Friday, November 16 , 2018, 2:17 am | Fair 48º

 
 
 
 

Camino Real Hotel Gets Go-Ahead from Goleta Council

The project will complete developer Mark Linehan's 83-acre shopping center complex.

Developer Mark Linehan says his Camino Real Hotel, to be located at the corner of Phelps and Storke roads, will cater to a more upscale clientele.
Developer Mark Linehan says his Camino Real Hotel, to be located at the corner of Phelps and Storke roads, will cater to a more upscale clientele. (Lee & Sakahara Architects rendering)

Camino Real Marketplace developer Mark Linehan got the green light from the Goleta City Council for his proposed Camino Real Hotel on Tuesday night.

The 99-room boutique hotel will be located at the corner of Phelps and Storke roads. It is the final portion of the Camino Real Specific Plan, a development plan approved by Santa Barbara County before Goleta incorporated that dictates what goes where on the 83-acre property, which also includes the shopping center and Girsh Park.

According to Linehan, the Mediterranean-style, 73,828-square-foot hotel at 401 Storke Road would cater to a more upscale clientele than other hotels in the area, with rooms that are 460 to 640 square feet and five-fixture bathrooms. Unlike other hotels at various stages in the city pipeline, the Camino Real Hotel would have a service kitchen, but not a restaurant. It would have conference rooms, but for smaller groups of about 20-50 people. A gym, pool and jacuzzi also are in the project plans.

“We think it would appeal to a market that is not currently served by Goleta,” said Linehan, who pointed out that the city would receive between $725,000 and $815,000 in property taxes, about $375,000 in bed taxes and $1.6 million in one-time fees. The hotel would employ about 30 people.

Mayor Roger Aceves and Councilmen Michael Bennett and Eric Onnen voted in favor of the project, with Council members Ed Easton and Margaret Connell opposed it. A major part of the dissenters’ concern was that the hotel’s location in the Santa Barbara Airport’s approach zone constituted a safety hazard.

“I would like to vote for it if it had a much-reduced number of rooms,” said Connell, who fretted about the intensity of use on the property. Caltrans and the airport have recommended that a hotel not be approved for that location. The Airport Land Use Commission took no action on the project, resulting in an automatic approval.

For Easton, the issue was also one of the local hotel economy and the ongoing concern that other Goleta hotels with too many rooms will flood the market and lower revenue for everybody.

“We have a responsibility to the people who already do business here,” Easton said. Goleta already has seven hotels and motels in its boundaries, from Motel 6 to Bacara Resort & Spa. Two other hotels are in the works: Rincon Palms and the Marriott Residence Inn, an extended-stay hotel.

In voting to approve the project, the council majority pointed out other structures within the airport approach zone that host more people, such as the postal processing plant across Storke Road. The three said they were confident there will be enough demand to satisfy everyone.

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