The future of the eastern Goleta Valley was on display this past Tuesday, and will continue to be at a series of meetings for the public to review the Goleta Community Plan Update, which will dictate the next couple decades of development in the area between the cities of Goleta and Santa Barbara that’s commonly called Noleta. The plan is based on a visioning document, the input of the Goleta Valley Planning Advisory Committee, and the general public, which first saw the plan during a series of meetings between summer 2009 and last February.
Though Tuesday’s meeting just covered the introduction, public involvement is expected to rise as the topics of environmental resources (Nov. 9), public services (Nov. 23), and land use (Dec. 16 and Jan. 11) are addressed. Among other interesting aspects are the notion of the “Valley Junction” zone around the Hollister-Turnpike-Calle Real neighborhoods, which the plan hopes to foster as the “foundation of Eastern Goleta Valley community identity, a hub of community activities, a location for infill development, and a focus area for multi-modal transportation and public space improvements”; and the “State Street Bowtie,” which is the entry point to Noleta where State becomes Hollister near Highway 154 and Modoc Road—a location the plan envisions as “a pleasant, thriving, walkable, and bicycle-friendly commercial corridor” with opportunities for “redevelopment/revitalization, mixed-use infill, and improvements in transportation and circulation infrastructure.”
But despite the widespread effects of the plan, Santa Barbara County’s deputy director of planning, Vicki Parker, doesn’t think these meetings will result in any substantial changes to the plan. “Everything that’s in the plan we’ve talked about on a number of occasions,” she said. “These will be mostly about language … These are their goals. We just put them in planner-speak.”
For more information, see the latest version of the plan here. The meetings are all at 6 p.m. in the Planning Commission hearing room on the first floor of the County Administration Building in downtown Santa Barbara.