76 Station Development Update

After several design and concept reviews, developer John Price is ready to present the final version of the 1298 Coast Village Road commercial and residential project before the City Planning Commission, according to Peter Lawson, associate planner for the City of Santa Barbara Community Development Planning Division.

City Planning will issue a Negative Declaration Document by October 15 in order to complete a comprehensive review of potential environmental impact. A public hearing on the project will be held November 15.

The three-story project, designed to replace the 76 Station on the corner of Coast Village Road and Olive Mill Road, has raised concerns from many Coast Village business owners and area citizens. Maureen Murphy recognizes that the project has changed since its initial presentation, the developer having responded to public input by decreasing the height, increasing the setback, and adding public landscaping, among other changes.

Ms Murphy, a member of the Coast Village Business Association, says the Association is working on a master plan that will create guidelines for future development of the area and prevent it from becoming, as she says, “another Chapala corridor.”

According to Ms Murphy, it is important for the public to become familiar with the modified project and to ask questions and express concerns at the November 15 hearing. Before that time, Peter Lawson, project case manager, will explain the current status and design of the project to any interested community members.

The project consists of two ground-floor commercial buildings topped by eight townhouse condominiums. A covered paseo in the center connects the commercial buildings, and a view corridor lies between the two towers of the condominium complex.

The maximum height facing Coast Village Road is 35 feet, down from 45 feet.

Architect Jeff Gorell, of the local firm Lendik & Minor, has created an 18,196-square-foot Spanish-style structure with underground and ground-floor parking. The building will be set back 10 feet from the property line, which starts at the back of the sidewalks. The second floor staggers in on the edges and is set back 10 to 14 feet while the third floor is set back 24 feet.

On the second floor, the townhouse condominiums are clustered around a central courtyard, which is open to the sky and includes private patios as well as common areas. The plans are available for viewing at the City of Santa Barbara Community Development Department Planning Division, 630 Garden Street.

The plans call for retaining two veteran trees and creating an undulating, landscaped parkway between the street and the sidewalk. The public sidewalk will meander onto the property in order to provide the landscaped buffer. Three of the four driveways will be eliminated. Three public parking places will replace the westernmost driveway.

The project includes two modifications. One is a second-story balcony that encroaches on the 10-foot setback by three and a half feet. The other is a short section at the back that encroaches on the commercial-to-residential setback rule by seven of the required 17 feet.

According to Peter Lawson, plans are in place to remove the gas tanks and provide for ongoing remediation of any soil and groundwater pollution. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department is in charge of reviewing these activities. Also, engineers have found no water table problems that would complicate construction of the underground parking structure.

Will Jog for Food

Montecito Union School’s annual jogathon on Friday, October 5, has students running laps for food; healthful non-hormone organic food. Seventy-five percent of the monies earned will go to support the new Healthy Lunch Program created by the Healthy Lunch Committee and Village Modern Foods. Twenty-five percent of the money will be donated to the Unity Shoppe, which provides free food and clothing to Santa Barbara area families.

The day kicks off at the 8:30 am flag salute, when students will participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new track that was funded by the Montecito Educational Foundation. The project was spearheaded by parent Tad Buchanan.

Precisely at 12:20 pm, students will take to the track wearing the official 2007 jogathon t-shirts designed by 5th grader, Julia Kupiec. Northern Trust donated the funds for the shirts so each MSU student can wear one. Popsicles await the thirsty participants at the end of their laps.

Students who collect $500 in donations or more will earn a bowling party with MUS Principal Kris Bergstrom. The class collecting the most pledges will earn a pizza and ice cream party. All students collecting $250 or more will attend the Unity Shoppe annual telethon with Ms Bergstrom and present the donation check on behalf of the students of Montecito Union School.