Area: Approximately 1249 acres
North: The City limits
East: The City limits
West: the City limits
South: The top of Mission Ridge
Cielito contains the Sheffield Reservoir and Parma Park, which is 199 acres of open space land in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountain Range. Running through the lower portions of the neighborhood are Sycamore Canyon Road (State Highway 144), Stanwood Drive (State Highway 192), and Mission Ridge Road (State Highway 192), all of which have been included in the City's Scenic Highway Element. All are intended for designation as part of Santa Barbara's Scenic Highway system. Skofield Park, Rattlesnake Canyon, St. Mary's Seminary, and the Mount Calvary Monastery are also in the area.
Existing development in the Cielito neighborhood is single-family houses which are almost entirely on lots in excess of one acre in size, and is limited to the area west of Gibraltar and El Cielito Roads. The topography varies from rolling to very steep. Existing development has taken place primarily on the rolling portions. The General Plan indicates that the entire area should be one low density, and has designated segments of the steeper hillsides as major open space areas. One dwelling unit to the acre is the density indicated by the General Plan for the Cielito neighborhood. However, designated major hillside open space areas should be rezoned to more restrictive densities than one dwelling unit to the acre.
The large undeveloped parcels and steep topography provide an opportunity for planned developments using the technique of grouping dwelling units. In so doing, large natural or improved open spaces could be left where topography warrants. An example of this type of development, El Cielito Oaks, was constructed in the vicinity of the Sheffield Reservoir. It should serve as an example to be followed by others now that the precedent has been established.