The California Coastal Commission voted unanimously during a virtual meeting on Thursday to approve the new fire station project planned for western Goleta.
“It’s wonderful news for Goleta,” Vyto Adomaitis, the city’s neighborhood services and public safety director, told Noozhawk. “We are extremely happy.”
The Goleta City Council approved the Fire Station 10 project in 2018, but the site of a proposed 11,600-square-foot facility at 7952 Hollister Ave. is located in the coastal zone. Therefore, a coastal development permit from the California Coastal Commission was a requirement before Goleta could take the project’s next step.
The commission staff recommended that the commissioners approve Goleta’s coastal development permit application with special conditions.
The California Coastal Commission spent about 40 minutes on the topic, including staff presentations and public comments on the fire station project.
Adomaitis was the lead presenter at Thursday’s videoconferencing meeting.
“It was a historic day for Goleta,” he said. “I’m extremely proud of our project team, our wonderful partnership with the (county) fire department, and also the tremendous collaboration and work effort that we put into working with our community.
“The end result before the commission was a project that reflected collaboration — and not only with our community and the fire department, but also with the (California) Coastal Commission staff.”
The project consists of the design and construction of a three-bay, single-story fire station, with associated landscaping and appurtenant facilities on a vacant, city-owned parcel across from Goleta’s Sandpiper Golf Club.
Western Goleta doesn’t meet emergency response guidelines and population-to-firefighter ratio standards from the National Fire Protection Association, so a new fire station is needed in the area to provide adequate protection services, according to city officials.
The next step is for construction documents for Fire Station 10 to be finalized for City Council authorization to go out to bid, city officials said.
“We are going to be working on this ASAP,” Adomaitis said. “We are going to be working with our project team.”
Construction on the fire station project is estimated to take anywhere from 12 months to 18 months, depending on weather conditions and other factors.
The City of Goleta submitted a coastal development permit application in January 2019, and after completing additional studies requested by coastal officials, Goleta learned in February that the coastal development permit application had been deemed complete.
“The approval by the California Coastal Commission is another big milestone in the development of Fire Station 10,” Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said in a statement. “This new station will help our fire department to provide significantly better response times for fire suppression and emergency medical assistance to our residents.”
She added that the new fire station “reinforces the city’s strong commitment to public safety.”
When the project is complete, four fire stations will serve Goleta. The existing fire stations within city boundaries are Fire Station 11 at 6901 Frey Way, Fire Station 12 at 5330 Calle Real and Fire Station 14 at 320 Los Carneros Road.