Rendering for the proposed Westside Neighborhood Clinic at 621 West Micheltorena Street. | Credit: Courtesy

The Santa Barbara City Council unanimously agreed with the city Planning Commission’s previous denial of an appeal against the Westside Neighborhood Clinic, doubling down on the decision that the community’s need for a free health clinic outweighed the appellant’s concerns over parking impacts.

The appeal was filed by attorney Andrew Hazlett on behalf of Auto Fuels, Inc., a gas station directly next door to the current clinic and across the street from the proposed new location at 621 Micheltorena Street. The appeal argued that the current clinic was already causing traffic impacts at the gas station, and that the parking modification granted at the new location is “based on flawed data,” according to attorney Mark Carney, who presented the appeal to the City Council on Tuesday.

The Planning Commission heard the appeal in December, deciding to uphold the staff’s determination to approve the parking modification, development plan, and conditional use permit.

On Tuesday, the City Council considered the appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision, and the Council voted 6-0 to confirm the commission’s denial, with Westside district councilmember Oscar Gutierrez recusing himself from the vote because of his work with the neighborhood clinic.

Councilmember Sneddon recommended the denial of the appeal without hesitation, saying that she found it was inappropriate that the appellant was arguing about parking impacts from the current clinic and that the proposed clinic’s benefit to the community outweighed any concerns raised in the appeal.


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