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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 1:00 am | Fair 49º


4-Story Mixed-Use Development Proposed on Lower Chapala Street in Santa Barbara

City's Historic Landmarks Commission reviews plans for a residential and commercial project

The Historic Landmarks Commission reviewed a proposal for a four-story mixed-use development at 414 Chapala St. that would replace the one-story, vacant building on the lot.
The Historic Landmarks Commission reviewed a proposal for a four-story mixed-use development at 414 Chapala St. that would replace the one-story, vacant building on the lot.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Plans to demolish Woody’s Detail on Chapala Street and replace it with a four-story mixed-use building have raised concerns about trees, parking and the loss of private views.  

The Cearnal Collective, LLP presented a proposal to the Historic Landmarks Commission on Wednesday to construct a new commercial and residential development at 414 Chapala St., which is currently a vacant 3,200-square-foot, one-story commercial building.

Commissioners made comments but took no action on the proposal. 

The project would renovate the space into a 4,000-square-foot space with 22 residential units and 31 parking spaces in a ground-floor garage. Additional tandem parking is planned for the two-bedroom units.

Architectural plans indicate a central entrance surrounded by small retail spaces on the first level, elevator access from the parking lot to offices on the second floor and residential units on the third and fourth floors.

“The intent is to have a simple, rational two-story presence with commercial on the ground and offices above and the residential all behind that,” project architect Brian Cearnal said. 

Developers are in the process of having an arborist inspect large trees on the property line.

“Our plan needs to address a rather large eucalyptus,” Cearnal said. “The design right now from a plan standpoint, isn’t doing that.”

The project is in a four-story zone, however, based on the plans presented, it is too soon to judge the size of the building, Commissioner Craig Shallanberger said. Architectural plans indicate the building would be 45 feet tall.

Residents living across from the proposed development said the four-story height is overly imposing on private mountain views. 

Commissioner Bill Mahan said there are a number of big buildings already surrounding the lot, with adjacent buildings ranging from 35-50 feet. The Alchemy building on the corner of Haley and Chapala streets is 35 feet tall, according to the city. 

Commissioner Judy Orías would like to see the height of the building reduced and urged planners to talk with neighbors about the idea.

“The more input you get, the better project you have and given the tone of some of the letters, there is a lot of concern,” Orías said.

“It never hurts to spend some time talking and you end up with a better project in the long run.”

Residents also brought up the limited street parking in the area and one suggested an underground parking structure due to the potential of high traffic volume. 

Cearnal said additional cost to build and digging of the ground would not allow it.

“When I look at the neighborhood and recognize the parking that is there now, it is going to have severe impact,” Orías said.

Developmental plans will continue through the approval process and the developer will meet with the Historic Landmarks Commission within the upcoming weeks.

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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