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Hot Topic Alert: Neighborhood Activism Goes Online

petition

Residents on the Westside are opposing a proposed modern industrial-style building they consider “radically incompatible with our charming older neighborhood.” On August 23, they will be making a presentation and speaking in front of City Council, appealing the approval of the project by the Architectural Board of Review.

An e-mail is currently circulating to bring attention to their concerns. It reads:

“Many people around the city are opposed to this project.  If this project is built, it sets a bad precedent for the entire city. The proposed project includes metal siding and metal roof, which gives this modern style an industrial look.  4 organizations are opposing the project as well.

To show City Council that many people around the city are concerned, I just started an online petition to make it easy for people to sign at their convenience. We would like to present City Council with at least 100 signatures opposing the project. 50 close neighbors already signed a petition opposing the project. If you would like to show your opposition for this project and ask City Council to overturn the ABR approvals, please sign this petition.

You can Access the Petition HERE

Please sign the petition to ask City Council to overturn the approval.  Please pass this petition along to others who might sign as well.

More Information
There are more details about the project on the petition website.

One of the issues that will be brought up to City Council is the incredible amount of bias and mishandling this project has had by the project architect (who is a member of the Architectural Board of Review), the city planning staff, and the Architectural Board of Review.

Originally this project was not getting approvals due to lack of neighborhood compatibility. Once the property owner let the original architect go and hired an architect who sits on the Architectural Board of Review (ABR), the project got approvals. It appears this ABR member was using his position to unfairly influence staff about this project.  Due to initial evidence of conflict of interest by this ABR member, the CA Fair Political Practices Commission is currently pursuing an investigation.

If you want to express your opposition further, you can write a letter to City Council, and/or attend the City Council public hearing on Aug 23.”

84 Responses to “Hot Topic Alert: Neighborhood Activism Goes Online”

    • local (with small "l")

      There’s physical encroachment but there’s also visual encroachment. In the same way, if I, living in a pleasant little single family urban setting, prefer to fill my yard with trash because I am a trash collector, or for whatever reason including my appreciating the aesthetics of junk, neighbors would have the right to demand that neighborhood compatibility should prevail. So, here, such a sore thumb, so to speak, an industrial-like building in a simple residential neighborhood, knocking down housing values of neighbors.

      The additional consideration, that the architect, who is on the ABR, and the staff seeming to be in bed together is disgusting. It gives all the hard-working volunteer boards a bad name to have such. No doubt, he recused himself; no doubt also, however, that the board members when given a presentation by their fellow board member, listened and voted uncritically.

      • For a better Santa Barbara

        I like the design. I’d like to see it built.

  1. Kellam de Forest

    Pearl Chase took on any development issue big or small that threatened to mar the looks of Santa Barbara. It is through her lifelong activism that we have the Santa Barbara we have today a city that is admired throughout the world. Keeping her nose in the whole of Santa Barbara was her business. If we are to keep Santa Barbara beautiful, it should be our business too.

  2. Like, duh, where is this and what does it look like? Are all we are suppose to know is that someone is against what the city is in the process of approving and that is good enough to be outraged?

  3. el_smurfo

    Kellam, I respect your knowledge and role in shaping this city and love looking out over the red tiles from high above the city. We’ll have to agree to disagree about a person’s property rights outside of the historic districts…As a new homeowner, I don’t recall signing an HOA CCR giving my neighbors control over what I do with my property.

  4. City resident

    This is a ridiculous appeal. The homeowner didn’t just change architects to gain approval she has radically changed her design to gain approval. There have been many changes made to the design that have been shaped by the numerous public meetings and boards that have scrutinized this project. It comes down to a matter of personal taste and this design is what this homeowner has decided to do. When talking to others in this neighborhood, they lament that others aren’t able to keep up their homes and are thrilled that some one is actually investing money into their home and improving the neighborhood. This opposition has been totally blown out of proportion and is a waste of the city’s money. The same woman has already appealed this once to City Council and lost. If only all this opposition energy was being put towards real public good in our city. We all know there are a lot of areas that need attention. Please don’t sign the petition but instead send an email in support of the project. You can send it to: CMRodriguez@SantaBarbaraCA.gov.

  5. el_smurfo

    Agreed. I wonder what Pearl Chase would think of downtown. Red tile roofs on top, but bums, chain stores and drunken co-eds below. I think the city planners have better things to do than harass a private homeowner trying to improve their property in an area where even green grass is a step up.

  6. Anonymous

    Comments by local (with small “l”) August 17, 2011 at 8:37 am # is an “Ad Hominem Attack” which violates Santa Barbara View’s comment posting policy.

    • Doesn’t it have to be erroneous to be an “Ad Hominem Attack”? Where are the lawyers at :-)

  7. local (with small "l")

    How is my comment an “ad hominem attack”? I am genuinely curious. If you’re referring to the comment about the Board members supporting their fellow Board member, it goes with the territory of being part of the public process.

  8. This is public record, available & accessible to all. Go to above city site, click on “residents” tab, point mouse to “Home & Property” on left side and scroll to and click on “LDT Record Archives”, click on “Enter the LDT Records Archive”, type in 905 W Mission (the appellant) and click “search”, click on “905 W Mission ST Street PUBLIC”, click again on “905 W MISSION ST Street PUBLIC”…26 PDF documents in red will be on right side, click on any of 26 PDF and then click “open” when prompt. For those seeking truth and the hypocrisy of the appellant at 905 W Mission, you will find case file # 2010-00773. City record documentation of Zoning Information Report # ZIR2000-00378 of the appellant’s house (which she signed prior to purchasing) citing illegal garage dwelling unit. The appellant lives in garage dwelling & rents out main house. The appellant has no entitlement to appeal to City Council of her neighbor’s project @ 903 W Mission who has & is LEGALLY going through all proper steps for the project.

    • SB Resident

      Actually if you read the city file, the complaint was that the owner was living in the garage. If you read further, it shows the case was closed with no violation.

      • For a better Santa Barbara

        The case on the sink has been closed. It doesn’t permit a second dwelling on the property. The property isn’t large enough. Yet the owner lives in the back (garage) and rents out the house. I wonder where she bathes.

  9. SB Resident

    The homeowner of 903 W. Mission St. filed a false complaint in what appears to be retaliation for the neighbor opposing the project. The homeowner of 903 W. Mission St. also filed a false zoning complaint against another neighbor who is opposing the project. In both cases, the city came out to check out the complaints and found them to be false.

    • For a better Santa Barbara

      So where does the homeowner at 903 W Mission St. live? The front house or the back house?

      • For a better Santa Barbara

        That would be the homeowner at 905 W. Mission. The homeowner at 903 W. Mission is going through the proper legal channels. Where does the homeowner at 905 W. Mission live? The front house or the back house?

    • Anonymous

      would this be the same type of false complaint Pam Brandon made to CA FCPP as retaliation….

  10. SB Resident

    The homeowner at 905 W. Mission St. lives in her house. There is not a second dwelling unit on the property. I’m not sure where the confusion is – she lives in her house.

    • Smile for the Camera

      Prior to City Council meeting of October 19, 2010 the councilmembers conducted a site visit to both the project property and the appellant’s property. City Council Meeting Videos for October 19, 2010, you will hear Councilmember, Das Williams, inquiring if the City Zoning Inspector has inspected the second unit/dwelling/structure on 905 W Mission which is the appellant’s property. City Council Members are conducting another site visit on Monday 8/23….the findings of 2nd unit/dwelling/structure of 905 W Mission will be posted afterwards. There’s no confusion…just verifiable factual documents filed at the city and on video….smile for the camera!

  11. Support 903 W Mission

    Copy, paste & sign this letter and email to our Mayor & Councilmembers
    HSchneider@SantaBarbaraCA.gov
    GHouse@SantaBarbaraCA.gov
    HWhite@SantaBarbaraCA.gov
    DFrancisco@SantaBarbaraCA.gov
    FHotchikiss@SantaBarbaraCA.gov
    MSelf@SantaBarbaraCA.gov

    Dear Mayor & Councilmembers:

    I support the project on 903 W Mission. Heidi Ferguson has and continues to follow all the legal procedures for the process of her home project.
    1. May 2010, the ABR provided a favorable concept review. On that basis, Heidi proceeded to the Staff Hearing Officer, who approved two modifications.

    2. August 23, 2010, the ABR gave the project preliminary approval.

    3. October 19, 2010, the Council denied Pam Brandon’s appeal. The preliminary approval, as affirmed by the Council in its denial of Ms. Brandon’s appeal, properly found the project compatible with the neighborhood and in compliance with City design standards. The City Council’s vote to deny Ms. Brandon’s appeal resolved the question of whether the ABR’s preliminary approval reflected proper application of the standards for design and neighborhood compatibility.

    4. May 16, 2011, ABR gave their final approval for Heidi’s project. In its final approval, the ABR correctly found the necessary consistency between the final plans and those approved on preliminary approval, particularly where the final plans include adjustments that address concerns raised by Council Members in their review of the approved preliminary plans.

    The Final Approval decision may be appealed only on the basis that it is inconsistent with the Preliminary Approval. Ms. Brandon has not appealed on grounds of inconsistency between the preliminary and final approvals. Instead, in addition to re-arguing design and compatibility, she raises complaints about the way the City has handled the process.

    Though there exist design guidelines in the City for certain neighborhoods/districts, none exists for the Westside. There are NO adopted design guideline for the Westside, which is reflective of the ABR’s action to find neighborhood compatibility for Heidi Ferguson’s project given it fits in with the eclectic nature of the Westside.

    These are all facts, verifiable & filed in SB City Records. There are no manipulation or misleading information.

    I urge the City Council to deny Pam Brandon’s appeal…Heidi Ferguson’s project has been consistent at Preliminary & Final approvals.

  12. No Confusion

    Follow instructions as provided at above by “Please Verify” poster:
    Click on “2.PDF”
    As stated in Planning Division Zoning Enforcement Case Summary ENF2010-0073
    “Owner lives in garage and rents out main house. The laundry sink has been changed to a kitchen sink. Kitchen cabinets, uppers and lowers with counter top have been added. This is a Zoning issue and has been referred by Building and Safety Division.”

    There’s no confusion…only SB documented fact the owner of 905 W Mission lives in her garage and rents out the main house.

    • No Confusion

      7.PDF-Notice of Municipal Code Violations Dated February 15, 2011 with photo of kitchen in garage dwelling.

      8.PDF-second page describes SBMC Section 28.04.590 (sink; garbage disposal; dishwasher; toilet; bathing facility; interior locking doors; exterior entrance; exterior staircase; separate yard, patio, deck or balcony; separate phone line, cable line or utility line; separate garage or parking area (covered or uncovered) or carport; countertops or cupboards; sleeping loft:or separate address/mail box designation.

      • el_smurfo

        Anyone know how the code enforcement gestapo gets these photos? Are they running around on private property, snapping pics through people’s windows, or was the owner dumb enough to invite the enemy inside?

        • No Confusion

          905 W Mission was inspected by Zoning & Enforcement inspector. Photo was filed by the City inspector as documentation of Municipal Code Violations with letter to owner of 905 W Mission.

    • SB Resident

      What “No Confusion” is citing is the complaint. The city inspected and the case was closed showing no violation. If the city had found this complaint to be true, they would have determined there to be a violation. Again, the city closed the case showing no violation.

      I agree it is confusing how the city shows this in the file. Maybe this shows the city that their form should be changed to be better understood by those reading it.

      • Blaming others again….and this time the City……when will it stop?!!!!

      • Anonymous

        Why does it show a picture of the kitchen with dishwasher? Let’s APPEAL!!!!!!

  13. Incomplete facts

    If the project had followed all the legal procedures for the process of her home project, then why did the city void the preliminary approval and the original final approval? That was announced at the March 21, 2011 ABR meeting.

    There seem to be some facts missing from the letter that is being asking to be sent to City Council for support of the project. Of course anyone can write anything in a letter. City Council knows the facts.

    There is a lot of information about this project which is difficult to explain in these short comments.

    Also, a conflict of interest by the ABR member (and project architect) is being investigated by the CA Fair Political Practices Commission based on initial evidence submitted.

    • Community Member

      EVERYTHING is documented & filed at the City…it was nothing more than a staff procedural error that voided the preliminary approval which then was rectified by Santa Barbara City District Attorney, Steve Wiley. Go to Santabarbaraca.gov for literature on criteria & process for ABR. It was the Appellant that made the complaint about the Cantilever that sent the project back to ABR for final approval (again, all documented & filed at the city). Thus, once again of many, many, many concessions made to the appellant, the cantilever was eliminated altogether to address the appellant’s complaint (again, documented & filed at the city). However, the appellant is still not happy/satisfied. Thus she is now conjuring up and filing complaints against people (on documented & on file) in attempt to stop this project and attack the integrity of those working on this. It’s very disheartening the appellant would go to such lengths of retaliation. So sad, especially since 903 W Mission has, was & is doing everything legally and it’s all documented & filed at the city.

  14. Community Member

    Yes, it is the Appellant who made the complaint to CA FPPC herself. Go to fppc.ca.gov and you will see a form that anyone is allow to submit. As part of the filing process complaints are investigated. Again, very sad that Pam Brandon and anyone would be this loathsome to want to attack & destroy another’s integrity.

  15. Another Community Member

    The way the CA FPPC works is after a complaint is filed, they take 2 weeks to go over the submitted evidence and give that 2 weeks for the person who the complaint is against to send in anything in writing. Based on that information submitted, the CA FPPC either closes the case or pursues an investigation. They chose to investigate. They don’t investigate every complaint.

  16. Community Member Two

    Such dark path & person to want to attempt taint another with your darkness….

  17. Maybe the people who live at 903 and 905 Mission could argue with each other in person rather than spam up this board.

    • el_smurfo

      I think it’s interesting, and very indicative of the inevitable results of the nanny state. Pretty soon, everyone’s business is my business and personal property rights are second to the rights of the “community” where every kook has equal say. For a city that is constantly pumping “affordable” housing, that garage unit looks pretty nice, especially compared to the dozens of others likely within a few blocks of that area. For a city that’s constantly crowing about how European they are, the plans for the remodel also seems to fit and certainly is an upgrade to the run down neighborhood at large.

      • Kellam de Forest

        The many commentators have seemed to miss the reason for the appeal. It is Neighborhood Compatibility. The issue is the industrial design of the proposed addition. Ms Ferguson has the right to improve her property as long as her addition conforms to the zoning requirements. She, also, needs to respect the neighborhood. This neighborhood was developed in the early twentieth century with a mix of Craftsman, Spanish Revival, English Revival and Colonial cottages. I would like to ask the commentators how would they like it if a metal building was plunked down next to their house.

        • el_smurfo

          Wouldn’t care much for it, though if done well, would be an interesting addition and perhaps the start of a fun eclectic vibe. I also didn’t love when the neighbors rented to drunken kids, when another neighbor’s dog barks all night, when they run their table saw at 6am, etc. It’s called living in a free society…sometimes people do things you don’t approve of, but that’s your problem, not theirs.

        • Respectfully

          Kellam you have been around for a while and your wisdom is insightful…but can you or anyone confirm & show proof there’s an existing design guideline for the Westside? There are many for other neighborhoods/districts in Santa Barbara but there are NONE FOR THE WESTSIDE and there are no plans in works now or in the future to preserve the Upper Westside as a historical district. A sober facility which rents month to month, in a R-1 zone, is in operation directly across from the project site (which is in a R-2). If you truly support neighborhood compatibility, why are you not addressing this business operating in a restricted R-1 Zone? Have you ever walked this part of the Westside and when was the last time? Have you asked the Appellant why she chose to live in the illegal garage dwelling and rent out the main house. Ask her why she would buy a house sight unseen when she lived in Arizona in 2000… and why she would agree to still purchase the house when the Zoning Information Report cited the house has an illegal dwelling in which she and the seller never contested. If you can’t ask her those questions comfortably you should not be advocating for an unmerited cause.

  18. Thank you, Kellam de Forest, that is indeed the point. Just out of curiosity I google-searched “neighborhood compatibility” and there were 8,990,000 results in ).15 seconds; leading the list is the definition for Santa Barbara: http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/NR/rdonlyres/14D9F605-0DB8-4020-B090-AA58543702A5/0/neighborhood_definition.pdf . It’s clear by the difficulty and the inconsistencies this should be looked at in greater detail and an ordinance developed based on other jurisdictions, as well as Santa Barbara’s history. One is overdue.

    In the meantime, the City Council should analyze the neighborhood at issue and determine if the proposed development is “appropriate (in size, bulk and scale) to the neighborhood,” taking into consideration nearby houses, especially those of the immediate neighbors.

    • Thank you for supporting 903 W Mission

      Exactly as the above poster said and thanks for supporting 903 W Mission….”appropriate (in size, bulk and scale) to the neighborhood, taking into consideration nearby houses, especially those of the immediate neighbors”….size of house in this neighborhhood is 900 – 2,000+++ square feet (you can confirm with City of SB GIS statistic) 903 W Mission project will be 1401 total square feet living space….Gary Mosel, on the ABR, stated to city council and it’s documented on tape. he has no objections to the size, bulk and scale. This project is in a R-2 Zone not a R-1 Zone thus SB Single Family Design has nothing to do with this!!!!! Another attempt from the appellant’s campaign herd to mislead everyone. To all who is reading this, take a look at the actual documented facts/reports/ filed with the city regarding this. Another misconception defunct….SB Single Family Design guideline does not pertain to R-2 Zone!!!!! Verify and please post….

  19. Cottage Cheese

    SB Single Family Design Guidelines controls the scope of discussion for “neighborhood compatibility” in this town. This was a hard fought and well-won document just to avoid junk like this getting built in our town. Ironically during the hearings on the Single Family Design Guidelines they asked people to rate the appeal and livability of various homes around town as well as additions that had been made to existing homes for size, bulk and scale.

    Hands down the existing cottages of the Westside ranked highest for appealability, size, bulk and scale for what we like to think of as Santa Barbara. This new design has nothing at all to do with anything on the Westside, except Ray’s Liquors.

    There are so many class envy, hate the rich people who hang on in this town who love to celebrate its demise. Those are the ones championing this brutally ugly house design. These are the Stick it to Santa Barbara Crowd who would rather take her down than try to find a way to fit it. Yet they never leave; just stick around and want to make it worse.

    • Do you know who the Appellant is?

      You should be knowledgable of the Appellant before you posted your comment. The Appellant purchased her house in 2000 from Arizona sight unseen, lives in her illegal dwelling garage by herself and rents out the main house. The owner at 903 W Mission has been in this town for nearly 30 years, her kids born & raised in the house. Go figure who has Santa Barbara’s best interest at heart….

      • Are you Sure of your Facts?

        None of this is relevant to the project. But FYI, your facts are not correct on many of these points.

  20. el_smurfo

    Just more elitist claptrap. Pearl Chase probably got the same NIMBY nonsense in trying to turn a generic town into a pseudo Mediterranean tourist trap. Broaden your mind and realize that just because it doesn’t suit your taste doesn’t mean it’s not the homeowners right.

  21. Please Read

    @ Cottage Cheese….it seems that you are not educated in the difference of SB Single Family Design Guidelines and a R-2. Please refer to santabarbaraca.gov and educate yourself in this field and then post your comments as it pertains to a R-2.

  22. Kellam de Forest

    The introduction of an industrial style addition is a design issue. Both the Neighborhood Design Review Board (for R1 Zones) and the Architectural Board of Review (for R2 and above) are mandated by City ordinance to consider the neighborhood compatibility of the architecture of the projects they review. BRC is correct that the ordinances and guidelines are vague on what constitutes compatibility especially for projects reviewed by the ABR. Back in 2009, the ABR had the design of a three-story condo project on Bradbury Avenue downtown be changed from modern to Victorian to be compatible to the prevailing Victorian architecture of the neighborhood,

    • Complete Information

      Kellam, please don’t dilute information, keep the integrity of what you are doing intact. As you know, Bungalow Court & Residence (on State Historic Resources Inventory) is on Bradbury Ave, thus ABR adhere to the compatibility for this street. And as you also know, the Westside is not under any historical preservation.

    • For a better Santa Barbara

      And I don’t think Kellam read the post above. The project has been reviewed and approved by the ABR. It’s been significantly changed to get through the review process. The City Council vote on Tuesday will be to confirm that the changes requested by the council have been incorporated, which has been done. That’s the way the process works.

  23. Cottage Cheese

    Whether it is R-2 or SFR, neighborhood compatibility controls the debate as vague as you would like to think that is. This edgy, jarring LA aberration is the uncreative spawn of too many unseasoned young architects who keep trying to inflict their under-developed will over community sensibilities. Take it to the Funk Zone but it does not belong among the Westside cottages. Any real architect would have sensed this immediately. Owner wasted money on this vanity project.

    • @ Cottage Cheese

      The aberration is the fact you would post anonymously and the vanity that you believe you have a right to condescend another anonymously. If this is what you believe in why don’t you post your real name as Kellam de Forest.

    • Anonymous

      Then don’t post information that is for SFR and try to pass it for R-2 to purposely mislead the readers…..we’re confused enough having to go back and forth with all the links, citings, etc….

  24. Where's the material list?

    City ordinances mandates compatibility. “Though there exist design guidelines in the City for certain neighborhoods/districts, none exists for the Westside. There are NO adopted design guideline for the Westside, which is reflective of the ABR’s action to find neighborhood compatibility for Heidi Ferguson’s project given it fits in with the eclectic nature of the Westside.” This project followed all the rules, guidelines, regulations that EXISTS. Show the literature of where it indicates houses on westside need to use particular material……show it…. show the list.

  25. TreeTeas

    At least the owners of the edgy manufactured component, rusted metal-sided, stacked box car aberration on East Pedregosa had the decency to hide it behind large specimen trees. How is that for “architecture”. Build it and hide it. What a novel concept for neighborhood compatibility.

    • @TreeTeas

      What the heck is your rambling all about? This is getting comical….

  26. Dale Francisco published his personal opinion & campaign against 903 W Mission on Santa Barbara View on October 26, 2010. Dale stated at City Council and it’s on city’s video archive “Let’s not make this personal.” Yet after making that statement he hypocritically posts his personal opinion against the project on a public forum and signing the article “Dale Francisco, Santa Barbara City Council” and urging the public to go overturn his own councilmember’s decision. Dale Francisco should recuse himself from voting on this project schedule before the council on August 23, 2011. He stated & published publically he is against this project thus his is will not look at this project and without bias & objectively. Write to the Mayor & Councilmemebers that Francisco Dale needs to recuse himself from voting on this project on August 23, 2011.
    HSchneider@SantaBarbaraCA.gov
    GHouse@SantaBarbaraCA.gov
    HWhite@SantaBarbaraCA.gov
    DFrancisco@SantaBarbaraCA.gov
    FHotchikiss@SantaBarbaraCA.gov
    MSelf@SantaBarbaraCA.gov

  27. There’s no reason any of the council members should recuse themselves from voting on this project unless they have some actual or potential financial personal or family or otherwise close connection to it. Simply having one’s mind made up on the basis of what has been presented so far is not a reason for recusal. Were that so, most of the council, most of the time would be recused from all items and there would be no meetings at all! …Some might think that would be a good thing: just let the staff decide.

    • el_smurfo

      Seriously…you don’t think they all have their minds made up about the bag ban?

    • “Simply having one’s mind made up on the basis of what has been presented so far is not a reason for recusal”…are you joking…..? If you hold true to your belief of “just let the staff decide,” then support your own thesis…..write to council to support the project because the Council on October 19, 2010 supported it, the staff & ABR already gave preliminary & final approval on the project and STOP enabling the appellant in wasting all of our time and tax payer $ in the frivolous appeals and abusing the system.

  28. Dan Seibert

    I saw all these comments yesterday and thought most must have been by two or three people using aliases. But now, this is crazy.

    I live on the West side, . . this isn’t a special place. It’s not a bungalow district, there are no guidelines. Everyone I know that lives here wishes they lived in another part of SB.

    Let the homeowner proceed with the renovation.

    • Whoa, your opinion only. I love living on the Westside where things are small and personal, and humanistic architecture and scale prevail.

      By the way, the house is now built and it is exceedingly ugly. Are you happy?

  29. Cottage Cheese

    Dan, you need to go out and walk all the streets on the Westside – it is full of charm and deep potential for one of the best downtown neighborhoods this city has. Very appealing homes of just the right size, bulk and scale, mature vegetation, deep set-backs and close to everything.

    The Westside is Santa Barbara’s best kept secret. A few blocks are more than dicey, but once you go into its full depth it is a remarkably livable part of town. It should become a historic design district because there was a time when people knew how to build single family homes for families and the families became neighborhoods. This still is alive and well as well as still affordable in the Westside.

    Take this part of town back from the out of town landlords and you will see this jewel polished up to its former brilliance yet again. Its bones are good. Absentee landlords need to be taken to task for letting their properties deteriorate among those present owners who are bringing this area back to life. Even this abomination of a new design represents a smart investor who understands the potential this area provide. Too bad they did not work within the Westside’s existing charms, rather than work to over-turn it.

    The Westside is a cottage district. It is a craftsman bungalow district. It deserves preservation of its small town, oldfashion feeling.

    • Although I don’t live in the Westside, but am on the Eastside, I would agree with Cottage Cheese and want to note that there are several Westside neighborhoods: the part near Mission Street is different from the Lower West, near the harbor, which is different from the part near Valerio, for instance. There’s a lot of charm on parts of the Westside, with distinct senses of unity, that should have an historic district designation. Unlike for Dan, people I know who live on central section of the East where I am, speak longingly of the Westside and wish they had a cottage there, had the sense of neighborhood which is quite missing.

      …Maybe it’s the grass is always greener syndrome. (And, of course, most would like to live on the Mesa, the Bungalow District, etc., but praising one does not or should not diminish the other.)

      • Anonymous

        There are a lot of people on the Westside longing to be able to renovate their own home….

  30. @ Cottage Cheese

    LOL!!!! So delusional….when is the last time you walked out of the R-1 zone which consists of 8 blocks north of Mission Street/west of Modoc and cross over into the south side of Mission of 80+ blocks and where the R-2 through R-4 are zoned. IT IS NO A COTTAGE DISTRTICT!!!! OMG….do you not see all the apartments and duplexes throughout the neighborhood….just within the block of the project site there’s a condominium complex of 6!!!! Just around the corner, a little over a year ago, a house was condemned-the owner was a hoarder and they had to take the house completely to the ground because it was unsalvageable…..if you believe “it is a craftsman bungalow district” you need to call out the appellant her house of stucco & flat roof doesn’t belong. Do you realize in your R-1 zone of “old fashion feeling” on 906 & 904 Mission is a male sober living facility own by Dario Pini and this is right across from the appellant and project site. Is this the “dicey” block you’re referring to and is this the existing charm you are referencing? C’mon, take a walk into the Southside of W Mission, breathe the air from smokers sitting on street corners from the sober living facilities & take in the sight of tarp cover trucks….but watch your step, dog droppings….this is reality as it is.

  31. Cottage Cheese

    The blocks in the Westside around Harding School are quite wonderful. There are short -inter-blocks also like Sunset, that have a terrific neighborhood feel. Small family home design and street layout neighborhood planning did not get any better than when they originally built the Westside. The densest development in town also does exist on the Westside by West Micheltorena and the train tracks and it carries many of the stigmas of over-crowded urban malaise.. But guess what folks, as dense as this is, the brainiacs on the city planning staff wanted to cram down twice as dense and twice as tall all over this city in their Dumb Growth Plan Santa Barbara. Stop them before they kill this town for good.

  32. @ Cottage Cheese

    I agree those blocks are nice…..the project is not in those blocks. It is directly across the street from male sober living facility, around apartment complexes and the caddy corner block has three parcels of concrete parking with no landscaping. This project will enhance this block. Surrounding houses on this block was historically assessed and deemed in the city file as “Deteriorated neighborhood setting. The block is not likely to be considered as a historic district. Not historically significant.”

  33. Curds and Whey Off Base

    Owner of this ugly carbuncle design decided to kick the historic Westside in the teeth and drag it kicking and screaming in to a totally new and unwelcome direction. Good start being a good neighbor. Nothing wrong with having sober males as neighbors. We should all be so lucky. Wonder why the sober living concept it so anathema to the architect/designer and owner who must be smokin’ something else to make them think they were designing for LA and not SB.

  34. As you sow, so shall you reap

    You look at El Paseo and you see the role of seminal architectural form in this town that got it right back in the 1930’s. You look at this proposed Westside tin can and you hope and pray this will be a sorry forgotten mistake that will quickly be hidden behind massive vegetation.

    • Anonymous

      Problemed sovled by “As you Sow, so shall you reap” now let her build and we can read about the import news of Kardashian’s wedding!!!!! $ 100 million dollars spent!!!!! What a dream!!!!! Wish them a happy life together!

    • Why Stop There?

      Let’s go back another century and use outhouses & horse drawn wagons….

    • Well, here it is 2013 and the house is built and whew, is it a stinker. It is so embarrassing. All I can do is hope for some very large plantings, huge trees, a giant hedge?

      And, I might add, the industrial look is already thankfully declining in popularity. Ugh, ugh, ugh, what an ugly mistake.

  35. Anonymous

    That’s terrible!!! The westside has drug problems? Why does the police department not do anything about this?

  36. REALLY?!?

    Ok, am I reading this all correctly? Aside from the incredulous banter and offensive comments of the appellant, the home owner and every person on either side of the argument, is there any truth here? Judging from the City Documents someone posted, the appellant lives illegally in her garage. The person doing a small addition with am “industrial look” has obtained approvals from design board, staff and City Council. What is the big deal?

    Oh, right…the neighbor (and other nimby campaign artists) don’t like the design. REALLY?!? So what!  The only thing that ruins a neighborhood is the crazy people who inhabit them. Buildings don’t ruin neighborhoods; just like guns don’t kill people, people do.

    This reminds me of the Civil Rights movement where people were outcast, excluded and quardoned off because of the color of their skin. Are these people really beholden to this concept that modern (skin) should not be allowed in MY neighborhood?  Why not just exclude race, religion and other things you don’t like (in your neighborhood) REALLY?!?

    Have you walked through this neighborhood? Eclectic seems to be a polite term for down trodden, unkept and dysfunctional. I walked the neighborhood this weekend and here is what I saw: people treating their properties like Sanford & Son, parking cars on the lawn and storing trash in the side yard. I saw very little of the ‘Charm’ some people keep talking about and very few ‘quaint’ and ‘quality’ remnants of an era which had small cute cottages and decent people living in them.  Is this what some are trying to protect?  REALLY?!?

    I am going to put any remodel ideas I had on the shelf. If I can only build what my neighbor has (or likes) then I should just move to Camarillo and buy a track home with white stucco and red tile roof. REALLY PEOPLE, REALLY?!?

  37. Nurse Ratchet

    Don’t think of this as a civil rights issue. Think of it as a public health issue. One needs to stop visual contamination of our town, as if it were the plague. We need to innoculate against any further aesthetic diseases like this design that will wipe our out town.

    • Oh, right. It’s not the gangs or the homeless that will wipe out our town. It’s letting someone build a house that doesn’t match your aesthetic views that’s the real danger.

      Sorry, but this kind of hysterical NIMBYism will win you no friends.

  38. Eco-bust

    Corrugated metal is already so yesterday. Trust me, you don’t want your names on this building because we can point to an name a few others in this town who left their trendy detritus behind as yesterday’s municipal embarrassments even though they thought they were Paris Hilton hot at the time.

    Faux trendy-trite and boring is all you have with this design. Designs such as this prove only the creative juices have dried up and the architect is stuck in an artistic time-warp. This building merely carbon dates the architect’s graduation year who now desperately tries to show he is hip and modern, but in fact proves only he is stale and tiresome as dress-down Fridays. Good design is timeless and we know it when we see it. Good design resonates without words. You feel good design intuitively. This ain’t it.

    • el_smurfo

      How about posting a photo of your house and we’ll all critique how passe’ it is and perhaps get come code enforcement officers out there to make sure it conforms to the community standards?

  39. City resident

    Happy to report that the appeal was denied and the homeowner will now be able to proceed with building!

    • For a better Santa Barbara

      Yes! I can’t wait to see it built! Fantastic addition to the neighborhood!

  40. The sheer fact there are so many pro- tin can building posts online proves how many out-of-work architects there are in this town, idle at their computers because no one will hire their edgy, vacuous talents.