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County Supervisors to Hear Miramar Appeals in April

The fate of the Miramar Beach Resort & Bungalows development in Montecito is slated to be decided April 14, when the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider two appeals of its approval.

A hearing date was set Tuesday, with the supervisors unanimously agreeing to schedule the sure-to-be-long hearing sooner rather than later.

Caruso Affiliated developers and a Los Angeles couple who own a home near the proposed hotel site on 16 acres overlooking Miramar Beach have filed appeals of the Montecito Planning Commission’s Jan. 21 approval.

A representative for both appellants appeared Tuesday and asked for different hearing dates — not surprising, considering the two appeals were filed for dissimilar reasons.

Richard and Dana Pachulski, who own property on Miramar Avenue, want the supervisors to better examine impacts to parking, traffic and water supply.

The developers want to reverse the commission’s conditioned approval limiting event capacity — from a proposed 400 to 350 — and reducing Miramar Beach Club membership from 200 to 100, since they want to eventually raise membership to 300.

L.A.-based attorney Robert Silverstein, who represents the Pachulski family, told the supervisors the April date wouldn’t work because it conflicts with another case deadline to submit a reply brief for a case. He suggested May 5 or May 12.

Caruso’s executive vice president of development, Matt Middlebrook, requested April 14 or April 21, since developer Rick Caruso would be traveling and unable to attend May 5.

He hoped for timely processing of the appeal to avoid further affecting the timeframe for development, which he said is costing Caruso Affiliated thousands of dollars daily.

The privately held Los Angeles real estate firm has waited eight years for the right combination of financing and approval after buying the property in 2007, and twice receiving approval for past iterations of the project in 2008 and 2011.

The scaled-back project design submitted last fall features 170 guest rooms instead of 186, including 27 oceanfront rooms and suites, and a freestanding presidential suite.

Middlebrook, who highlighted Caruso’s continued communication with Silverstein’s office to try and resolve their appeal, was also concerned a delay would put construction smack in the middle of the county moratorium on grading from October through March.

First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, who represents Montecito, applauded the staff for “trying to thread the needle” before siding with the April 14 pick.

The supervisors will hear the appeals in Santa Barbara on the fourth floor of the County Administration Building at 105 E. Anapamu St.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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