Re: 800 Santa Barbara Street: 23 proposed new residential units; 3 stories above grade and parking garage; APN 031-0120028. MST 2015-00023
Dear Members of the Santa Barbara City Council:
Since 1960, Citizens Planning Association has studied hundreds of proposed projects within the City of Santa Barbara. CPA has a long history of supporting projects which serve to preserve or enhance the historic areas of the city of Santa Barbara. CPA also supports housing as long as it does not negatively impact neighborhoods in terms of parking, mass, and public views.
CPA has studied the proposed project, which appeared before the Historic Landmarks Commission in 2017. The proposal was approved on a 4-3 vote. CPA believes this project as approved is, in fact, unsuitable for this location in the historic core of the City. Such a massive building would have a severe negative impact on the numerous nearby historic structures as well as the existing Anacapa School.
CPA supports the appeal filed by the Pearl Chase Society and the Santa Barbara Conservancy. This project is visually incompatible in scale and bulk with other buildings in the area. The loss of the mature trees would negatively impact the area. The project lacks adequate parking that will result in more street parking in this historic area.
CPA urges you to support the appeal of this project in a very important historic district. We understand this project is being considered under the AUD guidelines. CPA usually supports projects which provide needed housing, but this particular project is wholly incompatible in the middle of El Pueblo Viejo district near numerous historic buildings.
Mary Ellen Brooks
Citizens Planning Association