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Santa Barbara City Council OKs Height Changes to Mixed-Use Coast Village Road Project

3-story building going into former gas station site at Coast Village and Olive Mill roads will include retail and residential space

The Santa Barbara City Council voted Tuesday to approve a height change to the mixed-use project on Coast Village Road. The project, shown here during construction in June, will include commercial space and residential units. Click to view larger
The Santa Barbara City Council voted Tuesday to approve a height change to the mixed-use project on Coast Village Road. The project, shown here during construction in June, will include commercial space and residential units. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk file photo)

The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday gave swift and full support of developer John Price’s plan to increase the building height and add a new spa to a second-level patio for his mixed-use project on Coast Village Road.

Earlier this year, the city’s Architectural Board of Review denied Olive Oil & Gas, LP’s request to increase the height of the building.

The project is at the site of the former Union 76 gas station at 1298 Coast Village Rd., across the street from the Montecito Inn and at the foot of a Highway 101 off-ramp at Olive Mill Road.

The project's overall height would rise from 35 feet, 6 inches tall to to 36 feet, 7 inches tall. 

The project’s architect, Jeff Gorell, said Price needed to alter the project, originally approved in 2009, because seismic requirements for building changed dramatically since the approval.

Longer beams, drilled further into the ground, were required and the project needed the extra height.

"We would not be here for such a modest increase if this were not serious," Gorrell said.

The council agreed, with little discussion, and voted 6-0 to approve the changes.

“I am persuaded that the seismic requirements are needed and that the Jacuzzi can be where it is,” Councilwoman Cathy Murillo said.

Plans call for a retail and residential project, which is currently under construction.

The ABR denied the proposed changes because members believed it went against the council’s original direction when it was approved in 2009, after a long battle with a then-neighbor that opposed the project. A new next-door property owner supports the revised project.

The top two floors of the three-story building are planned to be residential, with a bottom floor for commercial space. ​The mixed-use building would include 4,800 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 13,795 square feet of residential space on the second and third floors.

Plans include two three-bedroom units and three two-bedroom units for the residential floors, with a total of 36 parking spaces.

Price, who owns several gas stations in the area, proposed the project more than a decade ago. It was met with wide disapproval, largely due to the size and bulk of the project and traffic concerns. 

Councilman Harwood “Bendy” White, a land use consultant, recused himself from the meeting because he said Price is one of his financial clients.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina 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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