Metro to Build Arlington Apartments

Thursday, August 22, 2013
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Metropolitan Theatres’ plans to build a 33-unit apartment building at the corner of Chapala and Sola streets up against the Arlington Theatre ​— ​now the site of a parking lot ​— ​garnered decidedly mixed reaction among members of the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission but still inched forward with a 4-2 vote. While a majority of the HLC members generally supported the project, some expressed reservations that the architecture was sufficiently distinctive for a structure slated to be next to the Arlington. One member wanted a few units lopped off to provide better sight lines from across town to the historic theater. The project architect objected that such a loss would render the project economically nonviable. Despite the vote, the approval was far from final, and the project will be subject to further HLC scrutiny.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Soon we shall have more density than Isla Vista along the most pleasant stretch of State Street. How nice to go from weirdly too much parking to aggravatingly too little parking.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2013 at 6:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

We'll need to encourage more homeless to frequent the area to add to the ambience.

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2013 at 7:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Whenever there's a show @Arlington, that rear parking lot gets filled with one or more tour buses that carry the performing act and their support crew. And they need space to move their stage equipment ... I suppose that aspect isn't a considerartion for the HLC.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

More cars, more traffic, more pollution, more density, more health problems.

Georgy (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2013 at 9:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

there is no shortage of million dollar units.
Such a Sell out!

easternpacific (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2013 at 1:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

More renters....ugh.

banjo (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2013 at 1:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Really, really unfortunate, even wrong that these major projects move along, especially in such an important public space, with essentially no notice to the public. This was listed, I see now, as a Concept Review on the HLC agenda but there are no plans attached to show what was being considered. Scroll down to Item 6 for the agenda item. ...How many of the non-architectect public is likely to have seen this, hands raised, pleased? --- don't see any, except one or two in the distance.

What does "inched forward" mean? Does it go now to the Planning Commission? Or? Clearly, Santa Barbara city is hostile to parking lots and parking - none of the councilmembers or city staff drive or, at least, think we should drive downtown! - and probably parking was not the best use of that space, but a 40' tall, mixed use development of 33 residential apartments, in a 52,945 sq ft building is by any standards a major development. What are the next steps or was this it?

Isn't the El Pueblo Viejo area supposed to have extra attention?

at_large (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The HLC agenda for the August 14 meeting is here: There is a very brief staff memo on 1330 Chapala Street included as part of the Staff Reports.

Staff says in the memo, ". The proposed development will not have a significant adverse impact upon the community's aesthetics or character in that the size, bulk or scale of the development will be compatible with the neighborhood ... and
4. The proposed development is consistent with the policies of the City of Santa Barbara Traffic Management Strategy ..." They could have said the relatively few words they used and just written, TRUST US!

at_large (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2013 at 2:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What is the size, bulk, and scale of a flat surface car lot?

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2013 at 5:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I hate developers.

chilldrinfthenight (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2013 at 12:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hate developers?
You should hate the fact that developers, in nearly every case, are smarter and better at what they do than are local/yocal political peons that attempt to socially engineer development.
It' the same old formula from our elected hacks: "Reduce parking to save the environment, increase the number of affordable units to help the poor, and make it pseudo fake Spanish Revival and you can over build".
It's the same old formula from developers: "The project is not economically viable unless we overbuild".
Create zoning rules, stick to them, and developers will be held in check. In every case I can think of around here simple density, parking, design, and height requirements would have self limited most problems with developers. Occasionally a very smart developer finds a way to totally obfuscate the rules and potentially destroy the nature of a neighborhood, but in most cases our duplicitous and outmatched public servants are willing co conspirators.
Just how much tax money have we lost from the past decade and a half with La Entrada, turning lower State into a wasteland?

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2013 at 8:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Developers love the idea of reducing the parking requirements, but there's no way they'll want to sign on to the idea of building small units for people with low incomes. Luxury condos have the highest profit margins. There will be heavy resistance from developers in getting them to change to building smaller cheaper units.

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2013 at 8:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Child Of The Night," That's rather strange - to "hate" someone that you don't even know for doing a necessary job.

Do you live in a house or an apartment? Thank a developer for providing your housing.

Do you shop in any stores? Thank a developer for building the stores.

No, I'm not a developer.

art (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2013 at 12:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Fantastic news!

Emily (anonymous profile)
August 24, 2013 at 1:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The article talks about 33 apartments (not luxury condos) near the heart of downtown. This is where we want people to live -not out in the foothills, isn't it?

neighbor (anonymous profile)
August 25, 2013 at 7:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sure, but that does not mean that we all agree on the density, parking, and potential negative effects on the current neighborhood.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 26, 2013 at 1:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah, I kind of have a vision in this country that people can live where they want to live, not where they're told to live.

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 26, 2013 at 1:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@botany: "Yeah, I kind of have a vision in this country that people can live where they want to live, not where they're told to live."

So I guess if I wanted to bulldoze the mission and build a mega-mansion, you'd be perfectly okay with that, correct?

This is precisely the reason people like you should be kept as far away from city planning as possible. If it were up to you, the city would be rendered uninhabitable in a matter of months.

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
August 27, 2013 at 6:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Uh, I don't think Botany owns the Mission. If he did the maintenance would be better...

Botany, have you been on another spending spree? Gawd I hate you rich white robber barons and can I come over to your Mission and play? Maybe a game of Cowboys and Indians with paint ball guns?

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 27, 2013 at 7:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Gee, I never thought of living in the Mission, or the White House, or maybe the Smithsonian. How about the Clark Estate?

My thoughts were a little more simplistic than that. If I want to live downtown, I would live downtown. If I want to live in the foothills, I'll live in the foothills. But if I could afford to buy the Clark Estate (I wish), I could live there if I wanted to.

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 27, 2013 at 7:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Too many attorneys attached to Clark. Please be realistic.
Just because you cannot afford something should not get in the way of your aspirations under our "new economics".
I'm telling you, this Mission thing is sounding better and better. Please require tourists to dress more appropriately when they are barging in on Mass and only schedule our paint ball antics during off hours.


italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 27, 2013 at 1:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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