In a 3-2 vote at its Sept. 14 meeting, Carpinteria City Council approved a one-year extension of the Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with 499 Linden Managers for the Inn Project located at 499 Linden Avenue near the railroad tracks. Councilmembers Al Clark and Fred Shaw dissented. A public conceptual review of the project was scheduled for last April, but was postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

City staff anticipates that a large audience will want to participate in the review, which creates challenges for social distancing and other Covid-19 requirements. Recently, the city has improved its ability to conduct virtual public meetings and expects to hold the conceptual review for the inn project in November. Doing so required an extension of the existing agreement with the developer. 

The inn is proposed for a portion of the city parking lot adjacent to the Amtrak station. The project consists of an 18,000-square-foot two-story inn with rooftop and ground level food and beverage service. The developer would also replace the required parking spaces and relocate existing public restrooms. 

Two members of the council voted against extending the agreement with 499 Linden Managers citing reasons that included incompatibility with Carpinteria’s small town atmosphere and impacts on parking and downtown views. Numerous residents also voiced opposition to the project. Councilmembers who voted in favor of extending the agreement said that they had not made a decision on the project and that the inn concept deserved an opportunity to undergo public review.

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