January 11, 2021
To: Santa Barbara County Planning Commission
Re: Appeal of the Amity Development Proposal
Dear Planning Commissioners,
The Board of Directors of Citizens Planning Association has been following this project for several years. We have reviewed the appeal of this new proposal and the staff report. We have several concerns about the proposal.
This Project was originally approved in Fall 2016. Findings were made at that time that the drive thru would not be detrimental to the community. Traffic staff expressed confidence the drive thru line would be contained within the parking lot. At the time of approval, four businesses were approved as part of the Development plan.
Following approval and over the next two years, the developer returned to the County and received staff-level approvals to expand the project by approximately 2000 square feet. In order for the Planning Commission to make required findings for the Development Plan Amendment, they must find that public services, including streets and sidewalks, are adequate, and that the changes are consistent with the “comfort, convenience and safety” of the neighborhood.
The existing project already presents safety risks in that cars are often lined up in the bike lane, crosswalk, or blocking the sidewalk along Calle Real. The problems particularly impact multi-modal travel by bicycles and pedestrians, contrary to the goals of the Eastern Goleta Valley community plan.
CPA recommends that the Planning Commission uphold the appeal as the traffic/circulation for this project is inadequate even without adding a fourth business. If the Commission denies this appeal and approves the additional office requested by the applicant, please consider adding a condition requiring the developer to immediately adopt the recommended Traffic Monitoring and Reduction Plan to ensure vehicle queueing in the right of way does not occur and that vehicle parking is accessible as the cars at Starbucks queue up both on site and along the neighboring streets.
Marell Brooks, President
Citizens Planning Association