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Proposed Concrete Recycling Facility for South Kellogg Avenue in Goleta Pushes Forward

Mitigations are in place, with the project located both near a creek and within the airport's approach zone

The Goleta Planning Commission on Tuesday pushed forward a project that would place a concrete recycling facility on South Kellogg Avenue, on property adjacent to the drive-in theater in Old Town.

The project includes a 960-square-foot, one-story office building with a weigh scale, one 1,840-square-foot equipment storage garage and an 18,400-square-foot operations area. More than 40,000 additional square feet on the irregularly shaped 3.9-acre property would be devoted to storage and stockpiles to feed into the portable crusher.

The project is located both near a creek and within the Santa Barbara Airport approach zone, so there are mitigations in place to restrict dust and for a planned buffer from the creek. Noise mitigations include limitations on operating hours. The major user is expected to be UCSB, with its upcoming development.

Members of the Planning Commission were mostly concerned about the creekside buffer, proposed at 25 feet by the applicant, who said he would need the space to be able to efficiently store material and turn trucks around. Any proposed project near a creek would automatically require a 100-foot buffer with exceptions made in certain cases. In this case, the land is paved all the way up to the creek edge, so there would be mitigation where there was none before, and there was little to prove that anything beyond a 25-foot buffer would give benefits proportional to the additional feet.

“We don’t see how this facility can sit on this site with the imposition of a 100-foot buffer,” Commissioner Allan Hanson said.

Commissioner Jonny Wallis was especially concerned about the “three-in-three-out” estimate of additional truck traffic per day. The estimates are based on today’s demand, in a flat economy with fewer projects relative to a healthier economy.

The proprietor of a car storage and recycling facility currently on the premises said he was especially concerned, as the move would affect his 13-year-old business and his six employees.

“I walk in the door and one of the first things I heard tonight is that I’m going to be relocated,” he said.

All of the commissioners recommended that the pending Ekwill-Fowler extension be studied to accommodate this project, as the road connection would take part of the property. An alternative site plan was also suggested.

The Planning Commission’s approval on the project’s environmental documents and development plan is just the latest in a series of steps for the project proponents. Because the project is entirely within the coastal zone, it also needs a coastal development permit, which the City of Goleta can’t provide because it doesn’t yet have a Local Coastal Plan and a General Plan certified by the California Coastal Commission. With the approval in hand, the project’s backers must get on the Coastal Commission agenda for consideration of a Local Coastal Permit.

Also at Tuesday’s lengthy meeting, the commission gave its approval to plans for a self-storage project on Kellogg Avenue. Plans include three buildings in an area bordered by Highway 101 to the north, the Union Pacific Railroad to the south, San Jose Creek to the east and South Kellogg Avenue to the west.

Noozhawk contributing writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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