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Tuesday, January 15 , 2019, 6:30 pm | Light Rain 54º


Santa Barbara Council Gives Go-Ahead For Housing Project

City leaders approve a land swap that was negotiated for the development, and vote to approve the second reading of changes to the inclusionary housing ordinance

After nearly four years since the initial appeal was filed, the Santa Barbara City Council voted 6-0 on Tuesday, with Councilmember Roger Horton absent, to grant the owner of a parcel in the Mesa area, at 216 Meigs Road, the rezone and General Plan amendment needed to house five residential units.

The space currently is used as overflow parking for Washington School, which is just east of the site at 290 Lighthouse Road. A third parcel, at 210 Meigs Road, is vacant.

The project is the result of a land swap and subdivision project that has resulted from negotiations between the school district and Mary Stevens, the owner of 210 Meigs Road, in an effort to overcome appeals issues dating back to 2005, when the applicant asked that the housing development be approved.

Advocates of the school voiced concerns that a housing development at that location might pose problems, and a compromise was reached that would allow the developers to put housing on the northern parcel, which borders another residential development. 

The three parcels would be reconfigured into two, one of which would be subdvided into five single-family lots.

The city and the school district have declined to purchase the property, and project planner Alison De Busk said that the northern site is an infill location close to transit opportunities and is consistent with the surrounding area.

De Busk said a concern over the project had been heard from a neighbor, but that the concerns had less to do with the rezone and more to do with details of the project.

“It makes so much sense to move the housing next to the housing and have the school uses be next to the school,” Mayor Marty Blum said.

Councilmember Das Williams applauded the groups for working together on the swap, outside of the appeals process.

The council also voted Tuesday to approved the second reading of changes to the inclusionary housing ordinance that they discussed last week, and the item passed 5-1, with Councilmember Dale Francisco dissenting.

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


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