The Goleta City Council recently unanimously approved the development of Haskell’s Landing, an apartment complex near Devereux Creek.

The large residential project, which will consist of 101 units, has elicited concern from the community about the consequences of constructing an apartment complex in close proximity to the creek. Although the project’s environmental impact has raised questions, many others touted the potential benefits of Haskell’s Landing, which include providing affordable housing and another fire station to the city of Goleta.

City Councilman Ed Easton noted that the development of Haskell’s Landing is still a work in progress.

“I want to see final details developed with the Design Review Board,” Easton said. “Theoretically, this project will be good for the community.”

Although council voted to make a 100-foot buffer zone around the creek, exceptions can be made in special circumstances. Still, Easton said the benefits of the development outweigh the costs to the environment.

“While this is probably not a plus for the environment, it is not that big of a minus,” Easton said. “I hope we’ll get the stream reinvigorated and [have] a flowing stream during the wet season.”

However, Eddie Harris, the president of the Santa Barbara Urban Creeks Council, said the proposed development will be built on a unique watershed that serves as a habitat for many species of animals.

“I think our overriding concern is that we think the city should be doing watershed master planning and not entertaining a developer’s idea about creek building,” he said.

Harris also said that he hopes the city council will consider the importance of the local environment when making later decisions concerning the development.

“I don’t know if there’s much that can be done, but we want to continue to work with the city of Golet to work on a comprehensive water plan to protect the benefits of creeks and natural habitats,” Harris said.

The council first began discussing the project in early April. Council members recently decided that it was necessary to make amendments to the city’s General Plan in order for the development to take place.

“The council felt that the project needed to be approved given the changes that have been made,” Easton said.

Meanwhile, Easton said that the council hopes the new residential area will provide Goleta with a welcoming ambiance.

“Hopefully, this will be a pleasant gateway to our community beginning at the West End,” Easton said.