By El Gaucho, October 11, 1960
Recently a proposal to renovate the slough was presented by Santa Barbara realtors George W. Chappell and John Bretton.
The property in question consists of the southwest quarter of the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, along the approach to the UCSB campus.
Consisting of 250 acres, the region would be divided as follows: 94 acres for a 2,317 boat-slip Marina, a 7-acre park, 93 acres for roadways and parking, 45 acres for commercial establishments, and 11 acres restricted for University use.
The proposed project would cost approximately 8 million dollars and take 2 1/2-3 years to complete. Plans include new roads and a bridge across the slough, modern motels, attractive restaurants and ample parking.
To date the project has been presented to the City Council, the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce and the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, all of which have taken no formal action. The Municipal Airport Commission, however, has approved the plan in principle.
Mr. George W. Chappell, co-proponent of the project, stated that such an undertaking is advisable, since present local facilities are greatly overtaxed due to the ever-increasing interest in boating. Also, the land as it now stands is a “problem area” and the proposal would include mosquito control.
With respect to UCSB, Mr. Chappell feels that the planned 1,000 meter rowing course would enable UCSB to be one of the few colleges on the Pacific coast with a crew team. Also, it would bring motel and restaurant facilities closer to the campus, and could conceivably mean an increase in student job opportunities.
Business Manager Approves
As for the University, Mr. Sedgewick Thomson, campus business manager, stated that it approves of the proposal in principle. However, there are a few points to be considered, such as a continuation of the highway below the bluff as previously planned by the University and the State Division of Highways, retaining a small area for research in biology, and examination of engineering problems, such as changing the telephone trunk line and sewerage system without cost to the University.
Mr. Thomson feels that the area should be improved but that a detailed study of traffic problems be undertaken. There could conceivably be congestion with 15,000 students and numerable boat owners vying for the roads.
In conclusion, Mr. Thomson stated that it would be “fantastic to have an airport, harbor and university all in one area.”