CPA 2007 Membership Survey

Dear Friends,

The results of the questionnaire about the city of Santa Barbara’s General Plan Update are in and have been tabulated, and we want to share the results.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) (106 people) of those who received the questionnaire filled it out. That is a wonderful response.

Thank you very much!

What does the summary indicate? Some questions resulted in clear answers, others found no real consensus.

The first question about Santa Barbara’s most important qualities indicated that none of them are less than moderately important. The top three in importance – clean air (1 in ranking), sweeping public views and clean beaches and watersheds (both 2) and openness (3) are separated by only 1/10 of a percent (0.1%).

The second question about the most important planning issues elicited a similar response in that nothing is considered of less than moderate importance. There is more separation, however, and traffic congestion is first in importance.

No consensus was reached on high density housing. A significant percentage of respondents were undecided.

A very large majority supported the existing General Plan goals of living within our resources and maintaining the established character of the city.

The results summary for all the questions is on pages 3 and 4 of this letter. Many added comments. These are summarized on page 2.

Included in this mailing is a brochure with the results of a similar survey conducted by the Allied Neighborhoods Association. They asked related but somewhat different questions, and their results are of interest as well.

We greatly appreciate the time and effort used to fill out the questionnaires. Again, many thanks to those of you who did. The results are informative to us all.


Sheila Lodge
Chair, CPA’s General Plan Update Committee CPA – SB City “Plan SB” Update Survey

Brief Review of the Comments by Respondents to the CPA GPU Questionnaire

(August 2007)

Many of the 106 participants added comments to their responses. These comments tended to focus or elaborate on the respondent’s opinion tabulated in the survey summary. Examples of such comments include: “Stop the growth” and “safer sidewalks and bike lanes are very important for kids who walk or ride to school.”

Some currently debated topics elicited numerous critical comments, especially the new tall buildings under construction on Chapala Street and the recently installed traffic calming devices in the Upper Eastside. Other issues raised in the comments included the mansionization of neighborhoods (“small is beautiful”), the displacement of small businesses by chains, illegal immigration, insufficient attention to youth and insufficient enforcement of affordable housing regulations.

Several of the 9 respondents favoring change in the current General Plan’s goal of living within resources and maintaining the established character of the city gave as reasons for their preference the need for greater economic diversity (“adequate housing for working families”).

Others condoned changes only or mainly for esthetic reasons or for the sake of cleaner air and the protection of the ocean.

Additional suggestions included: compare our general plan and its update process with Ventura, Carmel, and Palo Alto, “fight state housing mandates”, use “compost toilets” in houses without sewers, adhere to the zoning ordinance, permit higher density only in trade-off for open space, reduce property taxes and the number of public employees and require new commercial buildings to “step up” (like a wedding cake) to “avoid urban tunnels.”

One person said, “Thanks for doing this.” Other people expressed their appreciation by the high response rate of 38% (106 of the 278 questionnaires mailed out to CPA members in good standing as of early May 2007). CPA – SB City “Plan SB” Update Survey

CPA General Plan Update Survey (May 2007) Results summary 106 questionnaires returned for a 38% response rate (278 sent out)

A. Of the following options, what are Santa Barbara’s most important qualities?

(Rank each option as follows:

1=very important, 2=moderately important, 3=somewhat important, 4=not important)

Average Ranking

Clean air 1.37 1

Sweeping public views of the ocean, mountains, and hillsides 1.38 2

Clean shoreline and watershed resources 1.38 2

Openness, naturalness, and relative lack of congestion 1.39 3

Unique character 1.61 4

Historic buildings and neighborhoods 1.92 5

A diverse community 1.96 6


B. What are the most important planning issues in Santa Barbara?

(Rank each option as follows:

1=very important, 2=moderately important, 3=somewhat important, 4=not important)

Average Ranking

Traffic congestion 1.44 1

Creek and ocean pollution 1.54 2

Insufficient environmental protection 1.68 3

Super-sized condominium projects 1.79 4

Housing shortage for low and moderate income workers 1.97 5

Proliferation of big, expensive homes 1.93 6

Other planning issues:

C. What kind of housing is most needed in Santa Barbara?

(Rank each option as follows:

1=very important, 2=moderately important, 3=somewhat important, 4=not important)

Average Ranking

Rental apartments for low and moderate income households 1.51 1

Ownership condominiums for low and moderate income households 1.86 2

Ownership condominiums for middle income households 2.07 3

Market rate rental apartments 2.39 4

Single family homes 2.62 5

Market rate condominiums 3.29 6

Other: CPA – SB City “Plan SB” Update Survey

D. Currently, the City Charter allows the following building heights:

i. 60 feet (4 stories) in areas zoned for industrial, manufacturing and other commercial uses. These limitations are:

Number Percent

Not restrictive enough 60 57.1%

Appropriate 38 36.2%

Undecided 5 4.8%

Too Restrictive 2 1.9%

ii. 45 feet (3 stories) in areas zoned for apartments/condominiums, hotel, motel and office use. These limitations are:

Number Percent

Appropriate 62 59.0%

Not restrictive enough 38 36.2%

Too Restrictive 3 2.9%

Undecided 2 1.9%

iii. 30 feet (2 stories) in a single-family and two family zones. These limitations are:

Number Percent

Appropriate 86 81.9%

Not restrictive enough 13 12.4%

Too Restrictive 3 2.9%

Undecided 3 2.9%

E. Do you support the concept of high density housing in downtown Santa Barbara and along transit corridors (e.g. Upper State Street)?

Number Percent

No 45 42.5%

Yes 38 35.8%

Undecided 23 21.7%

F. Will high density housing downtown and uptown have a net beneficial impact or a net

detrimental impact on the community?

Number Percent

Detrimental impact 54 50.9%

Beneficial impact 30 28.3%

Undecided 22 20.8% CPA – SB City “Plan SB” Update Survey

G. Which modes of alternative transportation should receive significantly increased public funding?

Average Ranking

Improved regional bus service connecting the South Coast to North County and to Ventura 1.45 1

Improved local bus service within the South Coast (Goleta to Carpinteria) 1.48 2

Commuter rail 1.61 3

More and safer sidewalks 2.34 4

More and safer bike lanes 2.26 5


H. Will development of more 3-4 story buildings have a negative or positive effect on Santa Barbara’s character?

Number Percent

Negative 75 72.8%

Undecided 11 10.7%

No Impact 10 9.7%

Positive 7 6.8%

I. Do you agree with Santa Barbara’s General Plan Land Use Element which says: “The City shall live within its resources [i.e. air, water, traffic capacity, etc.] by balancing development with available resources and maintaining the established character of the City,” or are there overriding considerations that would warrant changing this General Plan goal?

Number Percent

I support the existing goal; no changes are warranted 91 88.3%

I support changing the existing goal for the following overriding

consideration(s): 9 8.7%

Undecided 3 2.9%

Where the respondents live:

27 replies (more than a quarter) from 93105 (essentially San Roque, Samarkand and Hidden Valley)

17 replies from 93108 (Montecito)

17 replies from 93103 (Eastside and Riviera)

8 replies from 93111 (“Noleta”)

8 replies from 93109 (Mesa)

7 replies from 93101 (Downtown and Westside)

6 replies from 93117 (Goleta)

5 replies from 93110 (Hope Ranch)

5 replies from 934xx (North County)