CA: Tensions rise between residents, visitors over trail in affluent town

Source: SFGate

“Drama continues to unfold at a popular and controversial natural hot spring on the Central Coast. Montecito Hot Springs are several turquoise-blue pools of warm geothermal water. It’s accessible only via a hiking trail leading into Los Padres National Forest from an affluent neighborhood in Montecito. The springs’ popularity exploded during the pandemic, so much so that the roughly eight parking spaces at the trailhead leading to them no longer accommodated all of its visitors. People began parking their cars on the sides of nearby roads, and homeowners responded by placing large boulders and other landscaping features in public roadside right-of-ways, which landed them large fines from the county’s public works department in March. The hot springs’ most recent controversy, Noozhawk reported, comes in the form of a video that recently went viral among local residents.” (06/09/24)