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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 4:12 am | Fair 51º


Goleta Apartment Project Goes Before Review Board

The proposed development for Cortona Drive calls for 171 units plus amenities on nine acres

An affordable-housing rental project looks to be on the horizon for western Goleta as the Cortona Apartments received its first conceptual review from the Goleta Design Review Board on Tuesday.

The project, slated for a triangular piece of land at 6830 Cortona Drive, would be located on nine acres of land situated in an industrial neighborhood east of Storke Road and south of the Union Pacific railroad tracks.

At this point, the number of units still may vary, though the proposal calls for 171 one-, two- and three-bedroom units distributed over 71,000 square feet of development space. Also included in the proposal are a pool, a clubhouse and a maintenance building, plus 171 carports and 151 uncovered parking spaces, as well as 157,000 square feet of common open space. A nearby bus stop also may be constructed.

The project area has been designated by the city’s general plan as an affordable housing opportunity site, intended to be developed at about 20 units to the acre.

For the buildings and amenities to fit, however, the developers, a limited-liability partnership represented by Bendy White, a Santa Barbara city councilman are requesting modifications to the setback areas along its borders, effectively decreasing the ones for the east and west border, and eliminating the one along the railroad tracks, with an idea to place a sound wall there instead. Several trees — cedars, oaks and canary palms — also would be removed. The entire plan, still in its earliest stages, will undergo a full environmental review.

The board members had a few questions, especially regarding views of the mountains, though most of them had little problem with the requested modifications. Others suggested parking modifications and photovoltaics.

Compatibility in land use could become a serious issue. While the project’s buildings were designed to complement the utilitarian design of the surrounding industrial buildings, managers of the neighboring properties expressed the need for some kind of barrier between their properties and the residential one.

People living in the primarily industrial area would lead to overnight parking issues. A representative of the Raytheon defense industry facility next door also expressed security concerns for a building that had to undergo deep security review before it could be used.

The Design Review Board can only comment on design issues, so the matter may have to go before the Planning Commission.

The project will go back before the board on July 13.

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

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