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Sidewalks and parking lost at Hollister Avenue and South Glen Annie Road.

courtesy Patricia Moreno

Sidewalks and parking lost at Hollister Avenue and South Glen Annie Road.


Loss of Hollister/Glen Annie Sidewalks the Last Straw

Westar Project a Series of Insults to Neighborhood


Why would a developer choose to tear up Hollister Avenue and South Glen Annie Road, causing more congestion in an already high-traffic area, right before a three-day weekend?! On Friday, all the sidewalks were torn out of the section of Hollister Avenue in front of Costco and Camino Real Marketplace shopping center and down the right side of the Westar Project; orange cones are everywhere. And on the Friday before a huge three-day holiday! Westar has no consideration for anyone except themselves.

My neighbors and I park on South Glen Annie Road, the street on the right side of the Westar Project, but not now. We also walk on the sidewalks along Hollister Avenue to the safety of the crosswalk at the light as we go to Camino Real shopping center, but not this weekend. Is this poor planning? We knew they were going to tear up the street and sidewalks, but couldn’t they wait until Tuesday after the holiday? Will they immediately put in new sidewalks so folks who live here will be less affected?

Crosswalk inaccessible.
Click to enlarge photo

courtesy Patricia Moreno

Crosswalk inaccessible.

When the water was to be connected to Westar, the Camino Real Marketplace didn’t want to be without water for a day. This was understandable. But the solution was to interrupt the neighbors’ sleep by working all night long. Back hoes, construction crews, four generators, bright lights, dump trucks backing up with their loud beep-beep-beeps, work crews shouting over the generators to be heard, the sound and smell of welding torches.

We feel we “took a bullet” for the Camino Real and Westar and that they owe us. Instead, Westar now wants to put an excess amount of obnoxious, over-lit signs all around the project: “Here I Am,” “Vacancy,” “Pool House,” “Smart and Final.” The project is just too big, and adding salt to injury, it will now have too many over-lit signs. And then there’s the strong stench coming from Westar once a week when they change the portable toilets. Even when you shut your windows, you can still smell it.

This project is going to stand out like a sore thumb. If you haven’t had a chance to drive by and notice how high the partially built one-story Westar structure already is, wait until the other two stories go up. And there’s the final phase of three-story structures in the back. The City of Goleta will get approximately 273 apartments in the back of the 23-acre property and several commercial buildings in the front with the minimum parking required. Yahoo for everyone.

Westar says it will not rent to UCSB students. As anyone who has been to the Westar/Goleta City Council meetings can attest, Westar people are liars. I do not dislike the UCSB students, but let’s be honest; they like to party. We all partied when we were young. There have been a lot of mishaps in Isla Vista. Do we want that spilling out into Goleta?

The Westar folks are Big City Slickers who’ll sell your shirt off your back, and the Goleta City Council has no backbone whatsoever. Time after time, I’ve watched the Goleta City Council look like the councilmembers are going to take a stand on an issue, and at the end, they sit still and let Westar have its way. Not only are the Westar people violating so many traffic, health, and air-quality issues, but the Goleta City Council is allowing it. It’s obvious they want this project, and that’s that.

We have no water! Go look at Cachuma! Too much building, no water, you do the math.

If the city needs housing, why aren’t houses, good old-fashioned houses with front and back yards without association fees, being built instead of apartments? Families want to live in and own a house, not rent an apartment.

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