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Tuesday, March 19 , 2019, 10:42 pm | Partly Cloudy 52º


Goleta Panel Allows One Attempt at Corporate Branding, Denies Another

The city's Design Review Board approves lights for the Holiday Inn, but cringes at the proposal for the signature Hyatt Hotels wedge for Rincon Palms.

[Note: the DRB approved the Holiday Inn’s request to use colored lights as part of its nationwide branding scheme. An earlier version of this story was incorrect]

The Goleta Design Review Board, minus member Simon Herrera, sent two major hotel chains back to the drawing board Tuesday when it turned down corporate branding design elements proposed for the Holiday Inn at 5650 Calle Real and Rincon Palms at the northeast corner of Hollister Avenue and Storke Road.

Kip Bradley, representing the Rincon Palms project, got a noticeably cooler reception this time around when he and local architect Richard Six presented a new version of the project that had been warmly welcomed and approved late last year.

Since partnering with Hyatt Hotels, the project dropped its room count to accommodate the larger rooms of the Hyatt design, but increased its bulk by about 20 percent and incorporated elements that would exceed the 35-foot height limit in the city with a 36.78-foot weighted average height. The signature Hyatt wedge architectural element was also incorporated which would peak at 50 feet.

According to city planner Shine Ling, the Design Review Board could approve the redesign, if it finds good cause for the changes — a public benefit that would outweigh the project’s need to exceed the city’s height ordinance.

The board, which favored the Moderne style of the original proposal for its horizontal design and rounded corners, was not as thrilled with the added bulk — or the plans for the vertical wedge element, which members said took away from the Moderne flavor.

“Goleta is a horizontal city,” said member Cecilia Brown, who admitted her protectiveness over mountain views from the city. The project did not mesh well with the character of the surrounding neighborhood, she added.

Nor did the board share the applicant’s enthusiasm for the redesigned rooftop deck, which would incorporate more permanent structures than the previous design. Also, members said, the redesigned hotel didn’t seem to connect with the restaurant planned for that site, also designed in the Moderne style.

According to the applicant’s land use consultant, Laurel Perez, Rincon Palms proponents will have to consult with Hyatt Hotels to decide the next step. The hearing was continued to September.

Earlier in the afternoon however,  the board voted in a request by a representative of Holiday Inn to add colored lighting to its port-cochere and the wall that faces Kingston Avenue. According to Holiday Inn agent Gary Opdahl, the proposed green lights are part of a branding effort that the hotel chain is employing nationwide. Four downlights are proposed to be attached to the pillars of the port-cochere, and two uplights on the Kingston Avenue frontage.

The board was somewhat split on the proposal, as the lights are not intended to wash beyond the building facade, according to the staff report. Members debated on the appropriateness of the corporate branding attempt in the semi suburban neighborhood. Ultimately the request was approved.

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

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