Apartment Complex Proposed for 320 W. Carrillo

By the edhat staff

The Santa Barbara City Planning Commission reviewed a proposal for a 37-unit apartment complex at 320 W. Carrillo Street on Thursday.

The 17,575-square-foot lot is currently home to a one-story commercial building, presently occupied by Curtis Carpet, a two-car garage, a 19-space parking lot, and the historic Bate Home that’s being used as a triplex residential structure.

The 2,396 sq. ft. green-trimmed Bate Home was built in 1904 in the Queen Anne Free Classic style. Originally located at the front of the lot on W. Carrillo Street, the two-story home was moved towards the back of the lot in the 1949 where it sits today to build a commercial building. It was designated as a “Structure of Merit” in 1984.

The property was originally a multi-family dwelling used at least as a duplex with two entrances on the front elevation for each unit. The developers plan to move the Bate Home back to the front of the street and convert the current triplex format into its original duplex design with a 3-bedroom unit on each of the two floors.

Bate Home located at the end of the 320 W. Carrillo Street lot (courtesy)

For the larger development, the proposal includes a new 4-story, 35-unit apartment building using the City’s Average Unit-Size Density (AUD) program and State Density Bonus law (SDBL). It would require demolition of the existing one-story commercial building totaling approximately 3,045 sq. ft. and the existing 576 square foot two car garage and removal of the 19 surface parking spaces encompassing about 9,773 sq. ft. of asphalt. 

The apartment building would include four studios, nineteen one-bedroom units, and twelve two-bedroom units. Each of the four floors would contain one studio unit, five one-bedroom units, and three two-bedroom units, with exception of the 4th floor containing four one-bedroom units for a total of 35 units. 

Only three parking spots, one of which will be a handicap spot, will be created at the rear of the building. Developers did not include parking for tenants, as allowed by state requirements as long as the project is located near a public transit line, but instead will build a bicycle room to accommodate 40 bicycles. 

View from the intersection of W. Carrillo Street and Castillo Street before (left) and after (right) [courtesy images]

The average unit size for the development would be 766 square feet. Density calculations under SDBL result in a “base density” of 26 units. The project includes four units (12%) restricted to very low-income households. The project also includes three units (10%) restricted to moderate-income households pursuant to the City’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.

Per the Planning Commission Staff Report, very low-income is 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or below. The maximum income levels for these units, based on the 2023 AMI of $107,300, is $51,800 for a 1-person household or up to $66,600 for a 3-person household. For 2023, the rent limit for a very low-income studio unit is $939 and for a one-bedroom unit is $1,073.

Moderate-Income is 80-120% AMI or below. The maximum income levels for these units is from $82,950 to $90,132 for a 1-person household or from $106,650 to $115,884 for a 3- person household. For 2023, the rent limit for a moderate-income one-bedroom unit is from $1,207 to $2,012 and for a two- bedroom unit is from $1,449 to $2,414.

Santa Barbara resident Steven Johnson submitted a public comment supporting the project stating the minimal amount of parking and smaller than allowed Average Unit Size should make the market rental rates for the units within the reach of dual moderate income residents.

“However, State Bonus Density favors projects with 15% Very Low Income units (but no moderate income units). A better result would be realized from a Builder’s Remedy project with 100% (all 37) of the units restricted to households making at most 150% of area median income (about $120K annually),” Johnson stated.

The concept review provided the Planning Commission and the public an opportunity to review the proposed project design. The Planning Commission will provide comments and make a recommendation by majority vote regarding the proposed design and the project’s consistency with the City’s General Plan.

The Planning Commission comments and recommendations are intended for use by the Historic Landmarks Commission in their deliberations.

View from W. Carrillo Street before (left) and after (right) [courtesy images]

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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