Funk Zone Proposal Appealed to Coastal Commission

Critics Claim Restaurant and Retail Development at 11 Anacapa Street Doesn’t Provide Enough Parking

Developer Ray Mahboob (above) says he’s confident a challenge to his proposed development at 11 Anacapa Street won’t stop the project from moving forward. | Credit: Nick Welsh

A new Funk Zone development proposal that just won unanimous approval from both the Santa Barbara City Council and Planning Commission has been appealed to the Coastal Commission by Will Rehling. An advocate with Accessible Santa Barbara, Rehling claims the new development — a mix of new restaurant and retail spaces — slated for 11 Anacapa Street does not provide the number of parking spaces that city codes would otherwise require. 

Rehling appealed the project to the City Council last month but failed to show up for the hearing. His co-appellant Anna Marie Gott, however, did, arguing that existing zoning requires 46 parking spaces for the proposed redevelopment of what once was an old fish-processing warehouse (and more recently The España restaurant) but was only providing 32. 

Developer Ray Mahboob packed the council chambers with supporters, and Gott — a City Hall watchdog — found herself without allies or support. Developer Mahboob says that Rehling has shown up on his property several times to view the site. When he’s asked Rehling to leave, Mahboob said, Rehling has pulled out a video camera to record the interaction. Mahboob said he responded by pulling out his own camera to film himself getting filmed. 

Rehling did not respond to a call for comment by press time. As for the appeal itself, the Coastal Commission must first determine if Rehling raised any substantial issues. If not, the development can move forward. If so, the Coastal Commission itself will have to address them. 

“I’m confident we’re going to get to the finish line,” said Mahboob. “The only question is when.”


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