I’ve been thinking about the Neighborhood project again. There is something really weird about this development.

This developer wants to violate Santa Barbara’s height limit in order to construct high rises at La Cumbre Plaza, and optimize the bulk and volume of the development. No amenities, just minimal parking and tiny apartments.

The majority of the units are one bedroom. Each unit receives one parking space. These units are obviously not made for families. What family do you know of has one car? If the renter has an additional car, where is he or she going to park it? He will have to sneak it into the mall parking lot, and hope that nobody notices. When the Bride of Frankenstein, and the Son of Frankenstein arrive, (the Sears property and the mall owners property), it’s going to be a whole new ballgame, crammed, jammed insanity.

If a working man has a truck that he uses for work, and a wife or son living with him in one of these units, where in the world are they going to park? If the renter has children, then his wife is likely to require a car. This is a “build it and you deal with the consequences” development. I got my money. Welcome to Cabrini Green, Santa Barbara-style.

In my opinion, the developer is not being entirely honest. I think he is hoping to cram as much development as he can into La Cumbre Plaza, taking advantage of looser development standards, before the other developers get started, and/or the City Council wises up.

The point is, these units are not designed for families. I do not believe that they will provide housing for low-income individuals. I do not believe that they will be suitable for most people. Where are the amenities for children and pets? Thus far, none have been identified that I know of. We can do much better than this.


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