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Residents have mixed opinions about newly-approved Orcutt gas station

Posted at 6:38 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 00:21:46-05

Residents are reacting to a just-approved gas station and mini-market on Lakeview Road right next to Highway 135 in Orcutt.

People that live or shop around the area where the new gas station will be built say they’re worried about how much traffic it could create.

"It'll just add to the congestion and the intersection and especially during the morning rush hour at 8 o'clock with a gas station there, it'll just be chaos,” Santa Maria resident Ryan Consolascio said.

According to Planning and Development Department reports, the plan is to build a 5,054-square-foot building that will also include a mini-market as well as a 2,814-square-foot canopy over 8 fueling stations.

"The intent of the zone is to provide local residents with daily basic commercial needs, so one of those that are specifically mentioned for that zone is gasoline stations, so it's very well meeting the intent of the zone,” said Erick Gomez with the Planning and Development Department of Santa Barbara County.

The gas station is expected to generate more than 1,600 daily vehicle trips which is something nearby homeowner Tess Blake is worried about.

"At times, the traffic is very heavy there and with young children, middle school age, so it could be a very dangerous situation,” Blake said.

She and her husband say they sometimes have to take a different route to get to Spencer's Fresh Market across the street due to the congestion, adding they've seen many accidents near that intersection.

According to planning and development staff, to help mitigate some of the traffic, they will require developers to install signs restricting left turns onto Orcutt Road during rush hours.

Not everyone is opposed to the idea. Some residents said they are actually looking forward to this project.

"I am, I guess, happy about it. It's another opportunity for me to get some gas when I come to the grocery store and that kind of thing and there's quite frankly a little bit of limited gas options in Orcutt,” said Orcutt resident Matthew Morris.

The project's appeal date has passed and construction is set to begin sometime this year.