Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 8:43 pm | Fair 49º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Revised Islamic Center Proposed for Goleta Wins Support of Design Review Board

Some neighbors are opposed to the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara development, slated for the corner of Los Carneros Road and Calle Real

A two-story Islamic center is set to go up at the corner of Los Carneros Road and Calle Real, next to the roundabout in Goleta.
A two-story Islamic center is set to go up at the corner of Los Carneros Road and Calle Real, next to the roundabout in Goleta. (Josh Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Two years after its original approval, the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara has won unanimous support from the Goleta Design Review Board for revisions to the proposed two-story Islamic center on the corner of Los Carneros Road and Calle Real.

Architect Paul Zink presented plans this week for a revised center, although it did not quell the concerns of some people who don't want the center in their neighborhood.

The new plans call for a reduction in size from 9,802 square feet to 6,720 square feet. The basement has been removed, and a residential component has been shrunk from 1,400 to 400 square feet.

The project has already been approved, so city staff will make the final decision as to whether the new plans conform close enough to the original approval. The design changes can also be appealed. 

The Islamic Society of Santa Barbara is home to dozens of families, who currently hold worship services, lectures and other events at rented locations in Goleta. The new center will include meeting, lecture, library and reception rooms, restrooms, a pantry, a prayer area and a dining hall. 

Some people who spoke at Tuesday's meeting were critical of the project.

"I think you are too big, you are too tall," said Linda Williams a Goleta resident who said she has lived on Camino Venturoso for 46 years, long enough to remember when they wanted to put a 7-Eleven convenience store in that spot. "You are crowding in on a little tiny piece of land and ruining the area.

"It's bad enough you have let all these other apartments being built and all of this traffic. I think that the government of Goleta is afraid, and that it's sad that you can't stand up for the people who live here."

Islamic center
An architectural rendering shows the two-story Islamic center proposed for the corner of Los Carneros Road and Calle Real in Goleta. (Paul Zink rendering)

Resident Shirley Dylan said she opposed the design. 

"This design does not go with our beautiful open space and rural atmosphere," she said. "The impact of a project like this doesn't work well in this location. I urge you to oppose this design in this area."

Some of the speakers openly said that an Islamic worship center did not belong in Goleta. 

"I'm a retired physician living in Goleta," Charles Owen said. "I question the reason for having a mosque in Goleta."

The new project calls for a row of coast live oak, strawberry and palm trees to "frame the architecture." The center also wanted to plant olive trees on the site, saying that it is a "culturally significant tree to have in the palette."

"We are trying to create a very nice woodland landscape," landscape architect Kim True said.

Besides the unanimous support of the Design Review Board, the center also had plenty of supporters from the public.

"I frankly cannot believe that we are still talking about whether this project is going to go forward or not," said John Douglas, a Goleta resident for last 13 years. "These people were denied a community center of their own. They deserve and should be entitled to their house of worship and their community center."

Douglas and others said the project's time has come.

"I find it hard to believe, and would love if someone would do a little bit of research to see if any other house of worship in this entire county has ever face so many roadblocks, whether those roadblocks arise from bigotry or prejudice and unfounded allegations that you'd probably only find in Fox News or elsewhere," Douglas said. "I am outraged at the bureaucratic process, which is so glacial."

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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >