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Goleta Planning Commission Takes Up Camino Real Hotel

Developer seeks modifications for project that predates cityhood.

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The Camino Real Hotel is slated to occupy the corner of Storke and Phelps roads south of Camino Real Marketplace. The proposed 99-room boutique-style hotel will have an area for continental breakfasts, meeting rooms and a fitness room. (Lee & Sakahara Architects rendering)

A hotel project dating back to before Goleta was a city will get a hearing before the Goleta Planning Commission on Monday evening.

“This one has been in the pipeline for almost a decade,” said Steve Chase, the city’s planning and environmental services director.

The Camino Real Hotel is a proposed two-story, 73,828-square-foot hotel at 401 Storke Road at the corner of Phelps Road. The hotel was conceived as part of the Camino Real Specific Plan, a Wynmark Co. development plan approved by Santa Babara County in 1997, before Goleta’s incorporation. The plan encompassed the Camino Real Marketplace and adjacent properties, including what is now part of Girsh Park.

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What started as a 50-room hotel with a restaurant is now being proposed as a 99-room boutique-style hotel with an area to provide continental breakfasts, as well as meeting rooms and a fitness area. The development footprint of the hotel has not changed from one proposal to the other, nor will it have any impact on the city’s General Plan, Chase said.

The architecture of the hotel will be Tuscan/Mediterranean style, with tile roofs, arches and porticoes, similar to the look of the Camino Real Marketplace, the Citrix Online building on Hollister Avenue and the Maravilla Senior Living Community on Calle Real. The rooms would surround a central open courtyard. The building would be an average of 32 feet, with elements that could go to 40 feet.

At Monday’s hearing, Wynmark will be seeking amendments to the Camino Real Specific Plan, so its land use designation will conform with the General Plan’s designation for that area. Another amendment will allow for the 99 rooms, as opposed to the 50 rooms originally proposed.

The project is likely to draw criticism from owners and managers of existing hotels in Goleta, who fear that the addition of hotel rooms in the city will make it difficult for existing hotels to generate sufficient income from their operations. Representatives from the Best Western South Coast Inn on Calle Real and Pacifica Suites on Hollister have come forward on several occasions to air their concerns over two other hotels approved by the Planning Commission recently: Rincon Palms Hotel & Restaurant, to be located at the corner of Hollister and Storke, and an extended-stay Marriott Residence Inn on Hollister across from the Santa Barbara Airport. The council has approved Rincon Palms, but hasn’t delivered a decision on the Residence Inn.

The Planning Commission hearing begins at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 130 Cremona Drive. Click here for an agenda.

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