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Goleta Design Review Board Gets Look at Plans for 3-Story Hotel on Calle Real

Conceptual review provides feedback, public comment on proposed 148-room project on former Good Earth Restaurant site

Plans for the proposed 148-room hotel at 5955 Calle Real were examined by the Goleta Design Review Board.
Plans for the proposed 148-room hotel at 5955 Calle Real were examined by the Goleta Design Review Board.  (Stanton Architecture illustration)

With two hotels under construction along Hollister Avenue in Goleta, plans for a new three-story hotel were unveiled for a parcel on Calle Real on the other side of Highway 101.

On Tuesday, the city’s Design Review Board got its first look at the project, which plans to have 148 rooms within 85,000 square feet on two acres at 5955 Calle Real.

The hotel, on the site of the long-closed Good Earth Restaurant, would be located between Zodo’s Bowling & Beyond and Fairview Car Wash, along the north side of the freeway.

The designs and renderings brought before the board revealed a contemporary-style building with facades of stained wood, white plaster, corrugated steel and gray metal spandrel panels.

The hotel is currently designed with an outdoor pool and 154 parking spaces, 45 of which would be underground.

The Design Review Board's conceptual review was the board's opportunity to offer initial recommendations and feedback, and no decisions are made at this point in the review process. The next step for the project would be a formal planning commission approval and design review with the city.

The project was filed with the city by David Watson of Watson Planning Consultants on behalf of the property owner, Peninsular Investments Inc. of South San Francisco.

Architect Michael Stanton told the board the hotel would be attractive to both vacation and business travelers, but wouldn’t be geared toward extended stays.

It would not have big meeting spaces or a restaurant, he said.

During the public comment period, a handful of speakers expressed their concern over the project’s size and potential impacts.

A 148-room hotel, one speaker said, could further congest the already-busy intersection at nearby Calle Real and Fairview Avenue, and would increase the city’s water demand during the drought.

Two other speakers disapproved of the size and bulk of the building, which will be just over 40 feet tall at its highest.

The hotel would be too big, imposing and boxy for the commercial neighborhood, they said.

Although several Design Review Board members expressed favorable opinions of the project, a few also questioned the appropriateness of what they described as such a “clean-cut” and “clinical” appearance, both for the neighborhood and its status as a hotel — the design of which they said should reflect hospitality.

Board members also recommended more landscaping and questioned whether the building would be too tall for the area.

After Good Earth Restaurant closed in 2005, Santa Barbara Motorsports moved in for a while before relocating to 6466 Hollister Ave. Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market explored adding a grocery store on the property but later abandoned those plans.

As the Calle Real hotel makes its way into the city’s review process, two other hotel projects are in their construction phase, both on Hollister Avenue.

The Hilton Garden Inn at 6868-6878 Hollister Ave. will have 138 rooms within 96,000 square feet, and the Marriott Residence Inn at 6300 Hollister Ave. will have 118 rooms within 81,000 square feet.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman 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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