ABR Gives Feedback on New Condo Project

Thursday, February 21, 2013
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Plans to develop a three-story, four-unit condo project near Oak Park by the intersection of De la Vina and Alamar streets ran into some turbulence at the Architectural Board of Review with several neighbors objecting the proposed development would encroach five feet beyond what the city’s front yard setbacks currently allow. The developers sought this variance because Mission Creek precludes building deeper into the lot. Aside from that front setback modification, city planners say the proposal is allowed under current zoning guidelines. At 32 feet high, it falls within the 45-foot height maximum allowed. The four townhouse condos are each about 2,000 square feet in area, and affordable to “moderate” income buyers, meaning they can make no more or less than 80-to-120 percent of the regional median income. ABR did not vote to approve or disapprove the project, only to give preliminary feedback on design compatibility. On the one hand, board members found the project’s architecture is more boxy and contemporary than the traditional Santa Barbara look; on the other, they recognized that several apartment complexes in the neighborhood bear the hallmark of the 1960s and late ‘50s.

This story was amended February 21 to state that the four townhouses are not market rate.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Hopefully the ABR will read some of these comments . Compatibility at this intersection of Alamar and De laVina St. is complex, especially for market rate luxury condos. Yes, the view from the 4th floor will be astounding. But more so, the view of these boxy 4 story condos will hinder the historic views that we all enjoy there. Forget the 40' for a moment and take away from the project to give the breathing room that we, and the Mission Creek watershed need and deserve. after all, we are making way for the Steelhead to move back up to the headwaters.

Besides, the constant smoke pollution from the Chicken Ranch is deplorable enough for the residents who live in the 2 story apartments there. The De la Vina corridor doesn't need to be gentrified further . It's one of the last refuges for local businesses to thrive due to the affordability. Traffic, also is already a big problem, with volume and speed. I live here, and I know, I'm there everyday. Two stories max, layer cake mass, with generous setbacks is the only way this could fly.

easternpacific (anonymous profile)
February 21, 2013 at 8:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

More of these condos need to be regulated to be affordable, and then the community benefit could be achieved to allow the shrunken front setback. The rear setback along Mission Creek is sacrosanct, though.

This whole side of Alamar Avenue is boxy apartments, so this would be more of the same.

The neighbors could consider that the taxi business at this house would be gone finally, along with taxis stored on the public streets.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
February 21, 2013 at 12:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This area has been wiped out with over-development. The new hospital is way to big. Now more big box condo's. The progessives at City hall have really sold out to developers.

Georgy (anonymous profile)
February 21, 2013 at 5:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If they're under $100G build'em. There's not a tenant in this county that doesn't support some form of rent control. Don't want that, give middle/working class people affordable housing opportunities. If you really want Santa Barbara to continue to be a viable place for anyone. Othwerwise you'll just have faux aristocrats and gangs, whilst your former human assets have found better, more quality environs.
People always tout "mountains and ocean, mountains and ocean" as if no place else in CA had these attributes.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 21, 2013 at 5:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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