AUD Housing Unit Program Has Stricter Guidelines

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AUD Housing Unit Program Has Stricter Guidelines
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The Marc Apartment Complex (Photo: livethemarc.com)

Santa Barbara City Council voted on Tuesday to add stricter guidelines to the Average Unit-Size Density (AUD) housing program.

In a 5-2 vote, the number of AUD units will be restricted to 125 each year, will require two parking spaces instead of one for units with three or more bedrooms, will ban AUD apartments from being used as vacation rents, and will exclude mobile-home parks from the program’s zoning map, reports The Independent.

The high-density housing program was approved in 2013 to encourage the development of more rental apartments, specifically, smaller and more affordable housing near transit. What started off as a solution for more housing options within Santa Barbara, has turned into a controversial stalemate between developers and neighborhood activists.

Protestors argue that developers are replacing reasonably affordable older homes with more expensive, highly unaffordable apartments. The Marc apartment complex, located on upper State Street, is the only completed project under the program. Companies advertising the building are calling it "luxury housing" with two bedrooms priced at $3,500 a month.

The program seems to be out-pricing the workforce it is meant to serve. It has been a struggle trying to preserve the Santa Barbara quality of life in the face of housing expenses and increasing population.

The Independent reports 62 more units are under construction with another 223 having received discretionary approval, and 477 units are pending review. 

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a-1506087737 Aug 19, 2017 09:24 PM
AUD Housing Unit Program Has Stricter Guidelines

The city council is at least responding and I have to give some credit to Bendy White. Doesn't mean I'll vote for him for mayor. The Marc is in my neighborhood. I resent it because of its prices. I sure won't downsize there. It took me a while to work it out in my head -- I resented AUD at the beginning, but I support affordable housing; however that is defined! Yes, I support some subsidized housing. I had a section 8 tenant. I LIKE my gardener, my house-helper when I has one, and EVERY SINGLE INCREDIBLE WOMAN WHO CARED FOR MY MOTHER FOR YEARS. Where are these people supposed to live?! I also like to eat out or get take out. Dishwashers, servers, line cooks. Careful what you wish for.

420722 Aug 19, 2017 07:40 PM
AUD Housing Unit Program Has Stricter Guidelines

Yes yes and yes Gobbledygook! I'm so happy people realize these things but it's too late and the best Santa Barbara I knew is gone forever. It's over populated with LA transplants and some of the rudest people I've ever encountered. This whole AUD thing is terrible. Are any of you planning on moving into any of these overpriced cubicles? Read the only Yelp review they have. Puh-thetic!!!

Gobbledygook Aug 19, 2017 01:19 PM
AUD Housing Unit Program Has Stricter Guidelines

"The program seems to be out-pricing the workforce it is meant to serve." That's because "meant" is a namby-pamby word to express abstract good intentions rather than serious solutions. If they wanted to serve the middle income "workforce" they should have instituted price caps on rent. Instead they just loosened density requirements and hoped for the best, and now they're fretting because it didn't work out as they "meant." Anyone who knows anything about law or contracts knows is has to be in writing.

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