Ed St. George's West Beach hotel at 302 and 308 W. Montecito St.
Ed St. George's West Beach hotel project at 302 and 308 W. Montecito St. has won approval from Santa Barbara's Architectural Board of Review. (Contributed rendering)

Ed St. George’s West Beach hotel, described as “handsome,” finally won approval from Santa Barbara’s Architectural Board of Review.

The vote was 3-2, with board members Lauren Anderson, Steve Nuhn and Dennis Weylan in support and Kevin Moore and Richard Six opposed.

“This is the last rough beach neighborhood in Santa Barbara, and this hotel project along with the other two I have proposed on this block will help integrate this neighborhood back into the beautiful West Beach it once was,” developer St. George said.

The project at 302 and 308 W. Montecito St. is a three-story development consisting of a 31-room hotel and a 1,546-square-foot commercial space. The project includes 46 vehicle parking spaces and 11 bicycle parking spaces.

The plan calls for demolishing four residential units and office space, and merging two lots.

St. George plans to build six affordable housing units somewhere else in the city as part of the hotel project.

Some of the board members said the project’s tower deserved more “articulation.” They also opposed a window that was there only for aesthetics and not function.

St. George, the owner of Beach City near Santa Barbara City College and hundreds of units in Isla Vista, won approval to build the hotel during a long meeting before the Santa Barbara City Council in 2019.

He hopes to revive the West Beach area with his hotel development. He owns another parcel at the corner of Castillo and West Montecito streets that is intended to be an annex to the current project.

Weylan called the project “handsome” before voting for project design approval at the June 26 meeting.

Six said he preferred that the size and massing of the building be reduced.

Board president Moore wanted to see a model that was 3D because “there’s a lot going on.”

Despite those two objections, St. George said he was pleased with the result.

“Thank you, ABR, for your support,” St. George said. “We very much look forward to seeing this small boutique hotel added to the other collection of similar size, of a bygone era.”