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

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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".

a-1635444341 Oct 28, 2021 11:05 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Hi Bird - if you look at the letter submitted to the PC by the Montecito Association, they include an ordinance that cities can adopt to mitigate SB9. A lot was taken away by the state, but the few local controls left, could be acted on, such as making an affordable component required, setting a minimum parking standard, limiting it to 4 units (no ADUs or Jr ADUs shoved in under a different state law, also meant to eliminate local controls). United Neighbors, a statewide team that worked hard to amend SB9 and 10, put the ordinance together so cities could at least provide themselves with the protections allowed under SB9. But a city / county has to adopt the ordinance or it defaults to SB9 provisions.

dukemunson Oct 28, 2021 11:05 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Actually Santa Barbara is pretty awesome (thus the reason most of us live here). It's not perfect by any means...but it's a great spot....and since you mentioned it, it's also got a lot of great local beers (I got Chief Peaks on ice for later)!!!

SBTownie Oct 28, 2021 04:06 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Andrea, if you hate it here so much, why don't you leave? Serious question. Most of us love it here. Which is why we choose to remain here or come here.

asitis Oct 27, 2021 06:17 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Senate Bill 9 is terrible and this one-size-fits-all approach is an insult to the many citizens who have worked hard to become home owners in our State. We should all sue the State because while the greedy Counties are rubbing their hands together to collect ever more property tax, our single family home values will go down, while taxes and utilities will go up and up.
While the State continues to put pressure on Cities to build more housing, they are not doing their part to provide more water for this forced growth. I just don't understand where all this extra water will come from, are we that blind to this decreasing resource as we sadly go down the path of more droughts and global warming? Wake up everyone, where is the water??? Sure ain't coming from the Colorado, or out of thin air. Someone PLEASE start the petition to revoke this bill and tell the State to stuff it up their dry you-know-what... and sign me up asap!

Thomas John Oct 27, 2021 07:04 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Someone, please start a Petition? Step up to the plate and do it. Lots of us would support you. Don't be a typical Edhat wanker and actually do something.

Voice of Reason Oct 27, 2021 08:04 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

CA voted for this, elections have consequences. Next election they’ll distract you with another boogie man that’s going destroy the world if you don’t vote their way, and you’ll forget all about SB9 and vote for the same group of cronies, and again and again.

Ahchooo Oct 27, 2021 08:05 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

And the sewage, don’t forget the sewage. Some people act like building more housing will allow current residents more options and better places to live. But it will just mean more people moving here, and more people packed in, with even more living in crummy, cheaply built places.

a-1635550364 Oct 29, 2021 04:32 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

There is a petition to sign to get rid of Prop 9, 10. It's called Stop the Sacramento Land Grab.

SBTownie Oct 27, 2021 07:18 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

There desperately needs to be a statewide 2022 proposition to repeal SB9 and reestablish local control.

I am pro lots of type of development. But the blanket destruction of single family zoning with so few limitations and pathetic postage stamp 1200sf lot minimums is F-ing crazy.

Localities and their voters should have the right to self determine. This is overreach.

Let's repeal this in 2022.

Byzantium Oct 27, 2021 09:45 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

The city needs to still honor its former jobs/housing limits created decades ago that foresaw this problem and limited new commercial space so new businesses would not outstrip available housing. Here is the real issue - most job growth is in Goleta and UCSB area, well outside the limits of Santa Barbara proper - so there is no need for the city of Santa Barbara to provide any more "workforce" housing since local commercial development here is already very limited. No major job creators within the city limits, like one finds in the massive business headquarters now surrounding UCSB. As far as. the eye can see there is plenty of workforce housing out there, and more is still being built in Goleta and points west. Leave the city of Santa Barbara alone. We are not creating the need for "more workforce housing". That is myth, and should never be driving our housing agenda. Sorry, you can't work in Goleta and then demand the city Santa Barbara subsidize your personal housing demands. You have more "workforce housing" Your address is Goleta, California.

SBTownie Oct 28, 2021 08:47 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

This won't be workforce housing. It will be $900,000 condos and $1.7M townhouses. We need high density rental apartments in our urban core and on any vacant lots or lots that can be repurposed for workforce housing. A duplex or four-plex here and there on a street with single family homes is not going to improve the cost of living for anyone.

Byzantium Oct 28, 2021 09:00 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Since most of the jobs are in Goleta, Santa Barbara has no duty to provide them "workforce housing". Just look at all the multifamily development projects going on in Goleta and then reassess this demand somehow Santa Barbara is supposed to supply Goleta with "worforce housing? Something is not adding it. Santa Barbara is not a big jobs generator. Goleta and UCSB lays claim to that demand. They alone have the duty to supply their "workforce housing" needs. .

a-1635449183 Oct 28, 2021 12:26 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Byz, your thinking always shocks me:
People who own houses have locked in rent control, in effect.
The only industry here is tourism and government.
Rentals are taken off market by VRBO and the remainder have gone from $1500 / mo for a one bedroom a mere 3-4 years ago to $2200+.
Wages have not increased.
Home prices have sky-rocketed.
Investors are displacing people from apartments and raising rents.
And your answer is:
This is not our problem. We have no obligation here to think about housing the people working here since they might work in Goleta. They can't afford the sky-rocketing rent? Move out of town, or into your car. The persistent and exploding homeless issue? Inept city leaders! Run the homeless out of here! (the same ones we just forced to their cars...?) I'm glad you're not in charge, Byz. Honestly.

Byzantium Oct 29, 2021 10:39 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

12:26, I see you have moved on to housing demands by extortion now - if you don't give me what I demand I will join those living in cars or by the RR track. Again, call this what it is --extortion just to get what you can't afford. Move to where you skill set does provide a. secure roof over your head. Your future will be a lot more secure. This is the best advice I can give you because your motivation is purely selfish right now and your tactics to get what you want have failed. Move on to where you can make your life more secure.

a-1635392581 Oct 27, 2021 08:43 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

The Montecito Journal was covering Senate Bills 9 and 10 extensively. Sharon Byrne wrote almost all of the articles on them. There was a townhall hosted by Montecito, open to everyone on Zoom, with a mayor from another city who is putting a ballot initiative out for 2022 to overturn Senate Bills 9 and 10. I think it was a few weeks ago. I went, and you can sign on to help the ballot initiative at There will be a county-by-county strategy to get it on the ballot, so this is your chance to get involved and do something!

Byzantium Oct 28, 2021 08:17 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

How can rents be 'out of control" when people are still paying them - market forces control rents. So be more specific - rents might be beyond your own personal skill set to afford, but they are clearly not out of control of normal market forces. You in fact really mean you want price-fixed rents set to your own personal needs. Justify your case why you alone should set rental prices to your own needs and not the local market forces, and maybe you can get someone to listen to you. "Affordable" rents and housing prices are exactly that -what others are willing to pay for rent and housing, and nothing else. If you in fact mean you want an arbitrary price that meets your own demands, then say it. "Out of control' prices for rent or housing is a meaningless and unproductive complaint. Make you case, why should others subsidize your own personal needs?

Andrea Smith Oct 28, 2021 01:34 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Byzantium, when a 400 sq foot place without laundry or a bedroom closet is going for $3K in a town where salaries tend to be lower to begin with even among more professional industries, that is out of control. I happen to be a full time working professional that makes pretty good money, more than most, and I'm struggling right now. It's stupid to live somewhere like that, when there are so many other places to live that are more in line with local cost of living. You can talk about market forces all you want but when these people end up locked in to places that aren't worth the $36K a year they pay for it, things will change.

fitz Oct 28, 2021 09:36 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Please attend today's Special Hearing. If you go to the PC website, you can read all the comment letters that are already in. Highly informed City residents and groups are following this very closely. Let the PC know you are concerned, both about process and transparency. Get on the mailing lists via the Community Development website.

fitz Oct 28, 2021 10:00 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

I just read the letters for today's hearing. I see letters from individuals and from groups: Montecito Assn, CPA, Allied, Riviera Assn, Euc. Hill Improvement Assn, League of Women Voters, etc. You can e-mail your own comments but in order to be read today, keep them brief. Best to try to attend via You get the link on the webpage for SB Planning Commission for today's agenda. Scroll down and you will find it.

SantaBarbaraObserver Oct 28, 2021 10:39 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Its important to note that "high fire zones" are excluded from this bill and SB8. That excludes most of the Riviera, all of Mission Canyon, Cielto and the Montecito hillsides. A big reason property in those areas will continue to outpace appreciation other areas. Privacy, open space, nature and now a long term exclusion from over building and lot stuffing. Look for prices to continue to rise in these areas as they offer a quality of life that will become more and more difficult to find and own while other areas decline due to density and quality of life.

a-1635443459 Oct 28, 2021 10:50 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

SBObserver, SB9 does NOT exclude high fire zones. That was the 'window dressing' Senator Atkins put on the bill to shove it across the finish line. The specific language references other codes and says that as long as you build to Chapter 7a of the current CA fire code, you can build in the high fire zones. The sub-paragraph (D) allows development in fire severity zones if builders merely abide by building standards they must already follow. The only token protection in there is that 'a local building official' COULD find that you can't mitigate hazards in the area, so they wouldn't allow building there. But if a city / county ALREADY allowed building there, and we certainly have - hello Montecito, Euc Hill, Mission Canyon, then SB 9 applies. Please look at Livable California and United Neighbors - a lot of smart people fought these bills very hard and did the research. The Montecito Association was part of that time. Not sure why City of SB people are just now waking up.

SantaBarbaraObserver Oct 28, 2021 12:35 PM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

I have been informed otherwise so we'll have to see who and what is actually correct and what is actually enforced. If you're correct, I'd imagine that there will be public safety concerns that take precedent. Building and population density in High Fire Zones is a serious public safety issue that cannot be swept aside.

Ahchooo Oct 29, 2021 10:16 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Yeah, well, a lot of serious safety issues are swept aside without adequate mitigation, so I wouldn’t be too sure about this, SBO.

PitMix Oct 29, 2021 11:40 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Someone said City notices are not required for every ADU development? In my neighborhood the only project that has a sign is the one that has an architect and is going 2 story. It seems ludicrous that they would not have to at least post their building permit where it can be seen because ADU projects still have to go through Building and Safety review.

SantaBarbaraObserver Oct 29, 2021 11:47 AM
Senate Bill 9 Implementation Underway

Look up the address on the city's planning/building site. If there is or was ever a permit, it will be listed and its status shown. If there construction / building without a permit, let the city know. The have a duty to enforce the law and respond to complaints. If that doesnt work, call your council member and demand an answer.

If no one complains, the building persists.


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