33-Unit Apartment Complex in the Works for Garden Street

••• Today’s meeting of the city’s Architectural Board of Review includes a 33-unit apartment complex at 425 Garden Street (between Haley and Gutierrez, next to OfficeMax). The description:

The project consists of demolition of all on-site structures and construction of a 33-unit multi-unit family apartment complex with rooftop amenities. Consistent with the City’s Average Unit-Size Density Program, the City’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance and the State’s Density Bonus Law, there will be: two Moderate-Income units, five Low-Income Units, and twenty-six market rate units. No parking is proposed on-site, consistent with the AUD Ordinance. The project is proposed at a density of 86.84 units/acre, which is allowable with the State Density Bonus Law.

I’m all for more housing in that part of town, but no parking? Ouch. And it’s so hard to pull off this kind of design and not look cheap. Much will depend on the materials; according to the plans, the facade is mainly “cementitious surface TBD” and the balconies are perforated metal panels. And the “rooftop amenities” are a deck with outdoor kitchen, a dog run, a community garden, and a compost bed.

••• In other big-development news, Cearnal Collective posted a new rendering for the SoMo Funk project taking over an entire Funk Zone block. This is the view from Mason Street and Gray Avenue.

••• I hear that the spec house under construction on Hot Springs Road, just above Olive Mill, has pre-sold for—brace yourself—$8.7 million.

••• Good news from the latest update on Highway 101 construction: the northbound on- and off-ramps at Santa Monica Road are still slated to reopen next Monday, November 22; and the reopening of the southbound on-ramp at Sheffield Drive has been moved way up from sometime in 2023 to mid-2022. The southbound Sheffield off-ramp, however, got pushed back, from the end of 2021 to early 2022.

••• Here’s your occasional reminder never to hang out right under the bluffs.

••• This Thursday, November 18, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival will do an online Q&A with actor Christopher Lloyd. It’s unclear whether anyone but the moderator gets to ask questions.

••• From the city:

On Sunday, December 12, come enjoy one of Santa Barbara’s signature holiday events—the 35th Annual Parade of Lights. All event activities are free!

Beginning at noon families can visit a Winter Wonderland on the City Pier in Santa Barbara Harbor. There will be holiday elves, 10 tons of snow to play in, and holiday music. It is rumored Santa may make an appearance but there will be no sit-with-Santa photos.

Different from years past, the Human-Powered category competition will be held during daylight at 4 p.m. Dozens of standup paddlers and kayakers dressed in festive attire will loop Stearns Wharf spreading holiday cheer.

At 5 p.m. a holiday tree lighting ceremony will be held on the shoreward finger of Stearns Wharf next to the Sea Center. Then, at 5:30 p.m., around 30 illuminated watercraft, bedecked to this year’s theme, “Magic Under the Moonlight” will light up the night as they make their way from Leadbetter Beach down the coast to the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion, then back along the coast to Stearns Wharf.

The parade will be capped off by a brief but spectacular fireworks show. Best viewing locations for the boat parade and fireworks include Stearns Wharf, the breakwater, West Beach, and East Beach.

Registration for the competition is now open and, as always, it’s free to enter! Participants can enter one of five categories: Human-powered, Power, Sail, Commercial Fishing, or Commercial Other. Pick up your entry form at the Waterfront offices, or click here to fill it out and submit online. There will be thousands of dollars worth of prizes!

Also new to the event this year will be an opportunity to give back to the community. The Waterfront Department is teaming up with Toys for Tots to bring some holiday cheer to those in need. Donation boxes will be set up at the City Pier and on Stearns Wharf next to the Holiday Tree. Just bring new, un-gift-wrapped toys, books, and stocking stuffers (preferably avoiding plush toys due to sanitary reasons) for age groups one to 14.

So mark your calendars to get in the holiday spirit Santa Barbara style and head down to the Waterfront for an afternoon and evening of fun at the 35th Annual Parade of Lights on Sunday, December 12. Visit SantaBarbaraCA.gov/ParadeofLights for additional details.

••• The 1962 house at 1086 Channel Drive got a $4 million price cut, putting it at $19.5 million. That matches the previous low, from 2014-17. The house has been on the market a long time….


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