A controversial two-story building in the Ojai Arcade has won approval from the city's Planning Commission despite a petition signed by 163 merchants and residents opposed to its size and lack of parking area.
However, several opponents said Friday that they plan to appeal that decision to the City Council.
"I feel our concerns went unanswered," said Richard Holsten, an Ojai resident who added that he questions whether developer fees will alleviate downtown parking problems.
As it stands, the ruling allows developers Larry Wilde, Dennis Guernsey and Andrew Pollet, all of Ojai, to expand two retail shops into a new structure with five stores downstairs and eight offices upstairs.
Satisfied that the second story would be nearly invisible behind the tall Arcade parapet, commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the new building's Spanish-style design Wednesday. Several called it a handsome project.
The commission also voted 5 to 1 in favor of the project's environmental document. To offset traffic and parking effects, the report requires the developers to pay $5,000 to the Ojai Trolley or bus system and $40,900 to the city in lieu of 13 parking spaces.