Sunday, June 24 , 2018, 1:59 am | Overcast 64º

 
 
 
 

Local News

City of Goleta Hedges Its Bets Against State Vote on RDAs

The City Council and Redevelopment Agency adopt an amendment and review that include three new projects

It was business as usual — or as much that could be mustered — Tuesday evening as the Goleta City Council and Redevelopment Agency voted to adopt an amendment to and midterm review of the RDA’s 2008-09 to 2013 five-year implementation plan.

The decision came on the eve of a pivotal vote by state legislators that could do away with redevelopment agencies across the state.

Included in the amendment and review are an update on the progress of redevelopment projects and three new RDA projects, including land acquisition of parks, a housing rehabilitation program and a loan to the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara to fund an affordable housing project.

With the upcoming vote on Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to fix a $26 billion deficit by, among other things, eliminating RDAs across the state, the future of Goleta’s RDA projects is uncertain. The city’s agency has guaranteed its most major project, the San Jose Creek capacity improvement and fish passage project, by issuing bonds and transferring money to cover that debt and a contract with the county to oversee the project.

But according to city attorney Tim Giles, should the governor’s proposal push through, the RDA’s ability to incur debt, acquire land and other redevelopment-related activities would cease, and the RDA would be obligated to hang on to its money until July 1, when a successor agency would come in to oversee the wrap-up of the RDA. Projects, including the Hollister Avenue Redesign or the Ekwill-Fowler surface street project, would be in funding limbo.

Still, City Manager Dan Singer said, should the vote be in favor of the governor’s proposal, there is likely to be litigation in an effort to protect local tax increments for local projects. Meanwhile, there is also doubt that Brown will get the four Republican legislators’ votes to hold a special election this summer to implement his budget proposals.

“We move forward,” Singer said.

The City Council also took in a progress report on the status of the implementation of Goleta’s General Plan/Coastal Land Use Plan. Staff provided an update on the various tasks that have been accomplished as set out in the city’s development blueprint, including the initiation of abandonment of derelict oil and gas facilities at and near the Ellwood bluffs; a development plan agreement with regard to UCSB’s Long Range Development Plan; and the launch of the city’s Zoning Code.

Also in progress are six requests for changes in land use designations, with two more on the horizon, for Bishop Ranch and Village at Los Carneros.

While the city submitted its Housing Element to the state months ago, it remains to be seen whether this time the state Department of Housing and Community Development will provide the certification the city has sought for years. Among future goals for the General Plan are enhanced choices for and opportunities to provide affordable housing.

The council also approved an amended version of the Camino Real Specific Plan, the development plan that encompasses the Camino Real Marketplace and adjoining properties owned by Wynmark Co. The amendment to the development plan is specific to a hotel that is planned for the northwest corner of Storke and Phelps roads in Goleta, where the developer intends to build a hotel. The amendment allows for an increase in the number of rooms from 99 to 106.

The footprint or size of the building would not increase; there would be only a reconfiguration of the suites inside the hotel. Project manager Kim Schizas said the revised plan merely eliminates 10 suites “the market doesn’t really call for.”

The amended version will come up for a second reading at an April council meeting.

Noozhawk contributing writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >