The commission’s unanimous approval of both the project’s environmental documents and its development plan means that the current medical offices on Hollister Avenue will be replaced with a bigger, more spacious and technologically advanced facility.
“I would call this project very handsomely done,” Commissioner Brent Daniels said.
The plans, revised to date, call for the construction of a two-story, 52,000-square-foot office building to replace the one on the same parcel at 5333 Hollister Ave.
The new building would be constructed on the same parcel just east of the existing structure, and upon completion the older medical offices will be demolished, in an effort to minimize disruption of services.
The project, and the ongoing replacement of the hospital itself, is the result of Senate Bill 1953, a piece of legislation enacted just after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and requires the retrofit or replacement of medical buildings by 2013.
Other plans include a reciprocal parking plan with Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, normally looked down upon in other circumstances, given the demand for parking. However, because the purposes of both the hospital and the medical offices are intertwined, the modification suggested by the project’s proponents was granted by the commission. In the same vein, the commission granted requested setback and landscaping modifications, and it granted a modification reserved for medical facilities to allow the building to reach the proposed 38.5-foot height instead of the city-established 35-foot maximum.