning of certain housing sites to increase housing supply potential and meet the City’s share of the identified regional housing need. Previous Housing Element drafts submitted by the City to the State did not include rezoning.

The Planning Commission will hold public hearings to consider recommending to the City Council adoption of the State-approved revised Housing Element, including rezoning, at its meeting on November 13, 2023. The agenda will be available in advance of the meeting at The City Council will meet on this topic in December, and once City Council adopts the revisions, the City’s Housing Element will be re-transmitted to the State for final certification.

Goleta’s Housing Element is important because it establishes City policies and programs for maintaining and improving existing housing and plans for how to accommodate the City’s share of the region’s housing needs as identified by the Regional Housing Needs Assessment.

To learn more about the Housing Element Update Project and review the State’s comment letter and the proposed draft revisions, visit the project page on the City’s website at

Meet New Youth Commissioner

The City is pleased to welcome Jessica Avila-Ruiz as our newest Youth Commissioner. She was recently appointed to the Public Engagement Commission and participated in her first meeting on October 18, 2023.

Currently a senior at Dos Pueblos High School, Jessica has been an active presence in the community. She has been a student representative for her class, served on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council for the Santa Barbara Unified School District, and is on the Varsity Cheer Team. Jessica is also dedicated to community work having volunteered at the Goleta Boys & Girls Club, Beautify Goleta, and Beautify DP, all in support of her passion to promote clean environments.  

As a Public Engagement Commissioner, Jessica hopes to help create a welcoming environment for all community members and encourage others to care for Goleta.

Jessica’s unique set of talents, interests, and experience will be a great addition to the Public Engagement Commission. We appreciate her willingness to take an active role and thank her for helping serve our community.

To learn more here about the City’s various Boards and Commissions, and how you can get involved, please visit  

Goleta Holiday Parade Window Decorating Contest

The City of Goleta is pleased to announce the first Old Town Goleta Holiday Parade Window Decorating Contest! The purpose of the contest is to get the parade route in Old Town looking festive for the 2023 Goleta Holiday Parade happening on December 2 at 6:00 p.m. Businesses with store fronts along the parade route from Orange Avenue to Kinman Avenue along Hollister Avenue are encouraged to decorate their storefront windows in classic holiday themes for all to enjoy on parade night and for the holiday season. As an added bonus, a Fuel Depot $100 gas card will be given to the business who has the most festive storefront. 

City of Goleta Community Relations Manager Kelly Hoover said, “The Goleta Holiday Parade is a cherished Goleta tradition. Let’s show our support for the Greater Goleta Santa Barbara Lions Club who puts on this event every year by making this the best parade ever with a parade route that is merry and bright. We can’t wait to see Old Town businesses participate in what we hope will become a yearly tradition.”

Here’s how it works:

  • If you are on the parade route, decorate your storefront window in time for the Goleta Holiday Parade on December 2nd at 6:00 p.m.
  • Keep it family-friendly! Be Creative, festive, and have fun!
  • Please remember the City’s Plastic-Free Ordinance and refrain from the use of mylar balloons and decorations made of plastic.
  • Decorated windows should be viewable from the sidewalk but must not obstruct the sidewalk and/or pedestrian right of way.
  • A panel of judges (TBD) will view the windows at the event and a winner will be announced on Monday, December 4th.

Also, if you do not have a business on the parade route but want to help decorate existing or vacant businesses on the parade route, send an email to

Holiday at the Ranch

Save the date for Holiday at the Ranch! Join the fun on Saturday, December 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Stow House (304 N. Los Carneros Rd). Meet Santa and his goats, enjoy seasonal music, make children’s crafts, tour the decorated Stow house. Tractor rides will be available as well as food trucks on site. Schedule your time to meet Santa at Eventbrite. Tickets go on sale Friday November 24 (Children $5/Adults $10) and can be purchased here. For more information on events at the Stow House go to

City Strategizes Funding for Upcoming Capital Improvement Projects

There are twelve Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) scheduled to be delivered in the City of Goleta over the next five years. The City held a Special Council meeting on October 30 to discuss a funding strategy for the projects including the biggest project in the City’s history, Project Connect. The Council directed Goleta Public Works staff to return to Council on December 5th, 2023, to award Project Connect (estimated total cost is $100 million) and approve funding strategy for the unfunded portion. Council also rejected all bids received for the Hollister Old Town Interim Striping Improvements and directed staff to negotiate a construction change to add the Hollister Avenue Interim Striping Improvements to the Project Connect contract which would be more efficient and cost effective (estimated to save between $500,000 to $1,000,000). Council directed staff to return on December 19th, 2023, to approve the change order if negotiations are successful. A description of both projects is below.

Council also directed staff to come back in April 2024 to further review the CIP project delivery and funding for these projects. The City faces a gap in funding due to the significant cost increases over the past few years.

City staff will return to Council to hold a CIP workshop in early 2024 to discuss future CIP projects, prioritization goals, maintenance needs, and non-CIP master planning programs. CIP projects improve and enhance public safety, achieve sustainability, enhance livability, and expand economic development. Public Works, Neighborhood Services, and General Services all have CIP projects that will be part of this workshop.

The Special Council Meeting can be viewed on the City website at

About Project Connect

Project Connect is the City of Goleta’s comprehensive program to enhance pedestrian access and safety, improve road conditions and build critical linkage through Goleta while upgrading stormwater flows through San Jose Creek. Project Connect will be the City’s largest capital improvement project to date, requiring numerous right-of-way acquisitions and permits as well as close coordination with Caltrans. 

About Hollister Avenue Old Town Interim Striping Project

On January 19, 2021, the City Council approved a new Capital Improvement Program (CIP) project titled Hollister Avenue Old Town Interim Striping Project (Project). Council directed staff to develop striping plans that did not adjust the street width or existing sidewalk but implement parking and multi-modal improvements envisioned in the Hollister Avenue Complete Streets Corridor Plan Project. The Project allows for cost effective interim improvements (e.g., striping and pavement marking changes).

The Hollister Avenue Old Town Interim Striping Project is a cost effective, easily modified improvement that will be evaluated for how well it serves the needs of Old Town and will inform the final design of streetscape improvements once funding becomes available to construct the Hollister Avenue Complete Streets Corridor Project. When completed, the Hollister Avenue Complete Streets Corridor Project will enhance safety, access, and mobility for all users (pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders) on Hollister Avenue between Fairview Avenue and State Route 217.

City Relaunches as Online Business Directory

Watch Video Promo and Shop Local this Holiday Season

Goleta now has an online business directory! The City of Goleta has relaunched its shop local program, just in time for the holiday shopping season. The revamped format, formerly a digital gift card platform, is now an online, interactive business directory designed to encourage residents and visitors to shop, dine, and spend locally. The free resource includes businesses located within the city, a map view to see where the business is located, a search feature and filter options to easily find what you are looking for. The new business directory can be found on the City’s website at Watch our video promo to find out more:

Community Relations Manager Kelly Hoover said, “There are over 800 businesses that call Goleta home and this online business directory is a one stop shop where you can find them all in one place.  We hope you will use this resource to support Goleta businesses not only during the holidays but year-round and for years to come. Thanks in advance for shopping Goleta and supporting our local economy.”

Businesses located within the City of Goleta with a business license are eligible to be listed in the directory. If you are a Goleta business, we encourage you to take a moment and customize your free listing. The directory includes business name, address, phone number, website, and hours. Through the website, businesses can submit a request to be listed as well as update and add to their listing details such as: logo, social media links, promotions, photo galleries, and more. City staff will review and approve the listing before it is published.

For further updates, questions/concerns, or if you would like to speak with someone from the City regarding the directory, please contact the Community Relations Division at

Provide Input on Unmet Transit Needs

Listening session on December 6 seeks public input on how bus systems, dial-a-ride, and paratransit services can better serve residents in Santa Barbara County.

An unmet transit needs listening session will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, via Zoom Webinar hosted by the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG). The public is encouraged to stop by anytime during the two-hour virtual listening session to share comments or concerns about bus systems, dial-a-ride and paratransit services in Santa Barbara County, or express needs for new or expanded services in the county. Spanish language interpretation services will be available during the listening session.

Those unable to attend the December 6, 2023, listening session can take an online survey in English or Spanish until Friday, December 15, 2023. The public can also submit comments in writing to SBCAG at 260 North San Antonio Road, Suite B, Santa Barbara, CA 93110, or by email to

Comments provided at the listening session, on the online survey, or in writing are shared with local decision makers, transit agencies, and the California Department of Transportation to help influence options for transit services and projects. A summary of public input is presented to Santa Barbara County Transit Advisory Committee and SBCAG Board of Directors in early 2024.

WHAT: Unmet Transit Needs Listening Session

WHEN: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, December 6, 2023, (visit virtually anytime during the two-hour listening session)

WHERE: Zoom Webinar*:

  • Weblink:; OR
  • Webinar ID: 880 7526 7493; Passcode: 715185; OR
  • Telephone: (669) 900-9128

*Spanish-language interpretation services available

DETAILS: SBCAG is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodations for this meeting. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, accommodation requests should be made by Monday, December 5 to SBCAG at (805) 961-8900.

Online Survey, (English); (Spanish)

Provide feedback in writing to SBCAG at 260 North San Antonio Road, Suite B, Santa Barbara, CA 93110, or by email to

SBCAG will receive comments on transit needs in Santa Barbara County, as required under Section 99238.5 of the Public Utilities Code.

Meet and Greet at Goleta Farmers Market on December 10

Supervisor Hartmann, Mayor Perotte and Councilmember Kasdin to Attend

Come meet and say, “Hello” to the City of Goleta’s Mayor Paula Perotte, Councilmember Stuart Kasdin, Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann, and Goleta Union School District Area Three Board Member Emily Zacarias at the Goleta Farmers Market on Sunday, December 10 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The Farmers Market is hosted every Sunday at the Camino Real Marketplace (7004 Marketplace Drive). They will be located at a table in front of the Sheriff’s Substation next to the movie theater.

Supervisor Hartmann said, “Goleta’s Farmers Market is one of the best attended on the Central Coast! It’s a great place to connect with so many residents and families who are already there for Sunday errands. I look forward to seeing you there and hearing from you!”

“What a better way to spend a Sunday than connecting with our community at such an accessible and well-attended spot that values Goleta’s deep agricultural history,” said Mayor Paula Perotte.

Councilmember Stuart Kasdin added, “You have questions? You have concerns? Let’s hear them. We are here to listen. We want to have a conversation about what’s important to you.”

“As an elected official, it is important to hear from members of the community on issues that matter most. The farmers market is the perfect place to converse and meet new people in a casual public setting,” said Goleta Union School District Area Three Board Member Emily Zacarias.

Supervisor Hartmann, Mayor Perotte and Councilmember Kasdin are looking forward to meeting you, hearing your ideas, sharing about upcoming projects, and answering any questions or concerns you may have on local issues. Or you can also just stop by to say, “Hello!”

Hope to see you on December 10th at the Goleta Farmers Market.

Pictured from left-to-right: District Scheduler Gina Fischer, Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Goleta Union School District Area Three Board Member Emily Zacarias, Councilmember Stuart Kasdin and Mayor Paula Perotte at the Farmers Market in June 2023