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Local News

Westar Project Developer Settles Lawsuit with Goleta Resident

As part of the agreement, the mixed-use development will include less commercial space and more residential units

The Westar project developer has settled a lawsuit with a Glen Annie Road resident who sued citing the City Council’s approval and environmental review of the residential and commercial complex.

Patricia Moreno sued Goleta Hollister LLC, the Westar developer, the City of Goleta and the City Council, saying the environmental impact report didn’t evaluate alternatives or look at all the traffic impacts.

Westar is planned to have 274 residential units, parks, stores and restaurants on the land on Hollister Avenue between Glen Annie Road and Santa Felicia Drive.

Moreno lives across the street from the development site and even convinced a neighbor, Leslie Lund, to run as a write-in candidate for the City Council in an effort to undo the project’s approval.

As part of the settlement agreement to dismiss the lawsuit, Westar will eliminate the smaller commercial buildings that were approved directly across from the petitioner’s house, according to Goleta city attorney Tim Giles said.

Scroll down to view the full settlement agreement.

In addition, Westar will replace the three small commercial buildings with 16 studio and 17 one-bedroom apartments. It will also move the park from its approved location on Sespe Lane to an area farther south on Glen Annie Road.

The change eliminates only a fraction of the commercial space for the entire project, Giles said.

Westar paid the attorney fees for Moreno as part of the settlement as well.

Goleta is not required to do anything under the agreement, but the planning staff will process the application for the modified plan. The city hasn’t agreed to approve any changes and it will look at the application like any other, Giles said.

“If the city rejects the modified project, Goleta Hollister agrees not to apply to the city to replace the three commercial buildings with any retail, restaurant or live/work uses, but Goleta Hollister reserves the right to apply to the city for another modification to the project for residential or office uses,” according to the settlement agreement.

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.

  Westar Settlement Agreement for Moreno v. City of Goleta by Giana Magnoli

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