Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

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Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan
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302 and 308 W. Montecito Street (Google Maps)

By edhat staff

The Santa Barbara City Council has asked a local developer to revise their plans for a proposed three-story hotel on W. Montecito Street.

Developer and owner Ed St. George submitted a proposal to tear down the existing apartments at 302 and 308 W. Montecito Street for a 32-room hotel and coffee shop. St. George also proposed a three-story parking stacker system 33 vehicles and an additional five parking spaces.

The report indicates the first level of the hotel would include the office, lobby, coffee shop, outdoor patio, and parking garage. The second level would include 15 hotel rooms and a lounge while the third level would include 17 rooms and a patio lounge. A roof deck would also be included.

The City Planning Commission denied the project stating they preferred housing as opposed to a hotel since the city's goals are to create more affordable housing instead of removing it.

St. George appealed to the City Council on Tuesday evening he argued the area is better suited for a hotel than residential housing. The site is across the street from the Neighborhood Bar & Grill, Rudy's Tacos, and a self serve car wash. 

Councilmembers asked for an updated plan by December 17 that addresses the loss of housing, modify the architecture, as well as the size and scale of the building.

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a-1575555539 Nov 21, 2019 09:57 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

This project can be denied just because he wants a variance. He wants at least 19 hotel rooms that belong on Upper State St. to be transferred to his Montecito St. property. Design honestly within what is allowed without variances and with neighborhood compatibility and you will likely get your plans permitted without problems.

a-1575555539 Nov 22, 2019 09:09 AM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

The project did NOT have any variance. It was all in accordance with the zoning and planning documents. The transfer of hotel room permits from the old Sandman Inn is normally a routine approval by the planning committee.

SBLetsGetAlong Nov 21, 2019 05:00 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

If a property is zoned for hotel or multiple units, then it is a legal and investment expectation to be able to build per the zoning of the property. The City changes the rules after the fact. Not right, not legal, they just lost a 7 figure lawsuit over this. Whether you like it or not the Gov’t has zoning ordinances in place and for them to change their mind after someone’s buy a property is not just. If you bought a car and later found out it didn’t have an engine wouldn’t you be upset? What if you test drove the car, bought it and found out the dealer took the engine out before you left the lot? That’s shady, well the City is being shady. And affordable housing, why should someone get new construction in prime areas for 25 cents on the dollar? Let them move into the old apartment or home that will be empty when someone who can afford to pay market rate moves up. Coastal Communities have always been expensive! Wake up! Move to Bakersfield! Or Nevada or AZ! Since when do people have a constitutional right to live wherever and have someone else pay the bill? Don’t get mad at the real estate market for going up in cost, just like cars and college are more expensive. Get mad at your employer for not paying you enough to afford to live here. Better yet, quit and move somewhere you can afford, teach the boss and real estate a lesson. When the employer can’t attract employees they’ll offer higher wages. When the demand for real estate goes down so will the cost. But to cut off a property at the knees or give people free stuff that others worked hard to build and afford makes no sense unless you are a socialist. Do you believe in giving people things they did not pay for? You know when you feel a brisk change in the weather and the sky gets darker right before a storm? Can you say the Socialist are coming!?!? Is it One if by sea and Two if by land? I've got two lanterns lit in my front window! Shitty wages and the Gov’t is giving away housing. Putin move over the CA is joining you!

Resident Nov 21, 2019 09:01 AM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

The article says that the City Council asked the developer to revise his plans. I don't think they "asked" him; they denied his project as proposed and "demanded" he revise his plans to their liking or he gets no project on his property. I wonder whatever happened to the concept of property rights?

Resident Nov 21, 2019 04:06 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Absolutely true about community rules. And those rules work both ways - this project, as proposed, met the community rules. A slaughter house was not proposed so I don't understand where you came up with that as your argument. A hotel, which is an allowed use in the zone, was proposed. And my point was that the council didn't "ask" him to change, they denied his project and said if he redesigned it in 3 weeks to meet their demands they would consider it.

DBD Nov 21, 2019 10:34 AM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Those 'community rules' refer to are zoning/property type. Looking at records this is zoned commercial/residential. If he proposed a slaughterhouse, he could be denied on the fact that zoning does not allow such activities in a commercial/residential zone. Don't turn this into an 'us vs them' money issue please.

Factotum Nov 21, 2019 09:29 AM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Property rights all come with zoning regulations in this city. it is part of our mutual compact. Large projects come under the purview of the Planning Commission, and conformance with the city's General Plan. This is all set out in black and white up front. Plus we now have the state elected officials coming in and over-riding our local mutual compacts. Where did you ever get the idea that owning private property was a free pass to do whatever you wanted to do? Lake County has far fewer regulations foe those who want to develop properities with fewer review regulations. However, I suspect one reason you might prefer to live in Santa Barbara is because of its far more strict land use regulations. Can't have it both way, as visiting other communities around the state will quickly reveal.

RHS Nov 21, 2019 09:06 AM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

All "property rights" are subject to community rules. One cannot simply claim that money gives you the prerogative to damage the world around you with impunity. Would you not agree that should Mr. St. George propose a slaughterhouse on the site we would have the right to deny him that? It is all a matter of degree, in this case the degree he asked was over the line in the opinion of our elected representatives. That's democracy.

a-1575555539 Nov 21, 2019 07:37 AM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

The city tried to do "mini houses" at Castillo and Carrillo. DOA. Now they're trying to force property owners on what to build. This approach is a magnet for lawsuits. If the city needs low income housing, (which it does) then it needs to get into the business of buying property and building what it needs. If this doesn't work, give incentives to property owners that make economic sense for them.

Factotum Nov 21, 2019 09:31 AM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

City has plenty of low-income housing. And the city cannot absorb much more housing at any level. Don't use unfounded myths when arguing for special interests - like UCSB grads with no skills who demand others pay to allow them to continue living in this area.

a-1575555539 Nov 21, 2019 08:55 AM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Oh please, don’t encourage the City to build housing. The City should give incentives, but the last thing we need is a new city Department of Construction.

PitMix Nov 21, 2019 07:28 AM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Do you think the tourists will pay extra for the freeway view and exhaust? That stack and pack parking sounds exciting. Especially during a PSPS.

AdamVant Nov 21, 2019 06:36 AM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

I only wish the developer would revise his plan for a hotel and instead propose building several dozen Section 8 apartments and a halfway house, with a portion of the property left vacant for vagrants to pitch their tents. That would be a beautiful project.

a-1575555539 Nov 20, 2019 06:55 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

I have to wonder if St George has had this plan all along , and actually wanted to create more if the student housing he’s known for. Now he practically has a mandate from the City to go do that very thing.

Sam The Dog Nov 20, 2019 03:11 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Whether it's safe or not, or how much housing SB may or may not have is irrelevant. It is zoned for it and should be allowed. In reading the Indy article they want him to replace the lost rental units here or elsewhere, of course they don't give him credit for the hundreds of units he's already built or rehabbed in Santa Barbara. A future denial will probably lead to another government takings lawsuit and payout but Santa Barbara.

Sam The Dog Nov 20, 2019 04:55 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Why should the developer not be allowed to build what he's legally allowed to build just because of our city's failure to create additional affordable housing units?

a-1575555539 Nov 20, 2019 04:02 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Why should a developer get credit for making money? That series of self-glorifying videos yesterday was nauseating. Does anyone truly think that most of those there were there by choice and not to try to get lower rents? What's charged in many of his units, including the overcrowded student units, is very high on a per bedroom count when sometimes there are three students in a one bedroom unit.

mtndriver Nov 20, 2019 02:06 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

The housing is already there, and the tenants who live there like it there. A three-story hotel on that block seems a little out of character. It's mixed-use, but there is a lot of housing there, and nothing that tall. This town needs more workforce housing, more affordable housing, more housing financially accessible to middle income families. That's just a plain fact.

a-1575555539 Nov 21, 2019 03:39 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Ktnoodle1 Then I guess the reality is if you can’t afford to go to college, don’t. Go to free community college and transfer into UC as a junior. Or god forbid get a job instead. If UCSB grads are serving my drinks and parking my car, then they wasted a lot of time and money getting a useless degree. They could have taken that money and invested it, While working, gaining job experience and finding a career. Choices....

ktnoodle1 Nov 21, 2019 02:21 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

What city are you living in?! Because I am one of those government paid workers in town and the idea of ever having enough to own a house here (or even rent and save) is unheard of for me and a good portion of my colleagues. The reality is college educated 20-30 year olds in this state are playing catch up and won’t be buying many houses in the next decade. I don’t know what UCSB graduates are expecting free handouts- most of them are serving your drinks and parking your valet. Pull your head out of the sand and talk to people more.

Factotum Nov 20, 2019 04:08 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Why does the city need more "workforce housing"? Government is the biggest employer and they pay their workers plenty to buy market rate housing, just like the rest of us. "Workforce housing" is just one more subsidized perk for government workers. Too many UCSB grads are cranked out every year and then demand someone pays for them to stay in town. No matter how many houses you hand out, there is a new wave right behind them demanding more. City needs to get out of the housing business. It is a fools errand .It is not a crisis; it is a sham.

SBLetsGetAlong Nov 20, 2019 01:46 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Didn’t the City just lose a Multi Million dollar lawsuit when they denied a property owner their rights to develop a property per the zoning? Camino de la Luz. Thank you Planning Commission! And who pays for their “mistake”? Should have let the State Coastal Commission fight that battle, but nope, our Planning Commission knows all! The proposed hotel is on land zoned for hotels and within the legal uses. That property owner has financial rights and expectations just as the Camino de la Luz property. Ready to lose another multi million dollar law suit? The City throws money away and doesn’t protect property & homeowner rights! And why should “affordable housing” be placed in expensive areas that people cannot afford? When people can afford to move up into new construction they will. This is the middle class working hard and moving up. Then those that need “affordable housing” can move into the old housing. But NO, the City feels everyone regardless of income level has a right to brand new construction in prime expensive areas of town. Why do people have a right to new construction in a neighborhood they can’t afford? Will they be given a Mercedes at a deep discount too? Oh right, the entire City Council are renters, they are not committed to their neighborhoods, they can just pick up and move or be kicked out at anytime. I’m sure they have good intentions of being rooted in a neighborhood, but they don’t have roots like a property owner. Look at Oscar Gutierrez, he moved just so he could run for Murillos open Council seat. That’s not committed to his neighborhood. He left his neighborhood where he grew up, just to run for a City Council. It also explains why the City Council doesn’t care about property owners rights or property values. They only care about tenants, because they are all tenants. Talk about biased and unbalanced representation!

a-1575555539 Nov 21, 2019 08:49 AM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Oscar grew up on the Westside and is now representing the Westside. I don’t know where he lived in the meantime, but your facts aren’t quite right.

a-1575555539 Nov 20, 2019 03:58 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

That's right and explains why O. Gutierrez and the mayor were walking the Eastside, trying to get Dominguez defeated. So much for respect for districts and district voters. A. Gutierrez will come to council under a cloud.

Lucky 777 Nov 20, 2019 01:20 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

I say we dare the City Planning Commission to spend a weekend midnight strolling that area, and then tell us how safe it is for housing.

a-1575555539 Nov 20, 2019 11:19 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Or to stroll along parts of Milpas on a weekend midnight, or lower State Street , or the junk zone or just about anywhere where there's booze, especially if there are affluent tourists.

ktnoodle1 Nov 20, 2019 05:29 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

So you mean, go do EXACTLY what tourists will do if that’s a hotel instead of homes? People living there are way less likely to be wandering the streets late at night than people who are visiting.

a-1575555539 Nov 20, 2019 01:25 PM
Proposed Hotel Project to Revise Plan

Less than 1 block away are tons of homes and apartment buildings that are safe. No more safe than any other downtown SB area. Plus they're just a few blocks from the beach and right next to a restaurant. St George is being dramatic.... again.

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