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Local News

Goleta City Council Denies General Plan Land-use Amendment for Gas Station

Parcel proposed for change, at the southwest corner of Santa Felicia Drive and Storke Road, is adjacent to the Ice In Paradise skating rink

A lot neighboring Goleta’s Ice in Paradise skating rink— slated to house a car wash and gas station — will remain vacant for the time being. The Goleta City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday not to modify the General Plan land-use designation for the project. Click to view larger
A lot neighboring Goleta’s Ice in Paradise skating rink— slated to house a car wash and gas station — will remain vacant for the time being. The Goleta City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday not to modify the General Plan land-use designation for the project. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

A lot neighboring Goleta's Ice in Paradise skating rink— slated to house a car wash and gas station — will remain vacant for the time being.

The Goleta City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday night — with Mayor Paula Perotte, Councilmen Kyle Richards and Stuart Kasdin in the majority — to deny modifying the General Plan land-use designation from community commercial to general commercial.

The parcel at 6975 Santa Felicia Drive is identified for commercial recreation and transit facility uses. The applicant, Camino Real IV, LLC,  requested the initiation of an amendment for the 4.32-acre site located at the southwest corner of Santa Felicia Drive and Storke Road.

Council members took into consideration the applicant could change the proposed project if they voted in favor, but the land-use alteration would be permanent.  

The land's current designation is for large-scale and coastal-related retail operations, medical, health, entertainment and recreation services, bed and breakfast inns, hotels and motels.

The site is also classified for residential units up to 12 units per acre as part of mixed-unit developments, Interim Director of Planning and Environmental Review Lisa Prasse wrote in a staff report.

Council members shot down the idea of switching the land-use for possible storage warehousing and outdoor storage, RV parks, retail automotive sales and rentals, auto repair and painting, auto wrecking and junk yard and auto service stations. The land is currently not allowed to be assisted-living residential units up to 20 units per acre and used as educational and construction services.

“The potential to have junk yards isn’t my envision for Storke (Avenue),” Kasdin said. “We should be cautious and reserved in changes in the General Plan.”​

Four people took to the podium to comment on the proposed change.

Residents urged the council to deny the land-use revision because they said adding another gas station would not help the community that already has enough.

“There is no reason the community should have additional negative impacts placed on it for the benefit of property owners,” said one speaker representing The Goodland Coalition. “Industrial uses will negatively impact Ice in Paradise and the area.”

In letters to city staff and the council, Goletans expressed concerns about water usage, and said the location is congested with traffic and UC Santa Barbara student housing.

Mark Linehan, the owner of the Camino Real Marketplace, said the property was first zoned as general commercial and abuts a general commercial area.

“I think we will come forward with a project (gas station and car wash) the community and council will approve,” Linehan said. “If that doesn’t work, we will come forward with residential and retail — if that’s what you want.” 

The applicant also submitted a letter saying it's “time to focus on this unattractive, vacant parcel.”

The General Plan serves as a guiding document for Goleta’s future, provides a road map for land use and open space, policies to guide future conservation, safety, visual and historic resources, transportation, public facilities and housing.

The General Plan has been amended sixteen times since its adoption in late-2006.

“One thing that occurs in the (General Plan) initiation is that we get to learn the traffic impacts and the process because all of the project potentials have to be looked at," Councilman Michael Bennett said.

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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