Council Approves Mixed-Use Development

The Santa Barbara City Council voted in favor of a three-story mixed-use development—six condos and two ground-floor shops—on the 500 block of Chapala Street. The move came despite opposition from the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission, which has voted against the development twice, citing incompatibility with the adjacent Brinkerhoff district, a small strip of one-and-two story Victorian buildings. The council itself had voted in favor of the project two years ago, but when the developer let his permits expire this March, the commission refused to process the application any further. Four councilmembers argued it would be unfair to kill a project when the developer had worked so hard to modify his plans in response to community concerns. But councilmembers Dale Francisco and Michael Self countered that the canyonization of Chapala Street had since emerged as a hot button issue, promoting an uprising of opposition to several of the large buildings that have sprouted up along lower Chapala.

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