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Letter to the Editor: Oppose UCSB Plan for Denser Student Housing

As if the ugly twin towers once called Francisco Torres aren’t bad enough, UCSB wants to double the highest density zoning in Santa Barbara.

UCSB students would be denser than ever — 120 to the acre — if the U by the slough gets permits for more lucrative dorms alongside the ugliest high-rises ever. The 20-acre site is zoned for 600 units, which was absurd to begin with. There are at least 600 units now (some say 670) and 1,325 students already live there. Now UCSB wants 2,500 student beds! Environmental studies grads, please return your diplomas.

Per UCSB: “The campus is proposing to add approximately 1,000 to 1,200 student beds to Santa Catalina Student Housing, a 600-space parking garage, up to 1,500 square feet of neighborhood commercial uses, and a dining commons to accommodate up to 2,500 total students, assorted meeting and study rooms, additional recreational amenities, and other ancillary uses. The existing buildings would remain and portions may be reconfigured for other uses (e.g., the existing dining commons would be refurbished for meeting space, recreation or other uses). The existing bike parking area would be split up and redistributed around the site; construction will be on the existing surface parking lot and other portions of the site and a peripheral road may be constructed.”

Daily Nexus: “Campus architect Marc Fisher said San Joaquin Village will create about 1,000 spots for returning students adjacent to Santa Catalina. ‘This project is in the massing and programming phase of design, and will primarily be for sophomores,’ Fisher said. ‘A number of students are actively engaged in the design process; this promises to be a very exciting project for the campus.’”

Not to mention the neighbors. The university would get millions of dollars in rent. We get years of construction, more traffic, more neighbors, more noise, more illegal pool use, more illegal parking, lower property values.

Enough is enough. Zoning rules are for everybody. “Green” UCSB should be ashamed. Oppose this insane project. Please call or write Chancellor Henry Yang, the Coastal Commission and county Supervisor Doreen Farr. Please write a letter, and send it to the decision makers.

William Etling
Goleta

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