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Goleta Council Takes First Step to Clearing the Way for Deckers Outdoor Corp. Development

Modifications are necessary to a 2007 agreement governing 14 acres of the property

The Goleta City Council, minus a recused Councilman Roger Aceves, voted Tuesday to approve the initiation of an amendment to its development agreement with Sares-Regis, developers of the Cabrillo Business Park.

If all goes smoothly, Deckers Outdoor Corp. might have a more prominent location at Hollister Avenue in Goleta — which might, according to staff, create real estate momentum for the park and in turn spur the city’s economy.

To accommodate the company’s needs, however, the developer needs to modify its 2007 development agreement with regard to 14 acres at the property’s northwest corner, which is at the intersection of Hollister Avenue and Los Carneros Road. That area was previously a proposed site for a would-be Goleta City Hall building.

“The opportunity is ours to win or lose,” Russell Goodman said on behalf of Sares-Regis, “and we’re basically going to ask you for help on several things.”

The proposal for the Deckers corporate campus includes a plan for four buildings — a “signature building,” two office buildings and a warehouse, for a total of 192,000 square feet of development, with a potential for more developed space if needed. Retail elements are also part of the Deckers world headquarters campus plan, in addition to plazas, patios, walkways and landscaping. The proposal also would accelerate frontage improvements and road improvements, as well as install a traffic signal in the area.

The developer is seeking clarification on a mitigation measure that requires the undergrounding of utility lines visible from Hollister Avenue.

Deckers is a homegrown company, founded in the Goleta Valley in 1973. The $1 billion manufacturer of global brands such as Uggs, Tevas and Simple Shoes has hundreds of employees in the area, and has been seen by both city staff and the developers as an ideal business to try to retain and support.

Time is tight, however. Deckers requires the entitlement effort by July 1, and the question of whether the city and developer will hit the mark is not set in stone. Several public meetings are required to complete the process, and Steve Chase, director of planning and environmental services, made it clear that there are several moving parts to the entire process, including the development agreement and a reimbursement agreement between Deckers and Sares-Regis.

He added that also in the process is California Environmental Quality Act compliance, negotiations in progress, permit conditions to consider and appeal periods to set.

“Let’s let the facts of CEQA compliance ... guide us, not our exuberance and enthusiasm,” he said.

Tentative dates for the next few hearings include June 17 and June 21, and a possible special meeting before the July 1 deadline.

In an attempt to streamline the process, the City Council voted 3-1, with Councilwoman Paula Perrotte dissenting, to meet as the Planning Agency to receive public testimony before sitting again as the City Council for final review and possible approval.

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.

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