A two-story building for Sansum Clinic‘s expanded medical services into the Santa Ynez Valley received the Solvang Planning Commission’s approval on Monday night after a brief discussion about the building’s design.
Commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the project’s development plan and other matters, with Aaron Petersen recusing himself from the discussion and vote since he owns property nearby.
“I like the design. I think it’s well thought out and I think it’s an asset for the community,” Commissioner Kief Adler said.
Commissioner Joan Jamieson said she was grateful the project will mean people needing cancer treatment could stay close to home and wouldn’t have to drive to Santa Barbara or Santa Maria.
“It’s a nice project and it’s going to be well-used I’m sure, unfortunately,” she said.
In addition to the clinic services, the facility will provide outpatient chemotherapy treatment for patients of Ridley-Tree Cancer Center.
The clinic would sit on the north side of Windmill Lane in the 1900 block on the last two undeveloped lots in a developed urban area. The site is approximately 200 feet west of the intersection of Windmill Lane and Alamo Pintado Road.
The facility would consist of two stories totaling approximately 24,000 square feet. The project also will include 133 parking spaces plus electric vehicle charging stations.
“We’ve worked hard on this to make it fit in. This is a very important project for Sansum,” said Brian Cearnal, project architect.
At the request of a neighbor, commissioners agreed to remove an exterior staircase leading to a sidewalk from the proposal.
The building would employ Spanish Mission-style design, which would be consistent with the nearby commercial buildings.
The topic sparked questions about where Solvang’s Mission-style and Old World Danish-style designs should exist.
Commissioner Justin Rodriguez noted nearby homes feature Danish-style.
“This is a pretty big building so when you’re coming into town it’s going to be a significant thing that you see and it’s not Danish in architectural appearance,” Rodriguez said.
Planning consultant Laurie Tamura said the topic has been discussed at the Design Review Committee and the General Plan Advisory Committee regarding where to make the distinction between Solvang’s two architectural design styles.
“I think it is a really important element to think about them as two different areas,” Tamura said.
Planning Manager Sophia Checa said the community design element approved in the 1980s makes a distinction between the Old World Danish design and the rest of the city to make the village area very special.
“It is in our existing General Plan in the community design element and it’s going to be something that’s carried forward more formally called…the Mission Design District,” Checa added.
When a similar question arose about a proposed mixed-use project in the 1700 block of Mission Drive (Highway 246), survey results favored a Mission-style design, not Old World Danish, to match the Solvang Veterans Memorial Building next door and Mission Santa Ines across the street.