After several hours of intense discussion on Tuesday evening, June 2, the Goleta City Council voted unanimously to send the developer of Citrus Village – a 12-unit condominium complex proposed for a parcel on the western end of Calle Real – back to the drawing board. “We went round and round, with the developer very frustrated,” said Councilmember Margaret Connell, noting that the main issues the City Council had with the project as proposed were its size, bulk, and scale. However, the project having already been reviewed by Goleta’s Design Review Board and its Planning Commission, the Council will not send Peikert Group architects – the project applicant – through those steps of the approval process again.
Councilmember Ed Easton, who was on the Planning Commission when the project was heard there, suggested that the number of units in the development be reduced from 12 to nine. The council also expressed reservations over the heights of the three-story buildings called for in the project design, which are up to 33 feet tall. Citing money worries as a reason for keeping the project at its current size, the applicant showed financial documents to the Council, indicating that while the project will cost over $5 million to build, only about $4.5 million would be recovered by selling the units. Furthermore, they pointed out that with fewer units, the requirement that the developer provide affordable housing in the project will be lifted. Nevertheless, the Council directed the developer to come back with something smaller.