CPA Cite Concerns of Proposed 101 Garden Street Hotel in the Funk Zone

To: Santa Barbara City Planning Commissioners
Re: 101 Garden Street 250 Room Hotel

Citizens Planning Association is quite familiar with this site. When CPA was founded in 1960, this site was an industrial site which was quietly creating significant contamination.

We feel this current project should not be given an exemption under CEQA.

In the past two years, the city has been subjected to severe flooding because of sea level rise and heavier than normal rainfall. We are in a different world from that of 50 years ago, and a new EIR would show this. Actually, our city doesn’t need a study. Our eyes and our experiences with flooded streets and homes certainly prove we are living in a different world.

We agree with other groups that have pointed out the risks of using a subterranean parking in this flood-prone location.

The Housing Element requires emphasis on affordable housing over tourist-related development. We are concerned that this hotel, with over 100 private extended stay hotel rooms, will only exacerbate the need for low income workers which will have to cater to these high income temporary residents, hence worsening our current housing crisis.

We see little community benefit with the current proposal. It is too big and too private due to no public access of its amenities. There are more than 500 hotel rooms currently in the Funk Zone.

CPA feels this proposed project is inconsistent with this Funk Zone residential/commercial area.

Lastly, we have great concerns about adequacy of the proposed infrastructure improvements.

We appreciate the work done by Keep the Funk organization and Heal the Ocean and support many of their recommendations. At this time, CPA would ask that the 250 room “private island” hotel be denied and that a more compatible project, with more community benefit, such as affordable housing, be considered.

Marell Brooks, President