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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 6:34 pm | Fair 57º


Goleta Council Approves Latest Revisions to Rincon Palms Hotel Project

The Goleta City Council approved the again-revised Rincon Palms hotel Tuesday night by adopting a new development plan for the 138-room project on Hollister Avenue and Storke Road.

Council members already certified a final environmental impact report for an earlier version of the hotel, but asked developers to reduce the height, add a roof-top deck and increase the parking ratio.

The so-called October 2013 project is smaller overall, with 138 rooms, down from 149, and reduced meeting space of 3,876 square feet. It’s planned to be a Hilton Garden Inn with 169 parking spaces and 11 valet spots.

Goleta residents have spoken against the project over the years, concerned about blocking mountain views and causing major traffic impacts to the busy intersection.

Attorney Marc Chytilo, representing the Goodland Coalition, said the project is too big for the three-acre site. It would be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, hotel besides the Bacara Resort & Spa, on the Hollister corridor on one of the smallest sites, he said.

The city’s General Plan designated a hotel for that site, and a version of the project was approved in 2008. Since then, the applicant has been revising plans to include and then cut down meeting space, change the amount of rooms and overall size.

Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Kristen Miller asked the council to approve the project, since there is a growing amount of business travel to the area. If other local hotels are full or don’t offer the right commodities, people head out of town for business or cut visits short, she said.

Miller and others asked for a conference center at this site, but the plans never included more than a large meeting room at the hotel.

The council unanimously approved the revised project. Mayor Roger Aceves said the circulation improvements will have a bigger positive impact since the project is smaller than the original version.

The City Council also continued its public employee evaluation of City Manager Dan Singer on Tuesday, but took no reportable action in closed session, according to City Attorney Tim Giles.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli 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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