Plans to develop a three-story, four-unit condo project near Oak Park by the intersection of De la Vina and Alamar streets ran into some turbulence at the Architectural Board of Review with several neighbors objecting the proposed development would encroach five feet beyond what the city’s front yard setbacks currently allow. The developers sought this variance because Mission Creek precludes building deeper into the lot. Aside from that front setback modification, city planners say the proposal is allowed under current zoning guidelines. At 32 feet high, it falls within the 45-foot height maximum allowed. The four townhouse condos are each about 2,000 square feet in area, and affordable to “moderate” income buyers, meaning they can make no more or less than 80-to-120 percent of the regional median income. ABR did not vote to approve or disapprove the project, only to give preliminary feedback on design compatibility. On the one hand, board members found the project’s architecture is more boxy and contemporary than the traditional Santa Barbara look; on the other, they recognized that several apartment complexes in the neighborhood bear the hallmark of the 1960s and late ’50s.


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