October 20, 2018
To: Santa Barbara City Council and Santa Barbara Planning Commission
Re: October 25th Joint Work Session
Planning Division Workload and 2018 General Plan Implementation and Adaptive Management Program Report
Citizens Planning Association has been an active voice for the community in land use issues since 1960. We suggest that the update of the 2004 Wildland Fire Plan should be categorized as a priority.
CPA recommends the Council put the Update of the 2004 Wildland Fire Plan on the Major Work Efforts chart and designate this update as a priority. It's been almost 15 years since the adoption of the 2004 Wildland Fire Plan. Since then, the City has experienced the major fires of 2008, 2009 and 2017, the debris flows of 2018, and we are in a prolonged drought.
The GP and AMP Report states, "A review and update of the Safety Element should be a high priority work program." It goes on to say, "Review and update the discussion about wildland fires given the impacts of climate change and statewide increase in large wildland fires. Encourage the Fire Department to update the Wildland Fire Plan (2004)".
Fire Marshal Poire told the Planning Commission earlier this month, during the review of a development application in the Foothill High Fire Hazard area, that the Wildland Fire Plan needs to be reviewed and updated. This was strongly supported by Commissioner Schwartz, who said she was going to contact Council members regarding this.
In response to recent events and current conditions, Update of the Wildland Fire Plan needs to move to action. In addition to adding this to the Major Work Efforts chart at the work session and designating the update as a high priority, funding should be identified by Fire Department staff and others as necessary to incorporate this important Update, if at all possible, into the upcoming budget cycle that will begin in the next few months.
Mary Ellen Brooks and Betsy Cramer, Co-Presidents, Citizens Planning Association
CC: Renee Brooke, Dan Gullett