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Goleta City Council Agenda Item #F, Public Hearing for the Marriott Residence Inn/Hollister Center Project

September 19, 2014

Citizens Planning Association
September 15, 2014

Re: Goleta City Council Agenda Item #F, Public Hearing for the Marriott Residence Inn/Hollister Center Project


Dear Mayor Bennett and Councilmembers Aceves, Farr, Perotte and Vallejo:

The Board of Directors of the Citizens Planning Association (CPA) opposes this nearly 1.86 acre new project on Hollister that would be the Marriott Extended Stay Hotel.

For more than 50 years, CPA, a volunteer-supported citizen action organization, has worked for good planning in Santa Barbara County. Our concerns include issues of density, traffic and historical preservation. Especially here on the South Coast but throughout Santa Barbara County, we live in a rare environment that demands protection, both for ourselves and future generations.

CPA followed closely the prior approval process for the Marriott, agreeing with the many speakers who expressed deep concern for the preservation of the Chumash heritage. Coming right on the heels of the last weekend's Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Symposium on Human Origins, with its international scientist participation, discussing the Native American presence along this coast dating to approximately 14,000 years ago, this Goleta agenda item calls out how we all need to be especially respectful of heritage sites.

We believe that the prior approval for the Marriott, with all the extensive discussions, would not have occurred had it been known that not long afterwards the hotel would return with a larger project.

In addition, noting the already increasing traffic along that main section of Hollister, a prime safety access route, we doubt that Goleta should foreseeably need even more hotels than it has and what is already in the permit pipeline.

And we especially oppose moving this project forward because of water considerations. As noted in the immediately preceding Agenda item E, the Supply and Demand Update, the Goleta Water District has instituted Stage II Water Shortage Emergency with mandatory water use restrictions. Because one can continue expanding water usage does not mean that one should. As the City urges its residents to conserve, what kind of example is government giving in not respecting the moratorium, but relying upon a 1990's loophole.

We urge that the Council not adopt City Council Resolution 14-xxx. There is plenty of time ahead for more hotels and other water consuming projects, if needed.    With so many projects along Hollister already underway or about to be underway, now is not the time.

Respectfully,

Betsy R. Cramer
Executive Vice President, Citizens Planning Association

Citizens Planning Association
916 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
805-966-3979
http://citizensplanning.org
info@citizensplanningsb@gmail.com

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