WEATHER »

Cottage Wins Housing Squabble


Cottage Hospital won a key legal victory that will allow it to move forward with plans to build 115 units of housing at the site of the abandoned St. Francis Hospital. The 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected claims by St. Francis Friends and Neighbors, a group of neighborhood advocates opposed to the housing plan, who charged the City Council exceeded its legal authority in granting Cottage approval in December 2006. To approve the housing proposal, the council had to allow Cottage to shoehorn more units into the six-acre space than existing zoning and set-back requirements would allow. The council opined that such modifications were acceptable because Cottage pledged to sell 81 of the 115 proposed units to its employees at below-market prices. St. Francis Friends noted the units in question were to be sold at “upper-middle income” rates and objected that nothing in the city’s municipal code authorized the use of bonus densities for such relatively affluent homebuyers. The panel of three appellate justices disagreed. Additionally, it observed approvingly that the hospital located the densest development at the center of the site to minimize impacts on the neighborhood and that by providing employee housing, Cottage assured that healthcare workers would be available to Santa Barbara in times of emergency. Shortly after the court ruling was issued, Cottage submitted an application for a demolition and grading permit, as well as for plans to begin construction on half the units.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Bank Robbery Suspect Kills Self in Bathroom

A man barricaded in the bathroom of a Goleta business apparently killed himself after robbing a bank ...

News-Press’ Found to Owe Union and Employees $2.2 Million

National Labor Relations Board puts money amount on employee losses since 2006.

Fire Starts Just West of Buellton

[Update] Vegetation fire starts on the 1000 block of Highway 246; Bobcat Springs on evacuation warning.

UCSB Enrollment Up

Admission jumps 10 percent though housing concerns remain.

Banned in Santa Barbara

City Council says no more plastic straws or Styrofoam.