The Carpinteria Planning Commission met with the Architectural Review Board on Monday to discuss the plan for a three-story, mixed-use building that would include apartments and commercial businesses.
Architects from the project presented the report, and the meeting opened for public comment.
The project at 4745 Carpinteria Ave. would be made up of a 24-unit, 26,400-square-foot, two-story apartment complex on top of a ground-level, 22,500-square-foot concrete parking structure, plus a 6,000-square-foot, two-story commercial building facing Carpinteria Avenue. There would be a courtyard in the center of the project. The building would be 36 feet tall.
According to the staff report, businesses on the street-facing side of the property must be able to serve the community, not to conduct private business. This section, located in the northern region of the property, would be reserved for “visitor-servicing” businesses, meaning they must be open to and in service of the public, such as a restaurant, a retail store or an art gallery. Private businesses such as office space would not be appropriate for the location.
The residential part of the project would be two stories, on top of the parking lot, consisting of 24 apartment units — 13 one-bedroom units and 11 two-bedroom units, ranging from about 960 square feet to 1,600 square feet.
There would be 59 parking spaces for the project, most of which would be located in the covered parking garage, with 10 of the 59 spaces on Ninth Street. The parking garage would have driveway access from Carpinteria Avenue and Ninth Street.
The project has several shortcomings where it does not yet meet the city’s zoning requirements. They have to do with the buildings’ height, allotted parking spaces and the number of housing units.
The city limits buildings to no taller than 30 feet, and current plans have the building at 36 feet. Additionally, the city requires a minimum of 70 parking spaces for the project given the number of units and businesses, and the project calls for 59.
Additionally, for the zone, the city does not allow planned residential developments to make up more that 50% of the allotted zone coverage, which would be about 1,400 square feet. The project’s residential buildings would take up 77% of the space, about 5,500 square feet.
To account for the project not meeting the city’s requirements, it would operate under California’s Density Bonus Law, which allows for various concessions under a city’s zoning laws, provided that a certain amount of the housing units are reserved for very low- to moderate-income households for a proposed period of time.
The proposal offers three options for how the city could go about zoning.
Option 1: Set aside six units for sale to moderate-income households making 80% to 120% of the area median income.
Option 2: Set aside three low-income households making 50% to 80% of the area median income.
Option 3: Set aside two units for very-low-income households 50% or lower of the area median income.
Comments from the general public expressed concern about the parking spaces as well as the building’s height blocking the view of the mountain. One voiced concern about the proposal straying too far from the city’s allowances.
The city’s next Architectural Review Board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 12.