A Fresh & Easy grocery store slated for Milpas Street survived a last-minute appeal by its next-door neighbor and got the final green light Tuesday by the Santa Barbara City Council. Councilmembers, though, ordered city staff and the developer to shrink the building’s size to accommodate a wider sidewalk.
Longtime Milpas Street resident Constantino Frangos objected that he hadn’t been properly notified of design modifications sought — and obtained — by Fresh & Easy this April. Had he been notified, said attorney Tony Fischer, Frangos would have objected to the eight-foot-high cinder block wall proposed for the perimeter of the property, located next to the recently demolished site of the Whitefoot Meat Market butcher shop. The council rejected Frangos’s appeal on the basis of staff’s assertion he had, in fact, been legally notified at the beginning of the process and that it had been his job since then to keep abreast.
The new grocery store — which will stand one story and 28 feet tall — complies with all applicable zoning rules and no variances were requested. Likewise, the eight-foot wall was defended as a sound buffer to protect area residents from the hum emitting from the commercial operation.