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    HomeCommunityGoleta HistorySupervisors Approve Allstate!

    Supervisors Approve Allstate!

    By Tom Crear, Daily Nexus, May 9, 1972

    In a unanimous vote yesterday [05/08/1972], the County Board of Supervisors decided that the Goleta Valley is in good hands with Allstate.

    The decision to approve Allstate’s request for rezoning of a 25-acre parcel of land off Highway 101 at the intersection of Winchester Canyon Rd. and Calle Real, in order to construct a regional headquarters, came after a stormy three-hour debate.

    Allstate’s request was originally denied by the County Planning Commission three weeks ago. The issue was brought before the board yesterday on appeal by Arthur Henzell, an agent representing Allstate and the Security First National Bank.

    Representing the Supervisors’ opinion, local lame-duck incumbent Dan Grant called the Allstate project “a good development which will enhance the area, will be a financial asset to the community and will also act as a good neighbor to the rest of the Goleta Valley.”

    The three-hour debate, marred by sporadic rudeness on the part of those in support of Allstate, centered on the costs and alleged benefits of economic growth in the Goleta Valley.

    Henzell, leading the proponents of the project, said he thought the Allstate Office will open up approximately 350 jobs to area residents, out of the 500 employees planned for.

    Further, insisted Henzell, Allstate could not find another site in the area that would allow them to build “a park-like setting” or give them the highway frontage that Allstate wants for their business.

    Frank Frost, Supervisorial candidate from the First District, led heated discussion in opposition to the Allstate proposal. He cited recent urban planning studies which recommend against “perimeter” development, and subsequent exploitation of surrounding open space, in urban areas.

    Frost also expressed fear that approval of Allstate’s request would give Santa Barbara the reputation of being growth-oriented, when “we should be discouraging that sort of reputation!”

    Also speaking against the proposal were IVCC’s Al Plyley and Jo Ann Yokota, who both questioned the number and types of jobs that Allstate could provide. They warned the supervisors that Allstate should be located where the jobs are needed: within the city of Santa Barbara, not out in the Goleta Valley.

    Mike Dunbar of the I.V. Planning Commission rebutted Henzell’s allegations when he informed those present that the question wasn’t one of alternative development, but between the Allstate development and no development.

    Summing up the “no-growth” forces’ argument, lawyer Mark McGinnes conceded that the project might bring short-term benefits to the area — but “it is time that we take into consideration the long-range consequences, both environmental and economic, of such development in the Santa Barbara area.”

    If a judicial decision expected on an environmental case in northern California comes in the next few weeks, McGinnes explained, the Allstate proposal might require an environmental impact study. This would make the Board’s actions yesterday invalid until such a study could be made.

    Goleta Voice
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