After seven years of planning, the Goleta City Council has finally given the go-ahead to begin construction on the Cabrillo Business Park Project, a development totaling 956,000 square feet.

The new plan, approved at yesterday’s city council meeting, is projected to create a roughly $1.8 billion economic stimulus to the area, as it provides new jobs and office space for start-up companies to take root. The development plan also calls for an unprecedented amount of open space to be designated for public use in the form of parks and restored wetlands at its location on 6767 Hollister Ave.

“This meeting is a big part of the process,” Councilmember Roger Aceves said. “We’re approving the last part of the park plan.”

Monday’s public meeting was held to vote on the proposed plan as well as hear concerns from the public. While the majority of attendees agreed with the overall plan, some expressed worry over details such as possible traffic congestion along Storke and Los Carneros Roads that would come with more development. However, the Sares-Regis Group, the company in charge of planning the project, was present to address these issues.

“This is a gateway project for the city of Goleta,” the regional president of the Sares-Regis Group, Russell Goodman, said. “According to the UCSB economic forecast, almost $2 billion dollars will be produced by the project.”

The site of the proposed business park is on land once owned by the defense company, Delco. According to a packet released by the Sares-Regis Group, within the next 10 years, the number of jobs lost when Delco relocated – approximately 2,200 – will be restored.

“The project will greatly increase the opportunity for start-up companies coming out of UCSB,” Councilmember Eric Onnen said. “It works well with UCSB, which means it will work well with the community, too.”

These start-up companies, as well as many other businesses, have apparently had significant trouble finding proper office spaces to use. According to the council, Goleta has an extremely low vacancy rate for commercial use.

During the seven-year process, the business park plan has been modified to accommodate the public. In addition to cutting back on the space used, about 46 percent of the property will be preserved as open space, according to the Sares-Regis Group. This space will include a community park, access to the neighboring Kmart and a plot of restore wetlands.

“This is the lowest-density project of its kind,” Goodman said. “About half of the property will be open space for the public.”