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SB Board of Supervisors deny appeal to halt shopping center in Orcutt

Orcutt shopping center

The Orcutt Getaway Project on Clark avenue is a go. The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors denied an appeal proposing to halt plans of the new shopping center.

That project will bring a restaurant with a drive-thru, a gas station, a car wash and additional retail space. The Planning Commission gave it the green light in August.

“[It's] a much needed shopping area and much needed services to a part of Orcutt that up to this point, has been somewhat neglected," said project applicant, Gavin Moores.

The development is planned for a six-acre space on South Clark Avenue near Highway 101.

For a group of neighbors calling themselves 'Residents for Orcutt Sensible Growth', the project raises traffic, safety, and air quality concerns.

“We respectfully request that the Board of Supervisors deny the application, or at the least until the concerns raised in the traffic study have been addressed," said Tal Finney, an attorney representing the group.

The group filed an appeal after the Planning Commission's approved the proposal.

“It's really disappointing to go through this amount of work and to find such a late appeal with studies that are outdated, and that are probably inaccurate as well," said Moores.

The biggest concern was access to Sunny Hills Mobile Home Park, and traffic on Clark Avenue, and near the 101 freeway. Residents for Orcutt Sensible Growth argued staff's traffic report was outdated, and not thorough. Opponents submitted their own traffic study, which supervisors reviewed in a closed session on Tuesday.

“The development of sites 2 and 3 alone would cause levels to deteriorate below the existing and future baseline levels at two of the four studied intersections," said Finney.

Staff said the Orcut Development Plan analyzed impacts to traffic, adding that drivers will have access to the shopping center via a new four-way intersection with a stop light.

“This has been a combination of five years of work, this has not been a rushed process at all," said Moores.

The applicant also mapped out future access points to Sunny Hills Mobile Home Park; the road will be changed to allow only right turns into and out of the site.

“We got signatures saying we'd like to move forward with this. We don't know why someone's trying to stop it," one Sunny Hills resident said during public comment.

A motion in favor of the Orcutt Gateway Project passed unanimously.

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Nathalie Vera


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