Friday, October 19 , 2018, 3:44 pm | Fair 85º

 
 
 
 

3-Story Mixed-Use Project Begins Construction on Coast Village Road in Montecito

After fierce opposition from members of the community, the development will replace the Union 76 gas station on the corner of Olive Mill Road

A recently demolished 76 gas station on the corner of Coast Village and Olive Mill roads in Santa Barbara will become a three-story development with six condominium units and commercial space. Click to view larger
A recently demolished 76 gas station on the corner of Coast Village and Olive Mill roads in Santa Barbara will become a three-story development with six condominium units and commercial space. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

Eight years after the Santa Barbara City Council approved it, a mixed-use project on the corner of Coast Village and Olive Mill roads is beginning construction.

Santa Barbara businessman John Price, who owns numerous gas stations in the area, is behind the project, which has survived organized opposition, appeals and Santa Barbara’s lengthy review and approval process since its original application was submitted in 2004.

The development will replace a Union 76 gas station, which was torn down this week, and will feature two stories of residential units over a retail ground floor.

The second floor of the complex will feature four condominiums ranging from 1,800 to 2,000 square feet, and the top floor will have two more units of 2,500 and 3,000 square feet each.

Price told Noozhawk that of the 5,000 square feet of commercial space planned for the bottom floor, half has already been leased to future tenants.

Nearly 40 parking spaces will also be available underground.

The size, bulk and scale of the project drew the ire of numerous residents, neighbors and nearby businesses, who balked at the proposed height. Opponents said the proposed building would obstruct views and would have a “canyonization” effect at the eastern entrance to Coast Village Road and Santa Barbara. 

Directly across the street from the construction site is the three-story Montecito Inn, and a primary request of opponents was to reduce the height to two stories. 

Other residents had come out in support of the project, saying that the Spanish colonial-style building was a much nicer development to greet people entering the city than a gas station.

Construction of the mixed-use project will soon start at the site of a former gas station on Coast Village Road. Click to view larger
Construction of the mixed-use project will soon start at the site of a former gas station on Coast Village Road.  (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

The Planning Commission’s approval in 2008 and the Architectural Board of Review’s approval in 2009 were both appealed to the City Council, which sided with the review boards in both cases.

Hearings and reviews at the Planning Commission and ABR continued into 2015, though, as the project wended its way through the development process.

Price said he expects a building permit to come through in the next week or two if all goes well.

“We’re probably 16 months out” from completion, he said.

Fuel tanks from the 76 station are slated to be removed next week, he added, and the site will then be handed over to the general contractor for construction.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman 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.

The mixed-use development on Coast Village and Olive Mill roads is estimated to be completed in 16 months. Click to view larger
The mixed-use development on Coast Village and Olive Mill roads is estimated to be completed in 16 months.  (Courtesy photo)

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