City Council to Review New Police Station Locations

Source: City of Santa Barbara

As Santa Barbarans, we’re taking on a big challenge — the creation of a new police station. Our existing station is outdated, too small, and hasn’t been earthquake retrofitted. One of the first steps for a new station is selecting the location.

We’ll review site considerations with City Council on Tuesday, September 17. Visit the project website to review all the site analysis documents and more.

Our police station is a busy place. Currently, it takes four separate buildings to house operations. Today’s facilities have not been earthquake retrofitted (as required by California’s Essential Services Buildings Seismic Safety Act of 1986). There are insufficient bathrooms for the 22 female officers, cramped interview rooms that are too close to witness areas, and storage constraints that result in a waste of significant time merely getting to equipment.

Santa Barbara Police strive to be a mix of highly skilled officers and effective community partners to help us maintain safe neighborhoods and beach-town charm. In 2017, with the passage of Measure C, Santa Barbarans chose to create a new police station to address the current inadequacies and to support both the special equipment necessities and everyday patrol needs.

The first step in the process is site selection. Key considerations include size, parking, zoning, access to high call areas, conflicts inherent to each site, and the costs associated if the site is not already owned by the City.

Map and table of sites considered for the police station. Please follow the text-based site selection table link for a machine readable table.


Written by Anonymous

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  1. The choice is clear. If there is opposition in the form of signatures, well, SBPD could just condemn the land in an eminent domain suit. Wouldn’t look good, but hey, what is more important – the cops ability to effectively do their jobs or a 4 hour, once a week market?

  2. SEARS, hands down- There is tons of room- They could move motorpool there for servicing the vehicles in the SEARS Auto bays and the biggest plus is that the CHP are looking for another location as well… The City of Santa Barbara could LEASE out 1/2 the building to the California Highway Patrol and make $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  3. Factotum, whatever the new location, it will be exempt from property tax just like the current one.
    There’s a lot of concern for the Farmers’ Mkt, but I wonder about the all the folks that currently park in the Cota Parking Lot. Where will all those cars go instead, and what revenue does the City lose when those folks no longer pay to park there?

  4. Sears is the smart choice. Quick access to Highway 101 for emergencies, plenty of space to grow, plenty of parking, easy access for visitors, sirens won’t bother neighbors at night, no displacement of Farmers Market, and, best of all, no condos going in w/ residents adding to an already congested traffic area.

  5. No on Earl Warren. It’s already perfect as is, and ready-made for our many fire emergencies. Vehicles coming to area to help us, easy for them to reach Earl Warren, and be dispatched from there. People trucking in animals to save them from wildfires. Our Police Department needs it’s own identity. Don’t clog up Earl Warren.

  6. Unbelievable that this is still being discussed. Build the new station in the Cota lot. Start tomorrow. Only in Santa Barbara would a Farmer’s market, in a parking lot cause untold delays and dollars to an essential operation like a police headquarters. Why do we pander to the vocal and tiny minority? It’s utterly ridiculous that it takes this long and so many meetings to get anything done here. Not everyone deserves a voice in these decisions, stop placating and pandering to every opposing opinion. Build it now!

  7. Spot on, SB Observer! The Farmers Market could very easily relocate to the SBHS parking lot(s) on Saturdays. There’s already some kind of little weekend neighborhood swap meet thing going on there, but it could either relocate or be absorbed into the Farmers Market. The Cota Street lot is the preferred location for the new PD, and I’d think that the PD’s needs would outweigh the needs of any Farmers Market. But then, this is Santa Barbara, so who knows?

  8. Sears is a great solution. In addition to other points posted by others here, there’s relatively fewer impacted residential neighbors, plenty of space for vehicle storage, maintenance yard, emergency helo pad, can be secured in emergency more easily than other proposed locations, etc. Space for admin offices (including SBFD), emergency ops, backup generator/solar panels, and future needs.

  9. Why can’t we move the Farmers Market to State Street like Tuesdays? If De La Guerra is redone (and hobos truly banished), then I think that would also be a great fit. I don’t supports moving the FM to Sears lot or SBHS. Let’s keep it truly downtown and somewhere central, with character. SBHS is a traffic nightmare with stop sign, etc. Downtown FM and Cora St. Police for the win. What happens with the old building? Not going to be popular idea around here but it could be very cool repurposed and retrofitted as condos!

  10. well, clearly you don’t seem to be a shopper there. the market has been there for…almost as far as i can recall. it generates a lot of money, it’s busier than ralphs saturday morning. they don’t need a PD downtown. it can be anywhere. i go to the farmers market each saturday and it’s VERY busy with 100s of shoppers. the voters won’t allow it. there’s already a petition that’s gathered more signatures than it even needs, to prevent it.

  11. there is a flea market there saturdays.
    SBHS isn’t a good location as most of the shoppers live downtown, like myself. we walk there. the majority of shoppers there, walk from home. this would easily kill the money the farmers make

  12. So Sears is in a active fault zone, but it’s ok for high density housing. That makes as much sense as redevelopment of industrial space located in the projected sea rise projections. They keep approving projects, yet the Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan Subcommittee has cancelled every meeting since January 2019.
    Walkable? The police who walk the downtown are a small percentage of the force, yet it would make sense to have a substation there. As far as people who travel by foot to the department, one would hope there is data to support it is significant enough to be a factor in location. Look at the mass density going on upper State.
    Earl Warren makes sense given the under utilized space that is sitting empty. Also freeway access because so few live here. In 2012 of the 140 police then, only 16 lived in Santa Barbara. Then you have support staff who can’t afford to live here.

  13. Seems like a no-brainer…. Cota. The public need for a police station far outweighs public need for a farmer’s market. Move the market, it’s transitory by it’s very nature, so why can’t they find a new parking lot? Sorry to those who like going there, but it really shouldn’t be too hard to move the temporary market to a new spot. Kind of nuts that we’re even debating this…..

  14. “Tiny minority?” You obviously don’t go to the Farmers Market. Or know how many vendors there are local. I guarantee you the Cota St. FM gets more foot traffic on one Saturday than the SBPD station does all week. As for officers walking to Courthouse (actually walking to bldg across from there), why not provide them with electric carts much like the ones Parking Enforcement uses? Or even electrific bicycles?

  15. REX. The “little” neighborhood swap meet is a mess for parking. You have never been, have you? The noise and vehicle fumes already impact the neighbors. Where are all the Farmers Market shoppers supposed to park? There’s no way the two could be combined. Leave downtown spots alone, put the police station at old Sears spot. Far better to have a nice roomy area for SBPD than have condos there. (Ach, the traffic is already horrendous at La Cumbre and State.) Let the officers who have to get to court commute via electric vehicles.

  16. I might vote “Earl Warren” just to be rid of the obnoxiously loud music that emanates from there at times. We can hear it loud and clear all the way over by The Old Mission. But, you’re right. It needs to remain a staging area in case of emergencies.

  17. 12:28 – sure maybe a little condescending, but it’s nothing compared to the audacity of expecting the police to give up a prime location for their station just because you don’t want to move your temporary market to a different location for the one day a week it operates.

  18. The Farmer’s Market is established and a successful Santa Barbara program. As is. I don’t like the Cota Street location for Police. Why would police want to start out in a neighborhood that didn’t want them there? Bad PR.

  19. a-1568317048 – What a ridiculous statement. Put the Saturday FM on State just like Tuesday’s. It will draw more people to the street on the weekend and the area has already proven itself fully capable of handling the traffic and the parking. FYI it is 2019. The whole idea of leaving State St for car traffic so that the shops are visible to the passing motorist is asinine and outdated. Shut down State street to ALL traffic, everyday and move the FM there permanently. Solves every problem in one solution. Except the fact that there are too many bored people with too much nostalgia, that spend too much time inserting themselves into the business of the city causing us all headaches and expense.

  20. There really is no logical reason. Instead, its emotional garbage fueled by a few people’s nostalgia. Its a parking lot! A asphalt covered lot with oil stains and feces… It has terrible parking, limited space for new vendors and a park across the street that is filled with drug addicts, bums and dirty needles that prick little kids who happen to fall down… But to some bored people with too much time on their hands, its the holiest site in town and must remain a single day 4hour market or else! In this case the ‘else’ is $20,000,000 in delays added costs and overages.

  21. The police station has to stay downtown close to most of the action. I do not want the farmer’s market to move, but putting it on State St. could work – plenty of parking in the garages for that. But the City needs to cut out the glass is half empty routine – active fault at Sears – yeah, the current building has really suffered from it.

  22. Forget about the police statioin, the Farmers Market should re-locate to State Street every Saturday. It’s a great way to re-energize the street and nearby businesses. And the farmers are relatively used to that location anyway.

  23. The additional taxes I am talking about is the purchase price of any non-city owned property – that will fall on city residents, one way or another – increase retail sales tax or a property tax bonding or parcel tax. Or both. At least the city is starting out looking for the most cost-effective siting on property the city already owns. Adding the Sears property to this list would require huge additional costs to be borne only by local taxpayers. Just to keep the four hours a week Farmers Market at the Cota lot? I also believe both former military sites – the Armory and the National Guard Hdqtrs may have large toxic clean up costs involved, due to prior usages. Not confirmed, but this has been mentioned in the past. Cota remains the best choice -everyone has to compromise on this one. Not sure why the Farmers Market people are drawing a line in the sand.

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