Milpas Street may be getting its first large apartment complex, a virtual high rise by Santa Barbara standards, as the Santa Barbara City Council hears changes to a project proposed on the corner of Milpas and Ortega streets.
The City Council will hold a public hearing during its 2 p.m. meeting Tuesday before it decides if it will approve a development agreement between the city and 711 N. Milpas Partners L.P.
The city approved a mixed-use proposal of 711 N. Milpas in 2019, but the new property owners have a different vision for a 82-unit building.
The original design had modern architecture, but current plans embrace the Spanish Mediterranean facade of the neighborhood.
The owners also hope to raise the building’s height. Some portions will measure a maximum of 52 feet.
The City has a maximum height limitation of 45 feet, but projects deemed to have a community benefit may extend up to 60 feet with approval.
The original proposal had 76 rental housing units, and the new developers increased plans to 82 one- and two-bedroom units.
Of those, 16 units are designated as affordable to moderate-income households.
The Planning Commission reviewed the project, and added the definition of moderated income as “generally households with incomes between 80% and 120% of area median income.”
It also required that the number of affordable one- and two-bedroom units is proportional to the total number.
The owners have voluntarily agreed to “use reasonable and good faith efforts” to give preference to teachers, health care workers and first responders.
There is a proposed 1,365 square feet of commercial space, down from an original 2,737 square feet.
The project needs special approval for parking, including setback modifications to allot for 13 parking spots along the Ortega Street setback.
Plans include six commercial parking spots, as required, and 54 units will receive one parking spot. Parking lifts will provide two spots for 22 units.
The remaining six units, the number of one-bedroom affordable units (coincidence or not), will only have dedicated parking during nights and weekends. During weekday hours, it will be designated as 90-minute commercial parking.
The City and the Planning Commission recommends the approval of the development agreement. Should that happen, there are more steps for the developer.
The Planning Commission will look at the proposed height, setback modifications for parking and parking modification and grant or deny exceptions.
The Architectural Board of Review issues a design approval and final approval. The Planning Commission and ABR’s decisions may be appealed.
Tuesday’s meeting also includes an update on the temporary safe shelter pilot program.
The meeting will be broadcast live on City TV Channel 18 and online at santabarbaraca.gov/citytv.
Attendees may participate in the meeting virtually by going to attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5144703284247928080.