Oak View Homes

The Oak View Homes community consists of 22 ranch style homes. The one- and two-story dwellings possess a rural architecture featuring distinctive wood siding and attractive landscaping. The homes contain three or four bedrooms with two car garages and large front and back yards.

The name of the community was conceived by the efforts to protect and preserved two very large, legacy oak trees, around which the project was designed. Both sections of the neighborhoods are built around very private cul-de-sacs. The perimeter masonry walls and lush street-front landscaping substantially reduce traffic noise. In order to mesh with the architecture of the local neighborhood the roof coverings are an earth tone flat concrete tile.

The Architectural Challenges

Getting Oak View approved turned out to be quite a challenge and there were a few construction challenges along the way. The site used to lie on virgin farmland surrounded on all sides by the urban expansion of Goleta Valley. During the holidays the empty lot became filled with pumpkins before Halloween and Christmas trees before Christmas. The neighborhood had grown attached to the open and unspoiled character of the site and we foresaw there would be some resistance to a new housing development.

The owner put the property up for sale after a death in the family. We sought to build homes in accordance with the Goleta County Zoning plan. For some time, there has been a lack of affordable housing in Santa Barbara County, so it came as no surprise to us when The County Staff Planners initially recommended we design a high density project that incorporated low-income housing.

We delivered a design that reflected the County's low-income recommendations but the local residents led a heated outcry during public comment. They urged us to resubmit a plan more in keeping with the neighborhood. Even County was a bit surprised. In any event, the original plans were shredded and we went back to the drafting board. The second design for Oak View called for low density, single-family homes. Both the County and the residents approved it.

The Construction Challenges

It was a huge relief to get our plans approved. Next, we had to deal with specific construction challenges dealing with soil and weather. To prepare for construction, we knew we had to excavate and remove the soft soils left over from farming. The earth would need to be re-compacted to support the new foundations. It was just our luck that an El Niño weather pattern marched over Santa Barbara. As soon as our crews excavated the project torrential rains began, converting our site into a lake. We had to wait for the site to dry out before we could resume construction.

A development project that converts farmland into low or high density housing can create flooding issues. Soft soils absorb and retain storm water better than the impermeable surfaces of rooftops, sidewalks, driveways, and asphalt. Thus, we constructed a 36” storm drain stretching half a mile that safely moves surface runoff from the site to the creek nearby without flooding downstream properties. So the next time El Nino returned, the neighbors would be spared the worst of the flooding.

On a last note, the local residents buy their pumpkins and Christmas trees from Lane Farms, which is not far down the road.


Oak View Homes