By the edhat staff
A preliminary application was approved last week to build 30 apartment units in Santa Barbara’s Lower Riviera due to the Builder’s Remedy law.
The application was submitted by Craig Martin Smith of the Los Angeles-based Industrial Partners Group and is reportedly the city’s first permit under this unique legal mechanism, according to a press release by Industrial Partners Group.
The “Builder’s Remedy” comes from the state’s Housing Accountability Act (HAA). It essentially states that if a county or city is not in compliance with California’s housing development goals, developers are authorized to bypass zoning laws so long as the new housing development contains at least 20% low-income housing or 100% middle-income housing.
In this case, the City of Santa Barbara is low on affordable housing and is considered noncompliant with the state’s housing element.
Smith’s multi-family structure is proposed for a vacant double lot at 1609-1615 Grand Ave below Alameda Padre Serra. It’s described as a Spanish revival-style project with 30 units, six of which will be low-income, with 4,000 feet of outdoor communal deck space, city and ocean views, underground vehicle parking, electric vehicle charging, bicycle parking, and resident storage.
“Infilling these vacant lots is one step towards alleviating our community’s crisis-level housing needs,” said Smith. “Without Builder’s Remedy, this development would be limited to four units. Now we can provide six affordable units, along with additional housing for 24 other families. Santa Barbara needs housing and the neighborhood needs vibrancy, energy and families.”
The adjacent lots on Grand Ave sold in December 2021 for $2.6 million, according to real estate listings.
While the preliminary application was approved, the development still faces review from the Planning Commission.
1609-1615 Grand Ave vacant lots (Photo: Redfin)