October 28, 2019
Re: October 30, Item #3, AUD Amendments
To the Historic Landmarks Commission:
Citizens Planning Association representatives have been following the process of the Average Unit Density Incentive Program since its origin and share with most of the community the opinion that there’s a critical need for housing, affordable housing. We hoped that the AUD program would help that and appreciate there is a review process underway. We have several comments.
We are especially concerned about the effects on historic resources in the CBD. This is the location of the El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park and numerous designated historic buildings, the core of historic Santa Barbara. To have that area proposed for increased density to High and Priority Housing Overlay is a mistake. Protecting historic resources has proven to be very problematic in this crucial, world-famous central area. 800 Santa Barbara Street and E. de la Guerra Street are prime examples.
We note that in the staff report presented to the October 10 meeting of the Planning Commission, “Designated historic resources would continue to be protected from proposed redevelopment through existing policies and environmental review.” (https://tinyurl.com/yyshgzj2, page 11) The increased density and Overlay directly contradict this assertion. In addition, “existing policies” need strengthening, not weakening! Also: Exhibit A regarding the city General Plan does not include any reference to the Historic Resources Element of the General Plan.
We support that the Planning Commission and the design review boards share in AUD land use approvals. We agree that FARs and other maximum unit sizes could be established in consultation with boards, commissions, and community groups —- and we request that Citizens Planning Association be part of these consultations.
Marell Brooks ,
President, Citizens Planning Association