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Santa Barbara Planning Commission OKs New Hotel Near East Beach

Proposal calling for 111-room hotel with on-site parking approved on 3-2 vote with 2 commissioners absent

Plans for a new 111-room hotel on this parcel near East Beach were unanimously approved for this parcel by the Santa Barbara Planning Commission. Click to view larger
Plans for a new 111-room hotel on this parcel near East Beach were unanimously approved for this parcel by the Santa Barbara Planning Commission. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

A site plan for a new four-story, 45-foot-tall hotel near the East Beach Batting Cages has been approved by Santa Barbara's Planning Commission.

The project calls for the demolition of two existing commercial buildings at 926 Indio Muerto to reconfigure the layout to allow for a 111-room hotel development, with a roof terrace, ground-floor parking garage with 121 spaces and 39 bike parking spaces.  

The hotel parking will all be provided on site, according to city planner Kelly Brodison.

After a 4-hour hearing earlier this month, the Planing Commission voted 3-2 — with Commissioner Sheila Lodge and John Campanella absent — to approve the 62,541-square-foot hotel building near southbound Highway 101’s North Milpas Street exit ramp.

(An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the project was approved on a 6-0 vote.)

Commissioners approved a coastal-development permit, a plan to allow the construction of 50,431 square feet of net new nonresidential floor area, and a development plan for a transfer of existing development rights for 77 hotel rooms and 18,000-square-foot of nonresidential floor area from 31 W. Carrillo Street and 535 E. Montecito to the project site.

The next steps for the developer, IWF SB Gateway LP, include design approval from the city’s Architectural Board of Review, obtaining an encroachment permit from Caltrans for public and pedestrian improvements within the Caltrans right-of-way, compliance with the conditions imposed on the project by the Planning Commission, and a building permit application, Brodison said.

“I don’t have any significant concerns — except for the pedestrian circulation and safety,” said Commissioner Deborah Schwartz, who supported the design. “Any improvement to pedestrian circulation and safety in this area that encourages more pedestrian activity along Milpas Street and down to the beach is going to improve our economic vitality and the safety of this area.

"This could be the anchor to transforming, in a positive way, and bringing additional residents and businesses to this area.”

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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