Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 2:42 am | Overcast 65º


Local News

Miramar Permit Extensions, Cell Towers Top Supervisors’ Agenda

The developer cites the downturn in the economy for needing more time to develop the hotel site; meanwhile, the board will weigh in on NextG's proposed antenna sites for Montecito

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will tackle several big issues Tuesday, including whether to grant permit extensions to the developers of the Miramar Hotel and whether to sign off on seven cell towers slated for the Montecito area.

Representatives for Caruso Affiliated, the developer behind the Miramar, will present their case for permit extensions on the 204-room luxury hotel slated for 1555 S. Jameson Lane in Montecito.

The hotel was approved for development last April, but plans have been sidelined because of economic conditions.

Staff is recommending that the supervisors approve the time extensions, which would be valid until 2015.

“Good cause exists ... because of the depressed economic climate to support the extension of all permits,” according to staff reports, and the original development plan set out a five-year time frame for the project.

The Montecito Planning Commission met last month to come up with recommendations to pass on to the supervisors.

The commissioners approved extending the project’s coastal development permit for a year, but delayed making a decision on four other permits for the property’s conditional use. They also recommended that the supervisors look at the health and safety issues and see how much cleanup has been done on the property before extending the other permits.

Fire safety was a concern for the commission, since the ruins of the old hotel remain on the property, and they recommended that the developer demolish the buildings before moving forward.

They also recommended that the supervisors consider renewing the property’s conditional use permits by Oct. 6, and that “the applicant’s demolition and clearing of the site would demonstrate their interest in building out the approvals granted under the CUPs,” according to staff reports.

County supervisors also will have their say on whether to approve seven “node” — or antenna — sites for cell phone company NextG.

The company has targeted 14 locations in Montecito, but residents have appealed seven locations because of their proximity to homes, schools and view corridors.

NextG’s plans would allow for a 26-inch antenna to be installed on an existing utility pole in each of the locations. A 3-foot utility box also would be placed on the pole. The company currently doesn’t have coverage in the Montecito area.

When the project came before the Montecito Planning Commission earlier this year, it took issue with the type of permitting the projects had been given.

Staff is recommending that the supervisors move forward on the project and overturn recommendations from the Planning Commission.

Tuesday’s meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in the Board Hearing Room on the fourth floor of the County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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