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Goleta Design Review Board Discusses 3-Story Hotel on Calle Real

Building heights, traffic congestion, pedestrian safety among concerns raised about the project

The building that formerly housed The Good Earth Restaurant and Santa Barbara Motorsports would be razed to make way for a 148-room hotel on Calle Real in Goleta. Click to view larger
The building that formerly housed The Good Earth Restaurant and Santa Barbara Motorsports would be razed to make way for a 148-room hotel on Calle Real in Goleta. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Travelers might have another place to stay in Goleta, as a three-story hotel with 148 rooms is being proposed on Calle Real between Zodo’s Bowling & Beyond and the Fairview Car Wash.

Applicants headed back to the city’s Design Review Board Tuesday as board members got a second look at a proposed 16,074-square-foot building at 5955 Calle Real.

No decisions are made at this point in the review. 

The meeting was an opportunity for the board to offer feedback and comments on conceptual plans.

The project is subject to the standard Goleta Design Review Board guidelines and the Architecture and Design Standards for Commercial Projects resolution. 

The project, along the north side of Highway 101, was filed by David Watson of Watson Planning Consultants on behalf of the property owner, Peninsular Investments Inc.

The proposal was first brought to the panel in early August.

Architect Michael Stanton returned to the board with a revised plan that included landscape updates, parking and pedestrian access, relocation of the swimming pool and hotel entrance updates, as well as before-and-after images of surrounding views of the site location.

The facility would include 164 parking spaces, 24 of which would be underground, and an outdoor pool.

Documents provided by Stanton included existing views and conditions if the project is approved — from Calle Real, the north Highway 101 off ramp, and the Fairview Avenue Highway 101 overpass. 

A handful of speakers expressed concern about traffic congestion, building heights and the possibility of blocked scenery.

One speaker said the potential impacts could hurt pedestrian safety, and suggested an additional crosswalk by placed at the corner of the property.

Board member Carl Schneider mentioned how the applicant planned to move forward with off-site laundry services.

An applicant representative said they talked with the Goleta Water District and the laundry would “primarily” occur off-site, however, the system will be in place on-site.

“This takes the water issue and moves it from this property to another place,” Schneider said. "I’m struggling with the mass of the building, too.”

Schneider and other board members raised concerns about the proposed plan exceeding the 35-foot building height limit.

Documents showed the height above the maximum.

“I don’t see this has been adequately addressed,” board member Bill Shelor said. “It has been pointed out there aren’t any three-story elements near, including the other hotels. I haven’t seen significant changes regarding what the community expects.”

Board members Dennis Whelan and Thomas Smith said they weren’t opposed to a three-story building in the proposed area.

“I’m not against having something three stories along Calle Real,” Smith said. “I don’t see anything that looks overwhelming, however the height limit.”

After Good Earth Restaurant closed in 2005, Santa Barbara Motorsports took over the site before moving to Hollister Avenue. 

In 2011, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market officials considered adding a grocery store on the property but abandoned those plans.

Two other hotel projects are under construction in Goleta, including a Hilton Garden Inn at 6868-6878 Hollister Ave. and Marriott Residence Inn at 6300 Hollister Ave.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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