The Goleta City Council is expected to vote on the Bermant Development Company’s proposal to build affordable housing on its Campus Pointe property tonight at the council’s weekly meeting.
BDC originally planned to build two office buildings on the 68-acre parcel, which is located on the north side of Los Carneros Road near the 101 freeway. The parcel is currently zoned for industrial use only. The council will vote on a proposal to convert the Campus Pointe Business Park to a zone for apartments, condominiums, townhouses and an industrial building.
The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission handed over zoning responsibility for the site to the Goleta City Council at its Jan. 2 meeting because the area lies within the new city’s jurisdiction.
Goleta Mayor Margaret Connell said she would like the development of Campus Pointe to be part of a general plan aimed at stabilizing the job-to-housing ratio in the city. However, Connell also said the city administration needs to be developed before any plans can be implemented.
“Goleta is still a fairly new city,” she said. “There is a tremendous amount of work to do to get the city up and running. We are still in the process of hiring a permanent city manager and city planners. Before such tasks as those are completed, we cannot begin to take a serious look at this project.”
Goleta’s building moratorium — which suspends construction within city lines until Feb. 2003 — does not affect BDC’s construction plans because the development agreement between BDC and the city predates the moratorium, Goleta City Council member Jonny Wallis said. However, Connell said the City Council would like to wait another two years before changing the existing agreement and allowing BDC to build apartment buildings.
BDC Executive Vice President Andrew Bermant said he would prefer to get the project going more quickly.
“We understand that the city needs some time,” he said. “We’re just looking for some solid indication that they’re definitely willing to explore this with us. We have contractors waiting for us to sign off on the construction of the approved office buildings, and once we sign a lease there’s no going back.”
Bermant said a portion of the new housing would be designated as affordable housing for Goleta’s workforce.
“We all know that there is a housing crisis in this community. There are no affordable homes for people who don’t qualify for low-income housing. Thirty-five percent of this new housing would be allocated for those teachers, firefighters and other members of the critical work force,” Bermant said.
The meeting will take place tonight at the Goleta Union School District building on 401 North Fairview Ave. at 6 p.m.