An Orcutt housing development that has been in the works for 11 years took a significant step forward Wednesday when the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission gave the proposed project its go-ahead.
Approving the Bradley Village project (commonly called Key Site 30), and its final subsequent environmental impact report, amends portions of the Orcutt Community Plan to allow Bradley-Orcutt Ventures LLC to develop homes, open spaces and trails on about 79 acres on the west side of Bradley Road between Union Valley Parkway and Patterson Road.
Commissioners on Wednesday voted unanimously to approve the project, which already has initial architectural approval, and spent most of their time hammering out specific language revisions that dealt with parking, traffic and proposed trails.
Lawnae Hunter, a representative of Bradley-Orcutt Ventures LLC, and Urban Planning Concepts principal planner David Swenk presented commissioners with project details, noting a desperate need for housing in the Orcutt area.
Commissioners were asked to amend the land use designation from agricultural to residential on 21.2 acres, and to recreation on 47.8 acres. The project also required modification to allow stormwater detention basins to be located within the open space, and realignment of a public multiuse trail.
The development design subdivides the property to include 69 acres for single-family residential homes, a smaller portion of space for multifamily units, a 4.1-acre lot for a private passive park, a 44.3-acre private open space lot and six lots for future development on property zoned MR-O.
According to the final Environmental impact report, the proposed land use and zoning designations on the site were anticipated to result in the potential build-out of 112 residential units.
Development would be limited to corner pockets of the property, since the majority of the undeveloped property is located within the Santa Maria Airport flight approach zone and no-build corridor, bisecting the site in a northwest to southeast direction.
Two members of the public speaking on the subject via web camera in Santa Maria to the County Engineering Building in Santa Barbara expressed split feelings on the project.
A resident living near the southern end of the proposed project was concerned about feeling blocked in by fences and for the children who would live in the development that might misuse the open space.
“We understand that there are sensitivities with the neighbors in the area,” Swenk said.
Commissioner Cecilia Brown questioned whether the streets with homes on both sides would have sufficient parking, especially in cul-de-sacs.
Questions caused commissioners to table a morning decision until the end of the day, at which time revisions were added to clarify trails and traffic language.
Wording was also changed to ensure roads were all the standard 36 feet across except in the areas Brown mentioned, where streets would be the required 40 feet to accommodate parking on both sides.