Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

Senate Bill 9 was signed by Governor Newsom on September 16, 2021 and becomes effective January 1, 2022. This bill would require a proposed housing development containing no more than two residential units within a single-family residential zone to be considered ministerially, without discretionary review or hearing, if the proposed housing development meets certain requirements. Senate Bill 9 (SB 9) also requires a local agency to ministerially approve an urban lot split in a single-family residential zone if it meets certain requirements, including a minimum lot size of 1,200 square feet. In both cases, the City may apply objective zoning standards, objective subdivision standards, and objective design standards.

The City is proposing amendments to the Municipal Code to implement SB 9. Please check this page often for updates on upcoming public hearings and links to documents for public review and comment.

Planning Commission Hearing - October 28, 2021

The Planning Commission will hold a special meeting on October 28, 2021 to consider proposed amendments to Title 28 (Coastal Zoning Ordinance) and Title 30 (Inland Zoning Ordinance) to implement SB 9 and adopt additional local objective zoning and design standards. After receiving public comment and discussing the proposed Zoning Ordinance amendments, the Planning Commission will forward a recommendation to the City Council.

The meeting agenda, with instructions on how to join the meeting electronically, and the staff report will be posted on the Planning Commission web page on Thursday, October 21, 2021.

For More Information, contact Brenda Beltz at SB9@SantaBarbaraCA.gov.

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a-1635363390 Oct 27, 2021 12:36 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Wowza! How nice of the Planning Commission under Chair Schwartz, who lists her occupation on the ballot as "Planning Commissioner" and by so listing herself takes responsibility, and the City staff member Beltz or whoever else is responsible to give so much notice! 26 whole hours before this important "Special" meeting! Only 88 pages of a staff report to be read between now and then to follow, to understand what it's all about! Hopefully, the other commissioners have had more time.

Transparent Oct 27, 2021 01:11 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Yep @A-1635. According to the post on the City's website, this was posted by them today, Oct 27. This /appears/ to be an illegal violation of the Brown Act's 72-hours requirement.

MarcelK Oct 27, 2021 08:59 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

"The meeting agenda, with instructions on how to join the meeting electronically, and the staff report will be posted on the Planning Commission web page on Thursday, October 21, 2021."

The modification date shows that it was actually posted on Wednesday, Oct 20, at 9:57:01 am

https://www.santabarbaraca.gov/SBdocuments/Advisory_Groups/Planning_Commission/Current/01_Current_Agenda/2021-10-28_October_28_2021_Special_Meeting_Agenda.pdf

MarcelK Oct 27, 2021 09:01 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

@transparent -- you're mistaken:

https://www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/brdcomm/nz/planning/agendas.asp

"
Current AgendaDocument IconOctober 28 2021 Special Meeting Agenda.pdf
File Size: 52.7 KB Last Modified: 10/20/2021 9:57:01 AM
"

RHS Oct 27, 2021 12:59 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

The developers completely coopted the system. The idea that this will make housing more affordable is a joke. These new units will be rented to those who can pay a lot (student tourists for example) or vacationers. The neighborhoods will be noisier, louder, more congested. Our city elected officials should stand up to this and do anything legal and reasonable to water it down, delay it or get it amended. I cannot believe that there are not legal options to protect our neighborhoods from this exploitation.

Voice of Reason Oct 27, 2021 01:49 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

We had options, but our state reps decided to vote "present" instead of "no" (got to follow what the bosses at the DNC want) and our County/City reps decided not join other jurisdictions in fighting it. Thank you DNC political machine! Always doing what's best for their constituents, wait, I mean their corporate and big money donors.

Chip of SB Oct 27, 2021 01:50 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

How is this an example of developers coopting the system? I’m not sure how you define a “developer” but only property owners can take advantage of the provisions afforded by sb9, and they can only do so after signing an affidavit committing to live in one of the resulting housing units for 3 years. This effectively precludes big corporations and developers from using sb9. In addition, an individual or group acting in concert cannot use sb9 to split two adjacent lots. Also, sb9 cannot be used to split a lot that was created using sb9 so existing lots can only be split once under this law. And finally, sb9 requires the two lots created in a split be close to the same size, not exceeding a 60/40 split. This would make it difficult to split most lots without demolishing the existing home, especially since sb9 prohibits the elimination of rental housing units. Due to these limitations, I expect sb9 will see relatively limited use by a select group of property owner/occupants, not big developers or corporations. However sb9 will empower an owner occupant to turn a single family residence into two duplexes on two lots with the potential to add ADUs if they can meet the requirements.

Voice of Reason Oct 27, 2021 02:02 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

It wasn't developers, but many other well funded special interest groups and unions that would benefit from additional construction, additional housing units (with no concern if they're affordable or not), and the big one: additional real estate tax revenue.

a-1635370054 Oct 27, 2021 02:27 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

There's no ability to enforce the 'intention to live' there provision. No city or county attorney is going to tackle 'intention'. Homeowners can only do this if they own the property - few Californians do. But an investor paying cash - now that's another story, and that is exactly what is happening. They're already lining up to get permits, which is why this meeting is happening.

a-1635370211 Oct 27, 2021 02:30 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

They voted with their communities, which means they did not add an 'aye' vote to the 41 needed to pass in the Assembly, or the 21 needed in the Senate. They were on a huge townhall in the summer, with us local constutuents, where these bills were discussed, and they heard us loud and clear. Our county did not fight. Our city did, thanks to the leadership of Kristen Sneddon and Alejandra Gutierrez. Cities across the state fought this, but the intention of the state was precisely to override them and end single family zoning as racist. No one county was going to prevail - do you think legislators representing rural northern California and the Bay Area give a darn what SB County thinks? You might want to spend more time learning how the legislative process works in our state.

a-1635370318 Oct 27, 2021 02:31 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Wrong. The California Building Industry Association (developers) PLUS California Realtors Assn ($$$ in speculative real estate) PLUS the California Chamber of Commerce PLUS YIMBY (Yes in My Backyard) 'progressive' activists paid by the Tech industry pushed these bills, and they won.

fitz Oct 27, 2021 04:13 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

What is this 'they voted with their communities'!!!!!! Both Limon and Bennett knew there was strong local opposition to this bill. We live in a high fire area. Duh. They chose to do a 'no vote' because they did not want to seem NIMBY. We used to call that chickens......t. 71% of California residents opposed this, according to some polling. There is no provision for affordable housing in this legislation. This will bring gentrification faster than is already happening.

a-1635376583 Oct 27, 2021 04:16 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

What is this 'they voted with their communities'!!!!!! Both Limon and Bennett knew there was strong local opposition to this bill. We live in a high fire area. Duh. They chose to do a 'no vote' because they did not want to seem NIMBY. We used to call that chickens......t. 71% of California residents opposed this, according to some polling. There is no provision for affordable housing in this legislation. This will bring gentrification faster than is already happening.

Bird Oct 27, 2021 05:48 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Our SB City Council did hold a meeting of the Legislative Committee (Friedman, Harmon, Sneddon) and voted to oppose SB 9 and the Council agreed and sent the city's opposition. I don't know about the County.

a-1635383766 Oct 27, 2021 06:16 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Chip, the permitting and construction of the unit will take a year or more. Once it is in place the owner can just disappear, renting one or both of the units or the owner can just wait while the bids come in. Who is checking their resident status? What is the penalty if they are caught? Three years is a joke. At least when the city first built affordable housing for middle income people they the price hold for something like 15 years but after that it was Katie bar the door.... That housing sank into the cesspool of exploitation and disappeared.

PitMix Oct 27, 2021 02:08 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

I don't expect a change to the current development, in which 3 of my neighbors are building ADUs of 1200 sq ft to add to 900 sq ft older homes. Only 1 of them seems permitted by posting an ADU notice sign in the front of their house. The City doesn't seem to care about illegal sewer connections, electrical wiring, or anything else, I guess.
The permitted one is going to be a 2 story unit built 5 ft away from the lot lines of the neighbors so goodbye neighbor privacy. No rules on window placement or anything.
Maybe I will have to build a 2 story unit just to give myself some privacy? Let the development wars begin!

a-1635381647 Oct 27, 2021 05:40 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Just because some of the ADU’s under construction don’t have signs our front doesn’t mean they are being built illegally. The ADU rules have morphed and changed over time, so depending on when a particular ADU was applied for, it may or may not require signage. I’m an architect (and you may think part of the problem), who applied for an ADU on the Mesa last year, and I inquired about the sign and the Planning Department said that it wasn’t needed for my project based upon the date I applied and the rules in effect on that date.

Andrea Smith Oct 27, 2021 03:54 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

SB is becoming unlivable. Rents are OUT of control high [I feel sorry for ppl locked into year leases at these rates], it's crowded now with this, no privacy, everyone living on top of one another, probably illegal builds with unsafe electric [like where I live], and why do people still want to live here? It's unbelievable really. I think the whole thing is going to come crashing down at some point and/or it will become so awful to live here with all these split up lots and high rents for WHAT exactly [especially with crappy construction/electric concerns and no room/privacy] that eventually it will stop and values will plummet. That is what greed gets you in the end.

Andrea Smith Oct 27, 2021 05:16 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

SBO only the rich will be ablet o live here soon. People working in service industries cannot afford the rents and who wants to live all crowded together. Not worth it. Way other nicer more peaceful places to live where you can actually make a living and do fairly well in life. With all teh people flocking here from big cities with big paychecks b/c now they can work remote, this place will not be the little haven it once was fairly soon.

SantaBarbaraObserver Oct 27, 2021 05:38 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Its always been this way. Sort of...

Who to blame? The leaders of SB who sold out our city to the Tourism industry. An industry that pays min wage and keeps a steady stream of low skilled, low wage, often undocumented workers in town and on the 101 to fill their kitchens, clean their rooms etc.

There are solutions but they're not allowed to be discussed on EdHat. This place does not allow any discussion about illegal immigration and its impact on the people of Santa Barbara. No matter how based in facts and reality. One thing to know is that low wages and low skilled jobs hurt us all. They only benefit the owners and the city's tax addiction. Low wage food and hospitality jobs are a subsidy to the owners while the real cost is passed onto the middle class in the form of reduction in quality of life, higher taxes, reduced services and a crowded city...

Andrea Smith Oct 28, 2021 07:20 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

SBO not really. I agree illegal immigration is a problem but I don't think it's a big part of this current problem. REnts are out of control. I've heard that in part it is also b/c of unscrupulous behavior ie realtors, etc. scooping up the rentals then turning around and charging higher rents [to take advantage of the situation right now]. NOt sure if that is true but people are prepaying rent for a year in advance and offering more money than asking. I've NEVER seen that before here and I've always been a renter. What is going on? I doubt illegals are prepaying a year's rent at $3K/month if not more. WHo are these people and how is there a labor shortage at the same time? And who wants to pay these exorbitant prices only to live in crowded noisy ridiculous conditions? Maybe people who like NYC / LA and want to bring that atmosphere here? Not sure. But it's becoming unlivable for the average middle class person who just wants a decent living environment that is peaceful and affordable. Not to mention all the illegal activity landlords are engaging in now because they know they've got their renters over a barrel.

a-1635551404 Oct 29, 2021 04:50 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Why doesn't EdHat allow discussions of illegal immigration? This is a grass roots issue that needs to be addressed.

fitz Oct 27, 2021 04:05 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Agree with those who are noticing that this 'special hearing' came about very quickly. Other jurisdictions are spending their time fighting this horrendous legislation which guts CEQA and ends single family zoning in the state. SB City of all places should be fighting this. The City Council was urged to take a 'no' position on this and I think they did. Their legislative commission did. Did this get scheduled because two PCs are running for CC? Why is SB city so eager to start 'accommodating' when other areas in the State are working to overturn this legislation? Interesting that Newsom didn't sign it until after he defeated the recall. I certainly would have changed my vote. Very disappointed that both Limon and Bennett did not take a strong position against SB9. They didn't want to look 'nimby'. This bill will not create affordable housing. Period. It eliminates community voices. It eliminates CEQA. it ends single family zoning. All to appease the construction/real estate industry. (and yes, developers are part of that).

oops Oct 27, 2021 04:33 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

This is Newsome's way of destroying American Suburbia...sad the way our community and quality of life are being destroyed by this guy

Byzantium Oct 27, 2021 04:46 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Any projection how these new projects and down-zoning will affect city/county property tax revenues? That is a primary concern of elected officials - how to maximize revenues to pay off unfunded public employee obligations. Will these new duplexes be reassessed in toto, or carry the former property tax rate? Will current R-1 property owners be able to request a lesser valuation due to the loss of protected R-1 zoning value? Will condo owners now break away from their homeowners association restrictions, and do whatever they want if they have room to expand since no project review is necessary? We were ill-served by Limon and Bennett. They cared about their own political futures in their political party; not us whom they were elected to serve. The agenda for this legislation goes well beyond "developers" But in the final analysis it lands squarely in the laps of those elected to represent us. And they did not. Next election, both are gone. Why did they think they could hide behind their selfish "absent" vote?

Byzantium Oct 27, 2021 04:55 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

How could there be any Brown Act violations? Acting Administrator Bjork has already proven herself to be such a stickler for those details. Is the city attorney just phoning it in these days?

a-1635382026 Oct 27, 2021 05:47 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Here is a real life example of what can happen. You buy a nice modest house on a quiet street in the Goleta Valley. You live there for 15 years. The neighbor builds an illegal second story addition which looms over your yard. You no longer have any privacy in your own back yard. After complaints The county approves it “as built”. The neighbor turns it into 4 separate units. 5 -7 people live in each unit. Now this single family neighborhood has one house with 20 adults, 8 kids and 15 cars. Then another neighbor has done the same but only 12 people and 8 cars live there. There are 23 cars parked on the street every night. It looks like a junkyard. These two massive houses have impacted the quality of life for those who have the misfortune of living next door or on the same street.. SB9 has the potential to do this to every single family neighborhood. There are ways the city and county can protect neighborhoods and bypass provisions of this bill. But do they have the will and the guts to do it? I doubt it. Developers buy single family homes all the time and gut them then turn around and sell. A developer / owner can easily do this. Use it as their residence for three years while under construction and then flip it. Thanks Newsom. Regretting my vote.

Byzantium Oct 27, 2021 06:04 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Tear your home down, put in a four story bonus density multi-family unit built out to the lot lines and enjoy your profits... by living somewhere else. That was the intent of this legislation. Spare yourself the grief. Plenty of nice places to live - which is always a surprise when one moves. Yes, you should regret your Newsom vote, and your Limon and Bennett votes. They did not exactly hide their intentions, ever.

Andrea Smith Oct 28, 2021 07:26 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

You pretty much describe the future of this area and in probably a pretty short time [few years]. Frankly if I owned a house here I'd be selling NOW before this reality sets in because the housing prices will plummet. Even if you sell and buy something in a better place and pay some capital gains, better than losing all that equity in a few years. People still have beer goggles about SB - oh it's so beautiful, the weather, the scenery, we are so lucky to live here. It's like a drug but they are going to snap out of their stupor in a short time here as it's getting worse and even the homeless issues are starting to creepy into neighborhoods that didn't have these problems before.

a-1635550789 Oct 29, 2021 04:39 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Well, the other way to stop this is by signing the petition to repeal this garbage at: stopsacramento.org

a-1635841081 Nov 02, 2021 01:18 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Interesting plan, Byz! Are you going to do so? I've been wondering why you stick it out in SB, and CA, as it seems to make you frustrated and angry. Were would you move to? I don't want to go to the south or Texas; can't take heat or humidity.

Byzantium Oct 27, 2021 06:01 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Low income jobs? Student loans changed the dynamics of the local hospitality industry - used to be college students loved getting these flexible schedule jobs in restaurants or housekeeping, plus often getting free meals too. And we are a college town so the low-skill labor supply was ready and willing for these temporary jobs. Working in the hospitality and dealing with the public allowed young people to gain valuable service skills that paid off later, put them well ahead of their peers who did not have to work. Poise under pressure, work ethic, instilling pride in workmanship no matter how menial the task, and learning to deflect difficult people, while still keeping their tips. Can't pay to pick up those hospitality industry skills earned on the job. But no student even realistically thinks about "working their way through college", so leaving with huge student loans and no transferable job skills is the preferred option today. Yes, the cost of education (mainly increasing instructor costs) did stay pace with the size and numbers of student loans - the law of putting "free" money on the table. Part time student hospitality work isn't the win-win that it was a few decades ago. Nor particularly is the value of education now received, even though today it costs thousands of dollars more.

MarcelK Oct 27, 2021 09:10 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

You folks just make up whatever lie suits you.

https://www.noozhawk.com/article/new_state_law_forces_cities_to_confront_big_housing_changes_20210927

"“The biggest concern is that SB 9 takes away some control over zoning decisions, opens the door for more development in single family-zoned neighborhoods, and doesn't have an affordability requirement nor a prohibition on new units being used as vacation rentals,” Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo told Noozhawk."

MarcelK Oct 27, 2021 09:14 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

"Randy is opposed. So I voted for him."

It already passed and was signed into law, so voting for him for that reason is nonsense. Both Murillo and Rowse opposed it beforehand. Schwartz seems to have favored it, and James Joyce offered up his usual handwaving nonsense: 'Candidate James Joyce III was out of town and couldn’t participate in the forum. But he said in a statement, which the moderator read, that his goals include creating solutions for housing and the economy, as well as building a better future for the city’s youth and a more diverse and inclusive community. “We need a leader who can hit the ground running on day one and find progressive solutions.”'

SBTownie Oct 27, 2021 10:38 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

If Murillo doesn't support it in part because it doesn't have "affordability" included, you're right, Marcel - that does make her effectively opposed to it entirely. If SB9 had an affordability component, we could guarantee it would lead to almost zero projects being built. Which would make it dead in the water regardless of it being law. And for the record Marcel, we know it passed. We're not all stupid here, though it's clear you think everyone but you is an idiot. There are pathways to overturn laws we don't like, so some of us will vote for a mayor who can possibly inspire, educate, and foster a groundswell of opposition against this. We get that Randy or Cathy can't walk up to Gavin's house and cry and tell him to please stop it. We know how things work. While a mayor has no explicit ability to cripple this law given the way it supersedes local authority, a good mayor can rally support locally for issues coming to the ballot like a repeal on SB9 in 2022. And a good mayor can also lead a vocal fight in the media and beyond and network with other mayors or city/county leaders who also oppose it, effectively building a coalition.

a-1635553318 Oct 29, 2021 05:21 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

241 Cities opposed SB 9 as well as SB County. All of which wrote letters to the Governor. He was aware of how unpopular this bill is. He waited until the recall was over to sign it into law. Coward.

Bird Oct 27, 2021 06:05 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

This was to 1635... at 5:47, who wrote, "There are ways the city and county can protect neighborhoods and bypass provisions of this bill. " What are those ways?

SBTownie Oct 27, 2021 07:14 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

One of the ways I'm aware of is through designation of historic districts. Designated "historical" areas can be exempted from SB9.

a-1635403550 Oct 27, 2021 11:45 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

BIRD - “a local agency may deny an urban lot split if the building official makes a written finding, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, that the proposed housing development project would have a specific, adverse impact, as defined and determined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 65589.5, upon public health and safety or the physical environment and for which there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific, adverse impact.”

Public health & safety is impacted by additional density in fire hazard areas, flood zones, areas with inadequate public transit ( the whole county) environmentally sensitive or riparian areas ,resource constraints ( water supply). The Governor has declared a drought emergency in this state. The county has a very thoughtful and hard working Planning Commission as well as 4 Boards of Architectural Review . Local control and sensible development has made SB a beautiful place to live. I challenge anyone to find another coastal town like it.

Andrea Smith Oct 28, 2021 07:32 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Ha, you think SB is the best of the best coastal towns!? No way, I can think of many others that are way nicer, cleaner, peaceful, better priced. You must either not get out much or live in a large house somewhere private and not the way the normal "middle" class person here is now forced to live with overcrowded noisy conditions. Please. Take off the beer goggles when it comes to this town, it's not all it's cracked up to be.

Bird Oct 28, 2021 08:32 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Thank you, @11:45. These possible findings need to be studied carefully; a "preponderance of the evidence" is not a high standard.

As for SB Townie's suggestion of creating historic districts, uh, very doubtful that a rush of requests for designations of historic districts would fool anyone; SB has a history of historic districts, carefully researched and, anyway, it can take years to get such a district acknowledged. And, anyway, it's not likely that the suburbian pleasure of garden an open space around one's house would count as "historic", although in 20 or so years, when such lots are but tales of grandparents, they would be historic, if not "historic".

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