Change for the Better, Council Says

Only Francisco Sides With Neighbor Critics to Cottage Hospital Housing

Even the two Santa Barbara City councilmembers most critical of Cottage Hospital’s proposal to build 115 new homes - 70 percent of which will be sold at below market prices to Cottage employees at the site of its former competitor, St. Francis Hospital - agreed that the changed made to the design since the City Council approved it last November made it better. Neighborhood critics who argued that the changes, which resulted in an expansion of the building envelope and a reduction in the amount of open space, found little traction in their effort to send Cottage back to the drawing boards. They charged that Cottage seriously underrepresented the true size of its actual proposal, understating the size of one garage by 17,000 square feet and vastly underestimating the amount of demolition trucks would have to haul away. As a result, these critics say, the environmental mitigations required were insufficient.

Councilmember Das Williams, who voted against Cottage’s original housing proposal, said he could not find an “intellectually honest reason” to support the appeal. New councilmember Dale Francisco - who had campaigned against the housing project - praised the changes, but voted in favor of the neighbors’ appeal anyway. He did so, he said, because he felt members of Architectural Board of Review were improperly admonished not to consider the project’s size bulk and scale when the changes were reviewed.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Senior Fair Hosts the ‘Young at Heart’

The Senior Fair brought together more than 25 organizations to match needs with services.

City College Ranked #1 by Value Colleges

High graduation rate, community service, and online degree programs made SBCC a 'flawless investment.'

News Commentary: Ribbon Cutting Is Not As Easy As It Looks

Grand opening for new Eastside bridge conveys a tingle of progress.

Santa Barbara Rental Prices Have Skyrocketed Over the Last Five Years

The average rent for a South Coast studio is $1,553.

Trio Stops the Show at Board of Education

More than a dozen appeal to Santa Barbara Unified School District to maintain music classes and programs.