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CPA Questions Loss of Affordable Housing & Project's Size/Height at 219 Haley Street, Santa Barbara

June 19, 2019

To: Santa Barbara City Planning Commission

 

Re: Concept Review of 219 E. Haley Street

Since 1960, Citizens Planning Association has studied hundreds of proposed projects within the City of Santa Barbara. We do support attempts to create affordable housing and CPA supports projects that do not negatively impact neighborhoods.

 

CPA has concerns about the project at 219 E. Haley.  Chief among those concerns is the loss of the 8 units of affordable housing, replaced by 35 market rate units, with no inclusionary requirement.  Even if there were an Inclusionary at a 15% rate, that would result in only 5.25 affordable units. If the 200 block of Haley is considered "central core" of the city, then it would be 3.5 affordable units at a possible 10% rate. This is a net loss of 3 to 5 affordable family residences from what is there now.

 

This is a pocket neighborhood, resembling the better known (and honored and preserved) Alameda Court on East Sola Street. Its demolition will accelerate the gentrification of working class micro-communities in Santa Barbara. These distinct neighborhoods not only provide affordable homes but are an important part of Santa Barbara’s historic character.

 

Our board also has concerns about the traffic impacts of adding 27 additional housing units in this busy location in this corridor. We have walked the area, photographed the story poles and were dismayed at the considerable loss of mountain views. 

 

When the project has been before the Architectural Board of Review, ABR members expressed concern about the size and the height of the project, saying that it is not appropriate for the surrounding neighborhood.  We agree. The design is an attractive one, but not for here, on Haley Street. We request the Planning Commission follow the recommendations of the ABR.

 

CPA strongly supports the Concept Review process and we look forward to a project emerging that will preserve the feel of the area and address the true housing needs of our City.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Mary Ellen Broooks and Betsy Cramer

Co-Presidents, Citizens Planning Association

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