After much opposition from Goleta residents and an undesirable Environmental Impact Report (EIR), the California Highway Patrol (CHP) announced Tuesday that it would abandon proposed development of a new CHP station on Hollister Avenue next to Ellwood Elementary School. Instead, officials will search for a different location to build the facility, intended to host some 66 employees, storage and inspection space, and a 148-foot-tall antenna tower.
When the CHP opened its proposal to public comment in December, many neighbors voiced their concerns about water use, traffic, noise from daily siren testing, and the ambiguous effects of EMF radio and microwave transmissions, as well as its proximity to the school. “It is evident the community of Goleta has serious concerns with this location,” said CHP Captain Mark D’Arelli in a prepared statement, “It is the desire of the CHP to maintain cooperative working relationships with the community and work in partnership to achieve our critical life-saving mission.”
The tower’s aesthetic impact and heavier traffic on Hollister Avenue were among the chief issues listed in the EIR, which named a 16-acre property north of Highway 1 at Calle Real and San Antonio Road as the most environmentally friendly alternative of the options presented by the CHP.