As they scrutinized plans Tuesday for a new Target store, Goleta planners acknowledged that it was a project that had eluded the community for decades, and that if it does materialize, the “community’s going to go nuts.”
A handful of Target officials were on hand Tuesday to show changes they’ve made to the store’s 160,000-square-foot plans since coming before Goleta’s Design Review Board in January. The store, slated for 6466 Hollister Ave., would sit on the northeast corner of Hollister and what is now Los Carneros Way.
Board members were complimentary of the podium store design and the building’s overall architecture, which would allow the building’s parking to be placed under the store. Sticking points on the design remained the large swaths of red on the building’s exterior, iconic to the corporation’s branding.
“I don’t like the red,” board member Carl Schneider told Target reps, admonishing them to “solve your identity crisis in some other fashion.”
Goleta senior planner Scott Kolwitz said the city approved a general plan amendment in 2011 and requested a change to the city’s land use map to allow the store.
The store’s site plan was submitted in 2012, but Target’s application is still incomplete, and must be finished before the city can conduct an environmental review on the project.
Tuesday’s meeting focused primarily on the design of the new store. Bigger issues, such as traffic flow around the project, will be addressed once environmental review of the project starts.
With the new design, a new road would be built around the store, and would connect Los Carneros Way to Camino Vista on the western border of the project, intersecting with Calle Koral at the north. The store’s entrance would have traffic entering the parking area from Camino Vista, not from Hollister as proposed previously.
Since January, the store’s plans have reduced total square footage to 160,000 square feet, about 5,000 less than proposed, and parking spaces have increased from just less than 400 to 423. That increase places the project soundly over and above the 320 city-required parking spaces.
Target representatives said they had done more research on local architecture since January, including that of the DelCo building, and came up with a design that incorporated more natural materials and earth tones. They also eliminated a pylon sign that garnered outcry from Goleta residents and incorporated that signage into planters at the front of the store.
Because grading on the site is uneven, the building reaches 42 feet in height at its tallest point, well above the city max of 30 feet.
This didn’t seem to be much of an issue among board members, however, who saw it as a good trade-off for parking located under the store.
In addition to the amount of red on the building’s exterior, the size of the store was also still an issue for some board members.
“I’m disappointed that the size of the structure has been reduced less than 3 percent than what we saw in January,” board member Bob Wignot said. “It just feels too big for the acreage that you have to work with.”
Wignot brought up urban format stores that have been introduced in larger cities.
“I’m just troubled by the size of this,” he said.
Board chairman Scott Branch expressed concern about the intersection of Camino Vista and Calle Koral.
“When this place opens, this community’s going to go nuts, and all the roadways around it are going to be packed,” he said.
Branch was complimentary of the design but urged Target representatives to rethink the red on the exterior.
“People are going to know this store is here,” he said. “Target has been out there eluding this community for so many years, I think it’s a non-issue.”