Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Can You Hear Me Now?

I guess The Granada (no longer The Granada Theater due to a new branding campaign) will do anything to preserve the historical site. Does anybody know about and can confirm the following? Thanks to ctgsb for sending in the query.

Community Post by CTGSB

Does anyone know about the new "crown" (cell phone antenna array) that has appeared on top of the Granada Theatre Building? What an eyesore! How can anyone look at the enormous effort to restore this historic theatre and building, and then allow this huge metal "thing" to be placed on top of it? Did the City approve this? Under what ordinance? This needs to be investigated, and if possible, removed.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is my understanding this is a federal pre-emption issue. They can put them anywhere they want and they can look anyway they can. Constituional FCC commerce clause and all that.

Agree, grotesque but then so are many others in this town, even when they try to disguise them as dusty palm trees.

But you have to admit, it kind of plays off the designs for the new city transit center. Godzilla meets King Kong. Thank you city council for thinking of our future here together.

11/20/2007 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

What I want to know about the Granada is how much the bill is now! How much does the present cost differ from the original estimations? What were the big problems that cost so much?

Second, I would like to know what the Arlington theatre improvement package was estimated to cost if we had done that.

And lastly, I want to know how the acoustics are going to be in the new Granada? Is this an orchestral venue worthy of the name? (I'm not sure you can trademark "Granada" I think it's been taken for several hundred years.

Of course, I suppose everybody knows that this building is the reason that Santa Barbara adopted its present height restrictions so that a building so tall would never happen again.

11/20/2007 10:22 PM  
Anonymous bungalow bill said...

The height limit came after the judge's court ruling on the 9-story twin tower condo scheme at the site of Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens. He said famously it would do violence to the neighbohrood. Citizens, led by Pearl Chase (who was broken-hearted by then that it had come to this) realized the need to retake the city and they worked tirelessly to limit the heights. Surely the reference to the Granada was there, but it wasn't what sparked the height-limit movement.

11/21/2007 5:50 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

As far as I know, in the past the design and placement of cell phone towers came up to the City counter and faced review like any other project. It was annoying because there were so many of them, and most of them in the early days compromised standards for architectural facades.

One of the temptations for people or non-profits who own buildings that could be prime spots to radiate communications about town, is that they can earn money by accepting a tower emplacement. Lower income equals higher temptation.

Seems like all of this could be rationalized and minimized by pitting the need for these sites up against best use standards, and using good planning and design.

11/21/2007 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

Bungalow Bill there is more to both the Granada story and the Pearl Chase story--but the two of them are separated by about thirty years. So if the Alice Keck Park Park history relates to Granada it is indeed by a very long burning fuse.

The story of poor Pearl Chase in this period is a very poignant one.

11/21/2007 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not a federal preemption issue -- the Historic Landmarks Commission approved this monstrosity on November 2, 2007 (go to the city website - it's MST007-00502)

The application says it can't be seen from the street "nine stories below" (BTW - when did the Granada get to be 9 stories? - it was always 8.) -- maybe you can't see it from the street directly below the building - but you sure can from everywhere else in the city.

What in the world was HLC thinking?

11/21/2007 12:27 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

We can put a man on the moon, clone humans, invent cell phones, build stealth airplanes, but god forbid we should be able to figure out how to put fours bars on my freakin' phone at home without creating eyesores! (ATT, you incompetent A-holes)

So what could we do with 1.5 TRILLION DOLLARS ???

Maybe free satellite phone service (no ground antenna required) for everyone in America?

How about Free solar panels for every building in the country thus obviating the need for polluting oil fired electric plants and concurrently pulling America's wealth back into the country and cutting the balls off OPEC!

We already have the technology for hands free driving (GPS+Computers), non polluting (hydrogen cells), safe (radar collision avoidence systems) and still personally convienient automobiles to offset this ridiculous idea that we can provide mass transit solutions that work in the real world.

We just can't afford to subsidize the development because we let the Republican Theocracy piss away our cash and credit rating on this debacle in the middle east.

11/21/2007 12:54 PM  
Anonymous lower Westie said...

I saw it the other day. Very ugly, and there is nothing to hide it. Most likely supported by the same people that painted over the ant.

11/21/2007 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now this is only speculation but I do know that there has been an antenna site at the Granada for several years and perhaps it has recently become "visible" due to the rehab work going on, and when it's finished, maybe it will "disappear" again. I actually just checked the building permits on file for the Granada and it indicates the existing antennas are going to be placed in a new tower. The framing work just recently began. I would venture the antennas will be "hidden" once the project is completed b/c our City does not allow rooftop antennas to be visible. Compare to most other cities, we are LUCKY this is the case.

11/21/2007 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Read the City land use ordinance governing the placement of antennas (cellular or otherwise) in a commercial district. This is not a City Council matter. It is simply P&D.

There is no such thing as Federal preemption on placement of antennas in re: zoning. City of Santa Barbara has the most stringent in the country - so all of you conspiracy theorists out there relax.

2. Understand and know that there have been stealth cellular antennas atop the Granada (concealed from public view) for over a decade.

This may simply be a temporary location while work is being done to the impacted area within the Granada where the antennas previously were located and concealed from public view - and will likely return to at a future date.

11/21/2007 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chill out people. The antennaes are temporary until the roof is replaced to meet structural upgrades required by the city.

11/22/2007 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thsi should have been a front page story in the NewsPress explaining this local event.

Travis has not been seen on the editorial page - no editorials and no byline column from him in a few days. Is he gone. He is missed. He lit a fire and has been hitting his targets on the bullseye lately.

He would have been on top of the Granada tower story.

11/25/2007 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Diana Kelly said...

The Granada Tower Restoration project is a massive effort to restore the only highrise in SB. Those of us working on the restoration have gone to great lengths to design and restore the beautiful historic structure, while maintaining the contemporary functional needs within. The cellsites have been in the building for a while, hidden from view and will once again be hidden from view when the new safer roof gets built. Be happy it's there our you probably would not have good cellphone reception, especially for essential emergency needs. 6 HLC meetings and a year and a half of DART review is what the City regulators required for our design & permit approval; the most stringent in the country in my eyes. No easy task working here. I think everyone will appreciate the Granada once again when the entire work is finished, the sidewalks are clear, and the theater is having great shows. Please hang in there during the construction, while we're doing our best to make the building the landmark that it is meant to be.

11/27/2007 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis should be placed on top of the Granada with the antennas. That would be a real public service...

11/27/2007 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blah, blah, blah would have been far more prudent to have called a press conference or put up an "Exuces our dust" sort of sign on such an obvious, albeit temporary, eyesore. Your explanations while valid are a few days late and a few dollars short. It was a missed good will opportunity.

And that being said, we do appreciate all the community donations in support of finally creating a first class performance hall in this town sorely lacking in this acoustic quality. And the loving attention to historic detail and design lavished on this property. SB is truly lucky to be so generously gifted.

So sorry that cell phone tower glitch hit such a snag. Thems voters out there are angry and ready to strike at the next offense. Wish someone could have anticipated this when a landmark is so loved, sore thumb that it was when it was built. If nothing else, it is our sore thumb reminder of what we never want again but will accept it because for this building it is now too late so we had better make the best of it and you crew is certainly doing that. Thank you, in my gruff sort of way. Thank you.

11/27/2007 10:15 PM  

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