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Local News

New Waterfront Hotel Project Inches Forward in Santa Barbara

Development by the Fess Parker family gets more feedback from Historic Landmarks Commission

Waterfront site on Cabrillo Boulevard and Calle Cesar Chavez for a hotel. Click to view larger
A proposed hotel project for the Santa Barbara waterfront was reviewed again by the Historic Landmarks Commission last week. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

A 56-room Santa Barbara waterfront hotel project proposed for the corner of Cabrillo Boulevard and Calle Cesar Chavez is moving closer to approval.

The site is owned by the Fess Parker family, which already has approval for a 150-room hotel and conference room at the site.

The family, however, has revised the project to include a 56-room hotel, consisting of two- and three-story structures.

“I think it is a beautiful project and it is going to be very successful,” said Ed Lenvik, a member of the city's Historic Landmarks Commission, at the review meeting last week.

The project went before the city's HLC on April 4 because the hotel site is within the city's El Pueblo Viejo District. It was the project's seventh concept review, and it still needs to be approved by the city's Planning Commission. 

Suzanne Elledge, who is representing the Parker family for the project's planning and permitting, said she was taking the matter to the HLC periodically to get feedback on various components. 

The city approved plans for a 150-room hotel at the site in 1981, and then revised the project in 1993, requiring the Parker family to build a hostel and donate land for a Chase Palm Park expansion.

The proposed hotel would be located across the street from The Fess Parker, a Doubletree by Hilton Resort.

Fess Parker, a western actor known for playing Davy Crockett, died in 2010, and his family asked the city for a 10-year extension of the development agreement so it could move forward with a new, smaller version of the hotel project on the 500 block of Cabrillo Boulevard.

The hotel would include casual and fine dining restaurants, a wine cellar and lounge, a rooftop swimming pool and pool bar, spa, banquet room, water features, and gardens. Vehicle and pedestrian access to the hotel will be from Calle Cesar Chavez via a motor court and accessible sidewalk at a reception pavilion.

“It is a huge project and a very important project,” HLC member Anthony Grumbine said. 

Commission members gave the developers feedback on minor items, including the trellises, a retail building at the entrance and the fountains, which “need more Spanish Colonial Andalusian flavor,”​ Grumbine said. 

The committee voted unanimously to give the project an indefinite continuance. 

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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