Saturday, July 21 , 2018, 5:08 pm | Fair 71º


Local News

UCSB Revises Dorm Project to Address Neighbor Concerns

UC Santa Barbara gave the Goleta City Council an update Tuesday night on the planned San Joaquin student housing project at Storke and El Colegio roads, which backs up against the Storke Ranch neighborhood.

Marc Fisher, vice chancellor of administrative services, said the project is still early in the design process but should move forward with planning and environmental approvals this fall before going to the California Coastal Commission.

Council members didn’t take any action on the project Tuesday night.

The housing is part of the university’s Long Range Development Plan, which was brought to the city in 2010. UCSB expects 5,000 more students by 2025, and it made a commitment that the campus would contain 50 percent of student housing so all additional growth is kept out of the community, Fisher said.

Almost 40 percent of students live on campus now, and housing more of the population there would mitigate the impacts of growth, he said. As of now, 168 apartments are proposed for the San Joaquin complex.

There would be six students per three-bedroom apartment, but the university is pushing cars for the project over to the existing San Clemente lot, which is usually at least half-empty, Fisher said.

He said plans for the dormitory complex have changed to address community concerns, particularly from people who live in the Storke Ranch neighborhood.

There was originally going to be a combination of three-, four-, five- and six-story buildings and a tall parking garage, but the revised plan features smaller buildings with all the common areas and student activity areas on the interior of the complex to minimize noise to the surrounding neighborhoods.

Fault lines running through the area also changed the plans, since there are certain spots the university can’t build on.

Neighbors are very concerned about noise, traffic and construction impacts on the area from the project. The buildings are planned for 35 to 50 feet away from the property line, and the project would have low vegetation closest to the Storke Ranch backyards with higher trees along the buildings to soften the visual impact, Fisher said.

Residents have been very outspoken against the project, and two people spoke up at the council meeting with their concerns about construction time, noise and the long-term impact of having 500 more people living right in their backyards.

The Sierra Madre Apartments, with 151 apartments and faculty housing, also will have all the public functions arranged on the interior of the complex. There will be one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, “very much like Willow Springs,” Fisher said.

Construction will start between nesting season and the rainy season, so most likely between August and October.

Fisher said the university isn’t looking to acquire any more property in the near future but it is negotiating to get the Cabrillo Business Park’s Mammoth Moving and Storage space.

Councilman Jim Farr thanked Fisher and UCSB for being “sensitive to the needs of Goleta.”

Mayor Roger Aceves said he hopes the university will work closely with the Storke Ranch Association every step of the way.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli 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.

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 Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • 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 >

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 >