Friday, November 27 , 2015, 9:27 am | Fair 58º

Goleta Council Approves Addition to FLIR Building Project

City officials also take up proposed timing changes to Towbes Group's Willow Springs II development

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @magnoli |

The Goleta City Council on Tuesday approved an amendment to FLIR Systems’ project plan for the Cabrillo Business Park, allowing the company to move forward with an additional 16,000 square feet of office space for its new corporate campus.

FLIR’s project in the Cabrillo Business Park is on the northwest corner of the property, which sits on the corner of Los Carneros Road and Hollister Avenue.

It already has been approved — with environmental review and development agreements — but FLIR plans to demolish an existing building and add more offices.

The additional space is expected to have more traffic impacts, particularly on the Los Carneros Road and Highway 101 intersection, according to city planner Shine Ling. He added that it won’t have any other environmental impacts, so developers will have to pay only the fair share of improvements to that intersection as a mitigation measure.

FLIR Systems, which designs and manufactures thermal imaging infrared cameras, plans to go before the Design Review Board for the addition later this month.

This property was purchased in 2009, and FLIR plans to use more than 95 percent of the original structures, a representative said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Council members unanimously passed a development plan amendment and environmental review addendum so the addition can move forward.

Also on Tuesday, the council considered minor timing changes to the Willow Springs II housing project.

The Towbes Group’s 100-unit housing project was approved by the Goleta City Council last July, and will be built next to the existing 235 units at 60 Willow Springs Lane.

As the developer gets closer to breaking ground, it has asked for some modifications so the final map — and a subdivision — can be approved sooner rather than later.

“The two conditions modified will only affect the timing of the conditions, not the assurance for the city that they will be done,” Michael Towbes said.

The conditions are related to on-site archaeological work and finalizing an access agreement with the Chumash Indians, in case of suspicious activities or damage to archaeologically sensitive areas. The agreements are rather common, but Towbes said he has had trouble finding the right people within the Chumash communities to sign the agreement. If he can’t get the signature, he will get a covenant recorded on the property that legally guarantees access.

Towbes said the company has already posted a bond for the work and the project is moving forward on schedule.

Since council members and The Towbes Group couldn’t agree on a development agreement, the developer has no requirement to make any of the condominiums rental units. Additionally, the upper-moderate affordable housing program at Willow Springs I will end this August, leaving its 47 family participants with the choice of higher rents or moving.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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