A new fire station across the street from Sandpiper Golf Club is proposed to better serve the population of Western Goleta, which has grown beyond the capacity of the existing Station 11 on Storke Road. On Thursday evening, the city holds its second discussion of the project — a single story, 11,600-square-foot structure at 7952 Hollister Avenue, according to the project website — at a meeting at Ellwood School’s multipurpose room.
Since the first public discussion in November, the plans have moved several building elements further to the west, including the tower feature and the fuel tank, said Claudia Dato, senior project manager for the city. The eastern boundary closest to The Hideaway townhomes is being addressed by the landscape architect, she said, the trash enclosure doors now open to the south, and wrought-iron fencing should tie into the aesthetic of Hideaway’s border. Public areas remain in the front of the fire station, Dato said, and some trees will come down in order to give the fire trucks the needed radii to make turns.
The new station, which will serve the area from about Ellwood Beach Drive to just east of the county’s Refugio Road, has been in the city’s sights since around 2002. By 2010, the area population was sorely above the maximum 4,000 people per firefighter ratio. It was 7,198 people per firefighter according to the 2000 Census, explained Dato. The personnel for the new station would first rotate in from existing county stations, with the new station enabling an improvement in fire response time from the current 7-9 minutes to the 5-minute goal, according to a January 2016 staff report.
Funding for the project would come through the city’s Fire Facility Development Impact Fee and other development impact fees, Dato said. The Hideaway gave the future fire station $1.5 million outside its development fees, she added, which the Mariposa at Ellwood Shores senior project also did, but to a lesser degree. The cost of the new firehouse was estimated to be around $6.3 million in the staff report, and the job was awarded to Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects of Santa Barbara, which also designed Montecito’s fire headquarters and renovated the City of Santa Barbara’s Fire Station 1 on Carrillo Street.
As for the hydrogen sulfide monitor offsite from the Venoco processing plant that city residents have been demanding — especially after the October exposure that came from a water well — that is not a part of the project, Dato said, but may be considered after the project has gone through Coastal Commission review. A more sensitive hand-held H2S detection unit has been purchased for Fire Station 11, she affirmed, at a cost of $17,000.
The meeting for the new Fire Station 10 takes place Thursday, March 16, at 6 p.m., Ellwood School multipurpose room (7686 Hollister Avenue). To be apprised of project updates by email or text, sign up with the city here.
Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the tower has moved further to the west, the fencing is not a perquisite of Homeland Security rules, and that the city’s General Fund is not a source of construction funding.