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Local News

Goleta Council OKs 10-Unit Citrus Village Housing Project in Concept

The city, the developer and a neighbor who filed an appeal compromise with a scaled-down version

[Noozhawk’s note: The Goleta City Council granted conceptual approval to the latest Citrus Village proposal. An earlier headline was incorrect.]

The Goleta City Council approved the construction of a 10-unit version of Citrus Village on Tuesday night, the result of an appeal filed by a neighbor. The decision sends the project to the Design Review Board.

Architect and developer Detty Peikert got his chance to present a revised version of his project to the council in an effort to prevent an appeal filed by resident Richard Foster from delaying or shutting down his plans for the Citrus Village condominiums, at 7388 Calle Real. The council already had moved to grant the appeal on June 2, but allowed for a presentation of alternatives before its final decision.

While presenting a series of alternative site plans for the property, Peikert pushed for a 12-unit version of the project that the city’s planning commission approved in March. That version was appealed by Foster out of concern for its size. Two of the units would be affordable. The change included taking out a three-bedroom unit and replacing it with a two-bedroom unit, and modifying the roofline to lessen the project’s visual impact.

“I think the range of unit sizes is really much more suited to the marketplace today,” Peikert said.

The version of Citrus Village presented Tuesday is the latest in a series of projects planned for the .93-acre rectangle of property in western Goleta. Plans for construction date back to 2001, when Santa Barbara County approved a 16-unit low-income housing development for the site. The current developer acquired the property in 2003, and the project has since gone through several iterations, with the number of units changing to accommodate the city’s desire for more affordable housing and its concern over size and scale.

Foster threw his support behind a 10-unit alternative, made up of five duplexes and no affordable housing. Each affordable unit necessitated additional paving for parking spaces, he said, and the two-story duplexes were more in line with the typical number of stories of other housing projects in the area. Instead of offering on-site affordable housing, Peikert would have to pay in-lieu fees.

Despite the loss of the two affordable units from the 12-unit version, the council agreed with the 10-unit compromise, saying it solved some of its design issues. This time, instead of again routing the project through the Planning Commission, the council voted to send the plans back to the Design Review Board.

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

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