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Montecito Will Be Caruso'd

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Developer Rick Caruso's $200 million plan to rebuild the former Miramar Hotel into a 192-room luxury resort hotel complex looks like it's going forward. According to a press release issued by Caruso Affiliated, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 1 today to uphold the Montecito Planning Commission's approval of project. Is this the last hurdle? Yes, as far as we know, a spokeswoman for Caruso tells us. They expect to break ground early 2009 with grand opening scheduled for 2011. Even though some residents--who had originally opposed the project--came around, other groups alleged the project was improperly fast-tracked through city channels, according to a July LA Times article about the project. [MarketWatch]