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Local News

Live Oak Lanes Bowling Center Targets New Buellton Site For Project

Developers pick a new site after lawsuits challenge Industrial Way location for the entertainment center project

After lawsuits threaten to further delay the Live Oak Lanes bowling and entertainment center project, developers are looking at a new proposed site in Buellton.
After lawsuits threaten to further delay the Live Oak Lanes bowling and entertainment center project, developers are looking at a new proposed site in Buellton.  (Contributed photo)

After facing strong opposition and further possible delays due to a pair of lawsuits, Live Oak Lanes family entertainment center will roll into a different Buellton location.

“We’re still going to get our bowling center,” said Carol Lesher Peterson. “It’s going to happen. The good guy’s going to win.”

She said the new site is off Highway 246 east of Highway 101 and behind several businesses including Albertsons, Subway, Antonio’s Pizza and Pasta, Pattibakes and others.

“It’s going to be a beautiful view from there and we’re excited,” she said.

The property also is much higher, removing any concerns about possible flooding from the nearby Santa Ynez River.

“I think it really fits the bowling alley better because when you go down the freeway you can see it from the freeway so we’ll have exposure,” she said.

“When you’re driving down (Highway) 246 and you look at Jack-in the Box and you look down the street, you’ll see us.”

In January, Carol Lesher Peterson, her family and her contractors sported big smiles after the Buellton City Council denied two appeals and approved their Live Oak Lanes family entertainment center. Click to view larger
In January, Carol Lesher Peterson, her family and her contractors sported big smiles after the Buellton City Council denied two appeals and approved their Live Oak Lanes family entertainment center. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The family received approval in January from the Buellton City Council  to build the 49,790-square-foot building to house a 16-lane bowling alley, arcade, bar and party rooms in addition to outdoor batting cages and bocce ball courts on 5 acres at 39 and 41 Industrial Way. The project also included a warehouse.

But a neighbor, Terravant Wine Company, objected to the project throughout the process, including appealing the Planning Commission approval to the City Council.

Even after the approval, Terravant and an environmental group filed a civil lawsuit challenging environmental aspects of the project.

The project will remain essentially the same, minus the batting cages and warehouse, at the new location.

“We’ll have to tweak a few changes to make it fit on this property,” Peterson said. “But we won’t be giving up any square footage.” 

The new site provides a family-friendly location, as opposed to the industrial setting of the previous site. 

She and her husband just spent several days at a bowling center management training class, she said. 

They hope to break ground for Live Oak Lanes construction in a year, she added.

“We’re really happy. We’re just tickled because that other property is just so much nicer,” she added.

City Administrator Marc Bierdzinski said a proposal to build Live Oak Lanes on new location means the applicant will have to restart the environmental review and approval process. 

“Without an application, we cannot determine what the impacts of the project at a new location would be, other than the zoning is appropriate for this use as was the site off Industrial Way,” he said.

Meanwhile, the city has been served with paperwork regarding lawsuits filed in Santa Barbara County Superior Court by Terravant and San Luis Obispo-based Environment in the Public Interest, challenging whether adequate environmental review occurred. Terravant also contends an 18-foot-wide swath of property belongs the wine firm. 

The city’s attorney is reviewing the lawsuits and a court date has not been set. 

“Until the project is officially withdrawn by the applicant and City Council, the lawsuits will move forward. The idea of the project at another site has no bearing on the lawsuits until an official withdrawal occurs,” Bierdzinski said. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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