Oprah’s Neighbors Fear Additions To Her Property Make Them Susceptible To Flooding

Oprah’s Neighbors Fear Additions To Her Property Make Them Susceptible To Flooding

Oprah Winfrey’s Montecito, California, estate is the envy of many as her sprawling 20,424 square foot mansion sits on over 60 acres of land.

After surviving severe mudslides caused by torrential rain and flooding in 2018, Winfrey has taken precautionary steps to protect her “Promised Land” through a wall she’s building between it and the San Ysidro Creek, according to the Los Angeles Times. The creek runs along the media mogul’s estate, and to avoid creek erosion and subsequent water damage, she is now attempting to reroute the water’s flow.

And her neighbors are not pleased.

Fearing that the boulder wall will redirect floodwaters onto their properties, many in the surrounding community demand construction be stalled. “You can’t alter creek canals and not expect there to be results,” Sharon Byrne, the Montecito Association executive director, said in an interview with Santa Barbra’s Noozhawk. “Don’t change the creeks. They are going to shift and move on their own.” Earlier this year, many residents evacuated due to heavy rainfall, a common issue in the Montecito area.

Planning for the wall commenced after Jimenez Nursery obtained a permit on Feb. 1. The permit seeks to reconstruct the creek bank after the flood and replace boulders that had either eroded or washed away, according to the Los Angeles Times. After a complaint was filed with the county, a group of officials and inspectors have since met to analyze the scale of the project. Currently, an investigation is still ongoing.

The wall was built along Winfrey’s Santa Rosa Lane property, which spans 23 acres, and is an extension of her originally purchased property. The estate, formerly known as Seamair Farm, hosts a ranch-style home built by prolific architect Cliff May, equestrian facilities, a stable, barn, riding rings, and a horse trainer’s house.