Las Positas Creek is one of the major tributaries to Arroyo Burro. It is 1.3 miles long and flows from the Santa Barbara Golf Club, under Earl Warren Showgrounds and Highway 101, then along the west side of Las Positas Road, and into Arroyo Burro near the intersection of Las Positas Road and Veronica Springs Road.
Las Positas Creek has been significantly modified by urban development, with roughly half of the total length of the creek being converted to storm drain pipe or concrete drainage channel.
The Las Positas Creek Restoration Project (Creek Project) is focused on improving water quality, riparian habitat, and flood protection in the lower half of the creek, between Las Positas Place and Veronica Springs Road. The Creeks Division completed a feasibility analysis and conceptual restoration plan for the Creek Project in 2014. Detailed hydrological analysis and preliminary plans were complete in 2015.
The restoration plans include removing 30,000 square feet of concrete lining from the creek channel, grading to establish shallower creek banks, planting the banks with native plant and tree species, and installing large sandstone boulders to protect the creek banks from erosion.
Native trees such as alders, sycamores, and oaks will be planted to help stabilize creek banks, provide shade, and improve habitat value. Native wetland plants will be planted to help improve water quality.
All the homes in the Las Positas Place and Veronica Place cul-de-sacs are currently in the FEMA 100-year floodplain, with 18 of those homes sited in the regulatory floodway. Therefore, another key aspect of the Creek Project includes widening the creek and installing additional culverts at the Las Positas Place and Veronica Springs Road crossings to increase flow capacity and improve flood protection.
The Creek Project is currently in the final design phase and is awaiting FEMA approval for the proposed naturalized creek alignment and flood conveyance.