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Goleta City Council Votes to Proceed with Public Planning Process for New Target Store

Target representatives have requested General Plan changes that would pave the way for construction at Hollister and Los Carneros Way

The Goleta City Council on Tuesday night initiated the first step toward bringing a Target store to the area.

The council voted unanimously to authorize a public planning process that could take more than two years. Although most members advocated an expedited process, it all depends on the site, according to Goleta senior planner Scott Kolwitz.

“I’m excited to have a Target looking at Goleta,” Councilman Roger Acevez said. “I want to see this move forward, and I hope staff won’t take two years to get it done. This is one of those projects that needs to get done sooner than later because of the benefit it provides to us.”

Target Corp.’s application requests three changes to the Goleta General Plan. One amendment would allow the site to develop a big-box store, the second would change the property’s land-use designation from general commercial to regional commercial, and the third would realign the intersection of Los Carneros Way at Hollister Avenue.

But the City Council’s authorization does not mean it approved the changes to the General Plan, only the processing that will follow.

Target representatives proposed a two-story, 164,800-square-foot podium store at the intersection of Hollister Avenue and Los Carneros Way that would include parking below the project. The separate truck circulation on the northern part of Los Carneros Way and the proximity to the freeway would ease traffic circulation, said Doug Couper, GreenbergFarrow senior site development coordinator.

“We need to have caution when changing the General Plan, but changing one commercial designation to another is nowhere as egregious as changing an agricultural zone to residential,” Goleta resident Richard Foster said. “Los Carneros is one of the least utilized roads, so when one considers that it will be a draw for a number of areas. It’s one of the better places in terms of traffic.”

Target real estate manager Kareem Ali said the new store would employ up to 200 workers, 25 percent full time, as well as create an expected 100 to 150 construction jobs. He said Target also would contribute 5 percent of its pretax dollars to support the community.

“It will provide jobs especially for UCSB and high school students and increase tax revenue for the city,” Goleta resident Adrienne Grover said. “Target would be a huge asset to the community, and I would really like to see it here.”

Councilman Michael Bennett said that although the community is hesitant to push for development, anyone who has lived here understands people want to see a Target.

“I’ve been doing this job for 25 years, and I’ve represented many wonderful projects the community has benefited from ... but never before have I had so much interest expressed in a project,” said Suzanne Elledge of Suzanne Elledge Planning & Permitting Services Inc.

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik 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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