Developer Jack Theimer has postponed the first official public hearing — scheduled for October 15 — on his plans to build a 162-room four-star resort on the easternmost portion of the Carpinteria Bluffs, citing last-minute design changes. The meeting, slotted to take place on the site, would have provided area residents and Carpinteria officials a detailed description of the proposal and an opportunity for public comment, as well. Although the land in question — 26 acres — is zoned for resort development, Theimer’s plans have generated a stir among Carpinteria’s slow-growth community. The meeting would have included members of the Planning Commission, the City Council, and the Architectural Review Board.
No new date has been suggested, though city officials said they don’t expect it to take place before the November elections, in which two city council seats are up for grabs. Adding to the complexity of the issue, John King — who owns four acres next to the site Theimer hopes to develop — has dispatched an architect to City Hall armed with preliminary drawings for a second hotel. While that, too, conforms with the city’s general plan, the prospect of two hotels on the bluffs — not just one — would likely trigger strong community reaction.