2010 PlanSB CPA Letter to CC
3 February 2010
Mayor Schneider & Council Members
Santa Barbara City Council
Santa Barbara, CA
Sent via email to: Helene Schneider <>,
Dale Francisco <>
Grant House <>
Das Williams <>
Bendy White <>
Michael Self <>
Frank Hotchkiss <>
RE: Plan Santa Barbara –City Council Work Session on February 11, 2010
Dear Mayor Schneider & Council Members,
The General Plan Update Committee of the Citizens Planning Association (CPA) wishes to submit the following recommendations based in large part on our earlier communications.
In brief, we believe that there is city-wide agreement about at least three goals of Plan Santa Barbara: living within our resources, lessening our city’s jobs/housing imbalance, and preserving Santa Barbara’s much admired mountain views, cultural diversity, and established character. We
do not discern comparable consensus about the particular strategies whereby the above goals can be realized. We urge you to consider the following actions as the most effective means of achieving the agreed-upon goals:
1. Take the project description in the proposed EIR seriously enough to declare that Plan Santa Barbara will add no more than about 3,000 dwelling units (DU) over the next 30 years
See, among others, our committee’s 18-page brochure dated May 2008 and the letters dated
December 12, 2008 (General Plan Update Committee -- GPUC) , February 6, 2009 (Comprehensive
Planning Committee), February 12, 2009 (GPUC), July 20, 2009, September 23, 2009 (South County
Land Use Committee -- LUC), October 28, 2009 (LUC), November 16, 2009 (GPUC), and December 7, 2009 (GPUC).
Any of the items listed can be promptly provided upon request.
To be more precise, 2,795 DU within current city limits plus 403 DU in the city’s “sphere of influence” (see Staff Report for the January 29, 2009 public scoping hearing, Exhibit 3, page 4). CPA GPUC letter to SB City Council Re: Plan SB, 2/3/10
2. Acknowledge that current zoning laws permit the addition of many more than 3,000 residential units3 and that, therefore, there is no need for increasing the maximum allowed density beyond what is provided in our existing General Plan and zoning ordinances.
3. Promote jobs/housing balance by reducing the Plan Santa Barbara project’s 2,000,000 square feet of new nonresidential space to 1,000,000 square feet according to the figures included in both Alternative 1 and Alternative 2.
4. Replace the MODA concept with a dual density system throughout all commercial and multifamily zones to encourage employers and nonprofit organizations to develop 100% affordable residential units according to currently existing density policies but limit jobgenerating
market-rate residential developments to 12 units per acre.
5. Change the Variable Density Ordinance from being based on the number of bedrooms to being based on rigorously limited unit sizes5
while keeping the average number of total units per acre roughly the same as it is now.
6. Focus the Adaptive Management program on planning objectives that can be enforceably monitored on an annual basis.6
7. Add to Plan Santa Barbara’s health-related policies promoting walkability a set of healthrelated policies promoting the dissipation of traffic-generated air pollution by means of generously landscaped building setbacks and other open spaces.
Estimates vary up to 10,000 units.
Estimates vary as to the “multiplier factor,” namely, the number of lower paying jobs created by the
residents of each newly built market-rate dwelling unit. Bill Watkins, former Executive Director of
the UC Santa Barbara Economic Forecast Project, offered the following rough correlations between
job creation and a new resident family's annual income:
250K and up 3.28
Source: e-mail dated August 19, 2008, which Sheila Lodge forwarded to City Council on October 7, 2008.
For example, 1,000 square feet for a two-bedroom unit.
For example, if Plan Santa Barbara proposes 3,000 new residential units over 20 years and more or less than 150 building permits have been issued in a particular year, the number of building permits to be issued in the following year(s) should be reduced or increased to put the city back on track.
similar principle should apply to monitoring nonresidential developments. CPA GPUC letter to SB City Council Re: Plan SB, 2/3/10
8. Revise the latest version of the proposed Land Use Map so that it more fully reflects our city's heritage, historic and architectural resources, and unique character. This would include map images of the properties within El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park downtown.
Prepare a separate element of the General Plan devoted to historic preservation.
Arguments in favor of the above recommendations and of several others can be found at and in the documents listed in Note 1 above, all available upon request.
We thank you in advance for considering our input.
CC: John Ledbetter, Principal Planner <>
Beatriz Gularte, Planner <>