The County of Santa Barbara’s Planning and Development Department recently released an interactive map showing areas of the county that are under consideration for rezoning as part of the County’s Housing Element update.
The County is required by State law to update its Housing Element—also referred to as a Housing Plan—every eight years. The Housing Plan must show that the County has adequate land available to meet its housing needs for all populations, including unhoused populations, persons with disabilities, and senior populations. The County must ensure that at least 5,664 new housing units can be accommodated in the unincorporated areas, with 4,142 of those units located in the South Coast region and 1,522 units located in North County.
“The department inventoried all available land in the unincorporated County to see where new housing units can be accommodated. We found that there is not enough properly zoned land currently available to meet the State’s housing requirements,” stated County Senior Planner Selena Evilsizor Whitney. “The department created the proposed rezone map to show a range of sites that could be rezoned to allow for new housing.”
In some cases, the type of development that currently is allowed on properties may change. The County is considering zoning changes to allow residential instead of commercial uses on certain properties and allowing both commercial and residential uses in commercial zones.
The proposed rezone map includes 45 sites on 59 parcels of land, about 0.04% of the County’s 132,901 total parcels. The map shows more potential rezones than are needed to meet the State’s housing requirements, and will provide County decision-makers flexibility in determining the sites to be rezoned.
The public can view the Housing Element update interactive map by clicking this link: https://sbcopad.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9375e0705e864eada0 ff535c23ba99ac.
Viewers will be able to see the different areas of the County where sites may be rezoned, and can type in their address to see potential rezones and currently-proposed housing projects in the community.
The public is encouraged to provide input on the potential rezones by attending either of the upcoming Housing Element Workshops. During these in-person/virtual workshops, the public will learn about the process to update the Housing Element, the work completed to date, and important information related to regional housing needs within the unincorporated areas of the county. The workshops will also include a facilitated discussion to share ideas about opportunities that inform policies and strategies related to housing.
All are welcome to attend the public workshops either in-person or remotely through Zoom. Spanish language interpretation will be available both in-person and on Zoom.
North County Housing Element Workshop
When: Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at 6:00 PM
Where: Santa Barbara County Board Hearing Room, Betteravia Center
511 Lakeside Pkwy Santa Maria, CA 93455
The North County Housing Element Workshop will discuss potential housing opportunity sites in North County unincorporated communities (Orcutt, Mission Hills, Santa Ynez, and New Cuyama).
South Coast Housing Element Workshop
When: Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 6:00 PM
Where: Santa Barbara County Planning Commission Hearing Room
123 E Anapamu St. Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The South Coast Housing Element Workshop will discuss potential housing opportunity sites in South Coast unincorporated communities (Goleta Valley and Carpinteria Valley).
The Department is currently preparing the draft Housing Plan and will include public input from the workshops. The Plan is expected to be released to the public in early 2023. Public comment will be accepted before the Housing Plan is submitted to the State for review.
For more information, please visit the Planning and Development Housing Element website: https://www.countyofsb.org/3177/Housing-Element-Update
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