Even the best neighborhoods in the country have their problems. And when we say the “best neighborhoods in the country,” we’re talking about the super exclusive, gated community in Montecito, California where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have put down roots in America. (Other residents of the area include A-Listers like Oprah Winfrey, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, Ariana Grande, Ellen DeGeneres, and Gwyneth “Goop” Paltrow.)
So, what could possibly be wrong with a neighborhood capable of attracting such top-tier, ultra-wealthy residents? Apparently, it smells. Bad. VERY bad. VERY VERY bad.”It smells like offal that has been rotting in the sun. It makes my stomach churn,” a local from the Montecito area reportedly told The Mirror. “I’ve seen lots of homeowners closing their windows when it wafts over.”
According to the New York Post, the smell is wafting over from a nearby bird refuge (which is situated on a 42-acre stretch of saltwater marsh). Specifically, the refuge is the Andrée Clark Bird Refuge, which happens to be one of the largest wildlife refuges in the U.S.
Cameron Benson, the City of Santa Barbara’s clean water manager, told the Mirror that stagnant water can contribute to the smell, and that the “odor issues are sporadic and sometimes they are worse in some conditions.”
Apparently, local officials think the Montecito stink could be here to stay for a while, potentially lingering until improvements to the pipeline are finished (which is currently projected to happen sometime in the fall). On the other hand, Benson seems to have gone on the record defending the area’s smell—or, at very least, the bird refuge’s role in any odor issues.
“The Bird Refuge does sometimes emit an unpleasant odor,” Benson told The Post. “But it does not smell now, and has not for some time.”Harry and Meghan haven’t made any public comments in the “Does Montecito Smell Bad RN or No?” debate, but an insider close to the couple did tell The Post that rumors claiming the foul stench was actually coming from their house were definitely *NOT* true.