The Point Market Fuel Depot Summerland Updates with Business Owner John Price and Architect Scott Branch

By Joanne A Calitri   |   March 29, 2022
The Point Market and Fuel Depot Summerland approved plans, courtesy of Scott Branch

The latest business addition soon to open in Summerland is the newly remodeled former gas station, now called The Point Market and Fuel Depot, located at 2285 Lillie Avenue. The property owner, Sharon Kussman, is the successor Trustee of the Rose T. Robertson Revocable Trust (property owner since May 1988).Its new business owner is John Price, CEO of Price Management, leasing from Kussman. 

Due diligence on Summerland Point Market and Fuel Depot project was ensured by Price and his architect Scott Branch. Price is known for his successful business renovations in Montecito including the Point Market Coast Village Chevron, the Village Service Station on East Valley Road, and the Villas at Olive Mill Road. Branch, a Principal at BBP Architecture, sits on the Design Review Board for the City of Goleta.

The Summerland Point Market and Fuel Depot remodel includes much needed structural repairs of the building, lighting, dispensers, and the underground equipment for safety and sanitation. Aesthetic upgrades were also made to the structure. The designs were updated to meet the requests of the South County Board of Architectural Review (SBAR) and the Summerland Board of Architectural Review; abiding by state and local regulations. Here is my interview with Price and Branch on the project:

Q: Let’s talk about the renovations.

John Price (JP): With gas stations, there are many moving parts to attend to. The expensive moving parts are the underground fueling systems and the protection of the environment. All modern underground storage tanks
(USTs), the piping, and the under dispenser containment (UDCs) are double walled, making it double contained (secondary containment), so if the primary leaks, it goes into the secondary and sounds an alarm. We found the tanks were in good shape, but what is called the tank toppings (everything above the tanks), were antiquated and we replaced them. The complete remodel was both the interior and exterior of the building, which was in pretty poor shape. We did demolition on areas that were in need of remedial work for safety and sanitation issues.

When did the project start?

JP: Four years ago, Das Williams introduced me to the President of the Summerland Citizens Association Board, and I met with the Summerland Citizens Association. I told them that before I start this venture, I need two things – the sign on the roof and a canopy – and asked if they are in agreement with those two items, and they said yes. I moved forward in good faith. We met with the Summerland Board of Architectural Review for the signage, they saw and approved it. We went to South County Board of Architectural Review and they approved it. And here we are.

The Summerland Point
Market and Fuel Depot remodel includes much needed structural repairs of the building, lighting, dispensers and the underground equipment for safety
and sanitation.

Tell us about the chimney signage.

Scott Branch (SB): The chimney is the same one that was there since the last remodel before ours. Basically, we restored it. It was covered in stone veneer, which was not installed very well, there were problems with leakage and a structural disfiguration behind it, so the remodel was a good thing to do.

JP: My land use planner, Gelaré Macon (Flowers & Associates, Inc.) researched the history of the signage on the property. There were three prior businesses that had signage on the chimney, two different gas stations, and a hardware store in the last 40 years, so there was a precedent set for that signage.

Zoom interview with John Price and Scott Branch, photo by Joanne A Calitri

That brings us to the lighting for the sign and canopy.

SB: What most people don’t realize is that for gas stations, the state of California dictates that a certain amount of light has to be there for safety purposes. We can aesthetically do things to the lights, but the amount of light is regulated. There were a couple of instances where the South County Board of Architectural Review and the Summerland Board of Architectural Review questioned the lighting under the canopy. From inception to installation, the amount of lighting, size of the fixtures, etc. under the canopy has never changed. What changed is to comply with the Dark Sky Regulations of the zoning ordinance. We put shrouds on the lights to have less light bleed off the property. We did photometric measurements of the lights as well. [Photometrics is the total amount of light emitted from a light source, corrected for the spectral response of the human eye to light. It is measured in lumens.]

JP: For the chimney signage, the light fixtures we have are rated at 200-watts per bulb, and we are putting in 60-watt bulbs, so a total of 120 watts per side. 

In closing, is the project successful for both the community and you?

JP: It’s lightyears better than it was, from a myriad of standpoints, not the least is gas people can trust, a market with great stuff in it, clean restrooms, and the quality of it as a whole. The community is going to benefit from this in a huge way and is going to be really happy with it. What they have is what we designed, presented, approved, installed, and built. 

There are some really good folks in Summerland, Phyllis Noble, President of the Board of Directors of the Summerland Citizens Association, is one of them. We spoke on the phone for two hours this week, and I assured her we would work with her every which way. I’ve also had a lot of people call me and say they know what I was going through with a couple of individuals to get the project going and to do it – that those few don’t speak for all of us, and we are delighted you are here. 

SB: From the initial design we had done, we went to South County Board of Architectural Review five times, and we made changes every time. They wanted certain paint colors, landscaping, window and entry treatment, canopy pitch, and more, which we happily did. That’s the process, and I get that, I’m on the Design Review Board for the City of Goleta, and we work together with people all the time. Ultimately it was a successful project and of benefit to the community.  


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