With overwhelming support from public citizens and city councilmembers alike, the first steps toward planning a new Target superstore along Hollister Avenue in the City of Goleta were approved on Tuesday night. In a unanimous decision, the Goleta City Council agreed to process the company’s request for general plan amendments that would include realigning Los Carneros Way and restructuring property lines around at least four private properties.
The meeting included presentations from Target representatives and development liaisons, a public relations show that Councilmember Ed Easton called “impressive.” Kareem Ali, the company’s real estate manager, took the audience through Target’s history as a corporation, highlighting the company’s charity and community outreach projects, including its school library renovation efforts, field trip programs, and college scholarships. GreenbergFarrow architect Doug Cooper also explained Target’s dedication toward “green” building and eco-friendly measures. The company said the new 164,000-square-foot location could bring at least 200 jobs to Goleta.
Community members in attendance, some of whom defined themselves as mothers, were in overwhelming support of the project. Many explained concern over the commute to Target stores in Ventura and Santa Maria and hoped they would soon be able to put some money back into their own city. “I spend hundreds of dollars a month at Target,” said one mother. “Goleta should be getting that money.”
According to Suzanne Elledge, whose company is assisting Target through the development review process, Goleta has been in the store’s sights for at least 10 years. While previous efforts to open a location were trumped, Target tried its luck once again in March with the idea to open a new location just steps away from Goleta City Hall. In August, the company applied for a planner consultation and has since been assisted by Steve Chase, the city’s planning director.
While Target representatives explained that the overall planning process could take up to two years, Councilmember Roger Aceves said he hoped that wouldn’t be the case. “The one thing I have been consistently hearing from the public during every election period is this: when are we getting a Target? We want to thank you for not giving up on Goleta.”