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West Beach hotel proposal gets another chance to fit in

West beach hotel proposal
John Palminteri / KEYT
A West Beach hotel project is getting a unique review with a chance for changes before a Santa Barbara City Council vote. (Photo : John Palminteri)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A proposed 32-unit hotel on Montecito and Bath Streets in Santa Barbara is still alive even though its design and housing impacts have been picked apart.

The developer Ed St. George was one vote away from losing his project a month ago before a plan was worked out to attempt a redesign. That was intended to restore some housing to the area and it's exactly what the new revised plan has in it. There will be six units for rent in the hotel project if it is approved.

The Planning Commission rejected the project and it is in front of the City Council on an appeal.

 The hearing has gone four hours already and a decision was made to pause on a vote while the project goes through an adjustment.

"We are going to be forced to choose between two crummy options if we don't try to find that third path," said Councilman Jason Dominguez.   He and Councilman Randy Rowse are in the final days of their terms on the council and will be replaced in January.

Dominguez suggested some time to rework the hotel plan when the November meeting hit a snag that could sink the project. In the latest documents, St. George said he has six housing units and also redesigned the main structure to reduce the size.

"Nobody is opposed to him building. Bring it down in size in our area," said a neighbor Bonnie Donovan. Parking issues and the building's height have been concerns.

Jacqueline Inda is with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She says the hotel should not be delayed because it will immediately produce jobs and tax dollars once it is completed. "The city has stepped in the way of his progress," said business owner Alan Bleecker. "For Santa Barbara to flourish it is imperative that the city not hinder businesses and developers from making Santa Barbara's economy strong.

Article Topic Follows: Local Politics
Ed St. George
Santa Barbara
West Beach

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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