First Leg of a Long Race: Carpinteria Bluffs Architectural Board of Review Meeting

City of Carptineria's Architectural Board of Review meeting on January 25, 2024 over the proposed Carpinteria Bluffs development (Photo by Blazer)

The usual Thursday night in Carpinteria doesn’t involve traffic jams and parking tickets near City Hall, this however was no ordinary night for the 93013. Most likely January 25th was circled in red for many as the Carpinteria Architectural Board of Review took up the proposed development on the Carpinteria Bluffs. 

An overflow crowd of over 200 filled City Hall to hear from the owner of 27.5 acres of land just east of City Hall.  Proposed is a very different concept than a driving range and a small flower farm that now occupies the land.

Matthew Goodwin represents a group aiming to build 41 affordable housing units, a 99 room hotel, a restaurant, spa, and a working farm.  As it’s currently configured, 13.6 acres will be newly conserved open space in what Mr. Goodwin terms a low density development.

Overflow tent for those who couldn’t fit inside the meeting room (Photo by Blazer)

Just as in 2015 when the Bluffs were last considered for development, the Citizens for the Carpinteria Bluffs printed T-shirts for those attending the ABR meeting.  For the majority of those in attendance this was no fact finding mission.  Many came ready to speak others to listen but few undecided appeared to be in attendance.

Story polls went up on the Bluffs a couple of weeks ago and got the attention of many living in the area.

Orlando Hernandez, a frequent visitor to the driving range had his opinion formed well before the ABR meeting.  “I like it the way it is, a driving range and a flower farm works perfectly for me,” he said.

Carpinteria resident Helen Reid opposed the development on the Carptineria Bluffs (Photo by Blazer)

­Helen Reid, a daily dog walker on the bluffs, also felt the status quo was preferred. “I love the way it is now, we should leave it alone.  I don’t want to see more people walking the trails, this area shouldn’t be a weekend getaway for L.A,” she said.

Ted Rhodes, former head of the Citizens for the Carpinteria Bluffs came with presentation materials in hand.  “Leave it the way it is, driving range and a bit of AG. I’m concerned about the views, I don’t like the building heights,” he said.

For his part Matthew Goodwin wanted people to get the straight story directly from the man who designed the project.

“I am looking for a civil discourse, community engagement and to correct some of the misinformation circulating about what we are proposing,” said Goodwin.

Matthew Goodwin (left) and Ted Rhodes (right) [Photo by Blazer]
The large crowd, many who had to listen to the proceedings from a tent outside City Hall, was for the most part well behaved. One attendee was removed for rude behavior but the program went on as expected.

Mr. Goodwin presented his proposal, the ABR board questioned many aspects of the development and many spoke in opposition.

ABR Board Chair Brad Stein kept the program moving under the crush of a larger than normal turnout.

The next step of the journey is a revisit to the Architectural Board of Review on February 15th.


Written by blazer

Blazer is a longtime radio DJ providing morning traffic reports on 92.9 KJEE and writes stories of interest for edhat.

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  1. It’s not gonna be a long race. I hate to say it’s gonna be a done deal our city people, Carpenteria Goleta, Santa Barbara, selling out to big developers anybody with money for a permit our leaders are on their own agenda Zoning that we worked on for so long, no longer exist

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