1298 CVR Latest

On Monday, January 26, the proposed mixed-use development project on the corner of Coast Village and Olive Mill Roads, where the Union 76 gas station currently operates, will be seen for a third time by Santa Barbara City’s Architectural Board of Review. The three-story project, which will include commercial space on the ground floor and 8 residential units on the second and third stories, received Planning Commission approval in March of last year and City Council approval (on appeal) in July.

Associate planner Peter Lawson tells us the ABR will be looking to see that the project has transformed based on the conditions the City Council outlined. Achieving compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood, reducing the apparent bulk of the building, and re-studying the relationship between the second- and third-floor setbacks in order to reduce the visibility of the third story were part of the specific directions given to ABR. Lawson said architect Jeff Gorrell has worked on “softening the design of the Olive Mill side,” among other changes.

In December, ABR instructed owner John Price and Gorrell to look into several aspects of the architecture and landscaping of the project, including studying the use of textures, materials and color changes on the building to better fit in with older buildings along CVR. They asked that landscaping be used to mitigate the size, bulk and scale of the northeast corner of the building, and that landscaping be provided along the west property line. The board also asked that bike parking on Coast Village Road be provided.

The project, which many say will act as the “Gateway to Montecito” has been contested by some from the start, mainly because of its three-story height and close proximity to neighbors. Opponents throughout the process, including a group that named themselves “Save Coast Village Road,” claim the project will infringe on mountain views and add traffic congestion to an already busy 5-way corner. Supporters have countered that the mixed-use building will bring a needed economic boost to the city, and is better than the alternative – a 24-hour gas station – that the parcel is currently zoned for. If preliminary approval is granted, members of the public have 10 days to appeal the decision back to City Council.

MPC Latest

First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal and his staff are in the process of interviewing four applicants for an open seat on the Montecito Planning Commission. The commission’s chair, Bob Bierig, is stepping down next month.

Applicants are James Chase, Dan Eidelson, William McBride and Mark Allen Shuman. Executive assistant Jeremy Tittle tells us Supervisor Carbajal is expected to nominate his selection to the Board of Supervisors in early February.

Originally there was talk that commissioner Claire Gottsdanker was also leaving her post, but Tittle confirmed that at this time only Bierig’s seat is open.

Tea Fire Forum

Montecito Association is hosting a Tea Fire Forum this coming Monday, January 26 at 7 pm. Representatives from Montecito Fire District, MERRAG, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Barbara Police Department, Montecito Water District and CHP will be in attendance to discuss their role in the fire, as well as answer questions from residents. The Forum will be held at El Montecito Presbyterian Church on East Valley Road.