Wednesday, November 14 , 2018, 4:31 pm | Fair 70º


Goleta Council Forms Ad Hoc Committee for Airport Property

Goleta officials want to keep tabs on Santa Barbara Airport property that is slated to be sold to — and developed by — humanitarian nonprofit Direct Relief International.

The parcel at 6100 Hollister Ave. is technically owned by the City of Santa Barbara but is surrounded on three sides by Goleta, which is why the Goleta City Council voted unanimously Monday to create an ad hoc committee to monitor development plans.

Council members appointed Mayor Michael Bennett and Councilman Tony Vallejo to serve on the Ad Hoc Santa Barbara Airport Support Property Development Review Committee, which will work with airport and Santa Barbara officials to learn more about the parcel’s ownership, development plans and possible alternatives for any adverse effects.

The idea for the committee, which would disband after findings were presented to council, came from Councilman Jim Farr at a meeting last month.

City Manager Michelle Greene said Santa Barbara officials were open to collaboration, wanting to ensure future development didn’t conflict with Goleta’s interests, although a timeframe for how long the committee would exist wasn’t known.

Goleta-based Direct Relief plans to open a new state-of-the-art facility on the land in 2016, replacing the nonprofit’s existing building at 27 S. La Patera Lane and a warehouse across the street.

The Santa Barbara City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to authorize the sale of land north of Hollister Avenue in the airport’s commercial industrial area in September.

Direct Relief pledged to pay a base price of $25 per square foot of land — between $6.5 million and $8.5 million — for 6 to 8.5 acres of the 15-acre parcel, dependent on final development plans.

At first, Councilman Roger Aceves said he was concerned a committee would bypass the council as a whole.

Vallejo described the committee as more “proactive,” one that could touch base with Santa Barbara before a final environmental impact report was released to the public.

“Really, it is in our city, and we’re the one who’s going to have to deal with it,” Vallejo said.

Farr indicated he wanted to serve on the ad hoc committee to advocate for Goleta — since the land was in the heart of the city — but Aceves nominated Bennett and Vallejo because he said he feared Farr would do more than gather information.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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