The Goodland Outlook Edition 19,
September 12, 2014
This edition provides updates on three major Goleta developments in West Goleta currently seeking approval. They include a new Marriott hotel on Hollister, a proposal for 60 new houses just north of Cathedral Oaks on land currently zoned for agriculture, and a Taco Bell Drive Thru just west of the Camino Real Marketplace (Costco.)
It’s not too late to provide your input on these projects – the City needs to hear from us. See contact information below.
Marriott Residence Inn
This is a proposal for a 118 room, 80,945 square foot extended-stay hotel, located on the corner of Hollister and Robin Hill Road. This undeveloped parcel includes the last intact Chumash village and burial site in the City, eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
This project is going to the Goleta City Council for final approval on Tuesday, evening September 16, 2014. We oppose this project for five key reasons:
- Density: The lot on which this project is proposed already has on it one high density development of 106,500 square feet. Now in order to get approval for this second development that probably would not have been granted if both had been proposed at the same time, the lot must be split. Plus, approval of the proposed project requires modifications to the City’s existing zoning ordinance for setbacks and parking. The project is clearly too large for the site.
- Chumash Heritage Site: It’s been established that this lot contains significant historical Chumash resources. We should continue to respect the ancient village site and burials, and not build here.
- Traffic: With new construction approved at nearby Westar, Rincon Palms Hotel, Villages at Los Carneros and UCSB, and the recently constructed Camino Real Business Park, traffic circulation and safety are already undergoing stress in this part of town.
- Goleta is about to have all the hotel rooms it needs. Goleta already has one new Marriott just up the road near the Storke/Hollister intersection. And the Rincon Palms Hotel has been approved at the Storke/Hollister intersection itself. Goleta also has the remodeled Holiday inn, the Best Western and the Motel 6 on Camino Real. And there is a Hampton Inn on Hollister. UCSB is planning 32 new “extended stay” units on Campus. Goleta does not need another hotel.
- Water Impacts: The Goleta Water District just (on September 9) implemented the voter approved SAFE Initiative moratorium which prohibits the Water District from providing new or expanded service connections until the drought. Next year’s Cachuma deliveries will be just 45% of entitlement, with even less in future years until the drought is over and Cachuma fills.
This project should be subject to the moratorium, but instead is relying on a loophole to utilize the historic (1990s) water use from the existing building for this new parcel. Denying this project would prevent the exploitation of this unfortunate loophole.
To voice your opposition, please either attend the City Council meeting, 6 PM at City Hall on Sept. 16, or send an email to Council members, whose contact information is listed below. For more information visit Friends of Saspili. To see the Goleta Council agenda and staff report, click here and look for item F on the evening session.
Shelby Residential Project
The project includes a development of 64 single-family houses on a 14.38-acre parcel currently zoned for agriculture in Goleta’s General Plan. They will range in size from 1,765 sq. ft. to 3,063 sq. ft.
This is located at 7400 Cathedral Oaks (near Evergreen Drive). The Environmental Impact Report has been circulated. Once the EIR is approved, the developer will apply to Goleta’s Planning Commission for approval. After that, the developer will have to apply to Goleta’s City Council to amend Goleta’s General Plan that has zoned this property for agriculture. We believe that this project should not be approved for several reasons:
- Goleta has more than enough land zoned for adding more housing. There is no need to rezone farm land. Developers can build on other land currently zoned for housing.
- Goleta does not want to lose any more precious agricultural land. Initiative G2012 that preserves parcels zoned for agriculture was passed by 72% of the voters in 2012. Though the Shelby parcel is exempt from G2012 because it initiated planning earlier, it is not entitled to an amendment to Goleta’s General Plan.
- “The houses planned for this project will likely average $1 million or more, not affordable for 90% of Goleta residents.” This project offers little benefit for Goletans, in return for significant impacts such as loss of agricultural land, water supply, traffic and views.
To see the current EIR, click here. We will keep you up to date as this project proceeds through the approval process.
Taco Bell Drive-Through Project
The project includes is a 1,686 sq. ft. building with a drive-thru lane at the corner of Hollister and Pacific Oaks. The drive-thru lanes will run along Hollister and Pacific Oaks. The hours will be 7 a.m. to midnight on Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
We believe that this project raises several important issues:
- As a drive thru, it will be a “magnet” for more car traffic in an area already severely congested and where two major approved projects are underway. It is located adjacent to the Albertson shopping center which is itself adjacent to the Camino Real (Costco) shopping center and the K-Mart center. The large, commercial and residential Westar project is under construction across the street and the 2-story Rincon Palms Hotel will soon begin construction at the Storke/Hollister intersection. Adding drive-thru traffic to this area will put added stress on traffic and safety in this area.
- A drive thru is not needed. Jack-in-the-Box already exists at the Storke/Hollister intersection and McDonald’s has a drive-thru at the Fairview intersection. This is one of the reasons the McDonald’s proposed drive-through at the Storke/Hollister intersection was recently rejected (for the third time.)
- A drive thru, with its added traffic, noise and trash, is incompatible with the substantial residential area just across Pacific Oaks Avenue.
Goleta’s city staff has issued a Negative Declaration, which is essentially a green light for this project. The comment period has closed.
Next, the developers will be seeking approval at Goleta’s Planning Commission, at a date to be determined. If you want to learn more, click here We will keep you up to date as this project proceeds through the approval process.
CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE CITY OF GOLETA
To email Goleta’s City Council Members, Planning Commission Members, City Manager, Director of Planning and Planning Manager, click on the addresses below: Michael Bennett; Paula Perotte; Roger Aceves; Tony Vallejo; Jim Farr. B. Daniels; T.Dressler; G. Jenkins; J. Solomon; E. Onnen; M. West; M. Green. D. Singer; J. Carmen.