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24-Unit High-Density Rental Housing Project Approved for 1-Acre East Anapamu Site

For 3rd time, Architectural Board of Review OKs proposed apartment project near Santa Barbara Bowl

A rental housing project of 19 one-bedroom apartments and five two-bedroom units is planned for just under a one-acre site at 915 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
A rental housing project of 19 one-bedroom apartments and five two-bedroom units is planned for just under a one-acre site at 915 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara. (The Cearnal Collective LLP rendering)

The Santa Barbara Architectural Board of Review last week approved the latest high-density housing project in the city, this one proposed just below the Santa Barbara Bowl on the Lower Eastside.

The project at 915 E. Anapamu St. calls for two dozen apartments and an underground parking garage on just under an acre. Of the 24 apartments, 19 would be one-bedroom units and five would be two-bedroom units. The apartments would range from 649 to 1,411 square feet.

“It’s an ideal site, currently underutilized, for smaller rental units; walking distance to downtown and on a main transit corridor,” said Brian Cearnal, the project architect with The Cearnal Collective LLP.

A 2,100-square-foot, two-story, single-family home currently sits on the property. The developer plans to remove 19 trees and plant 17 new oak trees on-site and 28 off-site, along with 50 new ornamental trees.

It’s the third time the project has gone before the ABR. The project was first approved in 2010, then 2015, and now 2016, after the property changed hands.

The city’s Average Unit-size Density Incentive Program encourages developers to build rental housing by allowing them to build more units per acre and set aside only one on-site parking space per unit.

The city would like to see more rental housing for young professionals and working families. City officials hope the program will provide incentives to build rentals for developers — who have long said they cannot build a profitable rental-housing project without city subsidy or the ability to pack several units in on one site.

The city has been successful in its mission since the AUD was approved in 2013. The City Council determined the program would sunset in eight years or when 250 units were built.

At this rate, however, this city will reach 250 units in about four years. So far, 209 units have been approved with another 307 in the pipeline. Only two units have been constructed so far.

The ABR unanimously approved the East Anapamu Street project with the votes of Thiep Cung, Scott Hopkins, Kevin Moore and Amy Fitzgerald Tripp. Board members Kirk Gradin, Courtney Jane Miller and Howard Wittausch were absent.

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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