Dear Assemblymember Limon,
We are writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of Citizens Planning Association of Santa Barbara County. We request that you vote NO on Wednesday on S.B. 330 at the Housing and Community Development Committee. This bill is a “one-size fits all” unfunded attempt to cure the housing situation throughout California by regulating from the top down local jurisdictions, including charter cities, such as Santa Barbara.
Citizens Planning Association is a nearly 60-year-long association of Santa Barbara city and county residents, focusing on land use issues countywide, dedicated, according to our Mission Statement, to good planning, maintenance of “sustainable communities and protect(ing) the heritage of Santa Barbara County.”
Santa Barbara, as you know, has a world-renowned charm, due, in part, to its geography, but also to many, many years of dedicated resident participation in building, planning, and preserving our city. It also, unfortunately, as all popular coastal cities, has high housing costs, which we, as a city, are working on through our local processes.
This bill will invalidate local planning, without any showing of increased housing affordability. It would eliminate all but 5 public hearings for public testimony, no matter how complicated or incompatible to a neighborhood a proposed development might be. Any community or city land use plan after 1/1/2018, including restrictions on short term rentals, would be invalidated even though the restrictions are aimed at providing rentals for residents rather than tourists. And there’s more, not least of which is the encouragement to sue the cities but also the evisceration of CEQA and environmental review, applying, as SB 330 does, to counties as well as cities.
Santa Barbara has been struggling diligently to increase its supply of rental housing and hopefully affordable rental housing, through its AUD program. It’s a work in progress, but it has and is producing housing. SB 330 would overrule that and all other local efforts. Please vote against this state overreach on Wednesday.
Marell Brooks and Betsy R. Cramer, Co-presidents CPA
916 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101