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Advice

Deal Paves Way for Much-Needed Public Parking Lot in Old Town Orcutt

Cleanup of old oil at the site must be done before land south of Clark Avenue is ready for new use as lot with space for 50-75 vehicles

Adding more parking in Old Town Orcutt has been a long-standing goal of the Old Town Orcutt Revitalization Association, say former and current OTORA presidents Steve Strachan and Brett Krause. The lot is planned for land on Marcum Street, just south of Clark Avenue and west of Orcutt Union Plaza. Click to view larger
Adding more parking in Old Town Orcutt has been a long-standing goal of the Old Town Orcutt Revitalization Association, say former and current OTORA presidents Steve Strachan and Brett Krause. The lot is planned for land on Marcum Street, just south of Clark Avenue and west of Orcutt Union Plaza. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

With cooperation from two oil companies, Old Town Orcutt could soon get a public parking lot.

The Old Town Orcutt Revitalization Association announced that Chevron, on behalf of property owner Phillips 66, has agreed to remediate the property at 201 S. Marcum St., south of Clark Avenue and west of Orcutt Union Plaza.

Cleanup of the old oil at the site will allow it to become a parking lot boasting 50 to 75 spaces for daily activities and special events in Old Orcutt, plus a bicycle rack.

“This parking lot will be vital to future commercial and economic growth of Old Town Orcutt,” Berto Van Veen, founding OTORA member, said in a news release.

Funds to construct the parking lot likely will come from private sources, and it’s expected that materials will be donated, OTORA said. The association also plans to apply for grants.

Chevron has applied for permits to conduct the remediation project, with plans to begin the work in the spring and finish by the end of 2016.

“We have been working with two oil companies and numerous departments of the county for over five years to get to this point,” said Brett Krausse, OTORA president.

Some association members were losing hope the project would come to fruition as time dragged on without any progress.

Two oil companies are involved in this deal, Krausse said, because Chevron is the former site owner, but retained the cleanup responsibility when the land changed hands, ultimately becoming a Phillips 66 property.

Additional changes within the oil corporation also brought delays and uncertainty, but OTORA members said they feel more positive now about the project’s fate.

As Old Orcutt grows and holds more outdoor events, the need for parking has become critical.

Orcutt Union Plaza, which is home to several popular restaurants, has a number of spaces but those fill up quickly, especially during nonprofit events.

“When those things happen, parking really gets impacted,” Krausse said. “In our opinion, and I think most people’s opinion, parking is not horrible in Old Town Orcutt right now. It’s not great at certain times, but I think the point is for growth.”

Limited parking with currently proposed developments has OTORA looking ahead.

“The other thing that OTORA’s done is try to promote this town as a pedestrian-friendly town,” added Steve Strachan, former OTORA president.

The action plan, which OTORA members said has been approved by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, includes excavating 18,500 cubic yards of hydrocarbon-impacted soil from the site and replaced with back fill.

The Old Town Orcutt Revitalization Association is a grassroots nonprofit organization committed to implementing the Orcutt Community Plan.

That plan calls for increasing the commerce and culture of the Old Town Orcutt business district.

Other OTORA projects included rezoning of commercial properties in Old Town, re-striping Clark Avenue for more parking, planting and maintaining more than 30 trees along Clark Avenue, installing a community clock, installing benches, and funding the Old Maude mural at the 76 station.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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