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New, Modern Taco Bell Wins Goleta Design Approval

After a bit of haggling over the course of three meetings, a Goleta design review panel has approved a new Taco Bell on Fairview Avenue near Calle Real.

The new, modern Taco Bell building will replace a dated building at 140 N. Fairview Ave. 

Taco Bell originally wanted to build a larger, taller building, but scaled it back to address concerns expressed by a nearby veterinarian clinic and some local residents. 

"What we are hoping is that, with the lowering of the building and the other modifications we have made, we hopefully have successfully shown that this building is really not impacting the people at all looking eastbound," said Hugh Murphy, an architect with VMI Architecture, at a recent Goleta Design Review Board meeting

Taco Bell agreed to lower the building height from 21 feet to 18 feet to preserve views and remove a Plexiglass shield facing Fairview Avenue.

The new building will have 15 parking spaces instead of the current 18. Taco Bell also plans to remove its existing angled parking and replace it with perpendicular parking.

A new Taco Bell building will be built at the 140 N. Fairview Ave. location in Goleta and the project recently got approval from the city’s Design Review Board.
A new Taco Bell building will be built at the 140 N. Fairview Ave. location in Goleta and the project recently got approval from the city’s Design Review Board.  (VMI Architecture photo)

Plans call for crews to demolish the existing Taco Bell building, but it is unclear when developers will swing the wrecking ball.

Taco Bell must first obtain a building and grading permit, likely later this year. Even though it's a new restaurant, Taco Bell will not be asking for an additional water use allocation from the Goleta Water District

Taco Bell plans to install modern plumbing fixtures that will reduce water use and plant drought tolerant landscaping. 

Goleta activist Barbara Massey supported the project at the design board meeting. 

"The new Taco Bell is a far better appearance with an open and friendly feel," Massey said. "It will be an improvement to the community. Let's get going so we can have a nice, new Taco Bell."

The restaurant renovation is just one of many commercial changes under way in the city of Goleta.

The Rusty's Pizza on Callw Real will close and then reopen in a modern, state-of-the-art building still on Calle Real next to the Fig Grill, which recently changed its name from Fresco Café North. 

Looking broader, the restaurant rebuild is part of a wave of urban renewal in Goleta, from mixed-use developments and hotels near Hollister Avenue and Storke Road to town homes near Los Carneros Road.

There are ongoing road work projects and street closures, particularly in western Goleta, coupled with Highway 101 improvements, that are adding to the whirlwind of construction. 

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.

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