City of Santa Barbara Public Counters Closed

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

To slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and protect the safety of the community and employees, the City of Santa Barbara closed public counters. City department offices are staffed and ready to handle requests, review plans and applications, and process payments.

Many City services and instructions are available online, allowing you to pay a bill, find phone numbers to contact staff, or submit requests, forms, applications, questions, and comments via email. Special procedures have been developed to process land development plans and permits. The Departments are committed to continuing to provide public services during this time. The following services will be modified to limit in-person interaction and ensure social distancing.

o    Finance: Utility bills can be paid online, over the phone, by mail or drop box outside City Hall near De La Guerra Plaza. All other bills, including Business License, Business Improvement District (BID), Parking and Business Improvement Area (PBIA), Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), Cannabis Tax, Parking Citation can be paid by mail or the City Hall dropbox. Enclose the billing or application with payment.

o    Planning and Zoning, Building and Safety, Public Works, and Records Counter at 630 Garden Street: Staff is currently processing all plans and permits, in accordance with regular timelines. A new drop-off area will be created at the front entrance to the building. Drop plans with appropriate forms and applications and a staff person will contact you electronically to confirm receipt. For up-to-date information with drop-off and payment instructions, please go to the Public Counter Notices Webpage.

Consultation by telephone or email is available during regular business hours. If you have questions, call or email:

o    Rental Housing Mediation:  Staff can provide consultations and mediations in English or Spanish by phone at 805-564-5420. Tenant/landlord rights and responsibilities can be provided by phone and email. Read more…

o    Library: Libraries are currently closed but services and resources can be reached online.

  • Borrow books, audiobooks, movies, comics, films, magazines, and online courses electronically at

  • Delay requested physical materials, for pick-up or check-out, by reviewing your OverDrive account for holds on eBooks and Audiobooks. Call 805-962-7653 to delay materials or order unique items for home delivery with the Zip Books program.

  • Sign-up for a temporary library card online to get started using library resources and services at:

  • Access your account and review your accounts details by either visiting or by downloading the Library’s mobile app “Black Gold” in any app store.

  • If you have questions about a particular event or about checked out items, please call the Santa Barbara Public Library at 805-962-7653 or send a text message to 805-764-4542 (805-764-4LIB). Chat with staff at the Library’s digital chat reference services, available during open hours and answered in real-time:


o    Police: The Police Department public lobby at 215 E. Figueroa Street is currently closed to the public. Public safety professionals are providing 24/7 service throughout the City. While the lobby might be closed in an abundance of caution, our professional staff is working for you. For real emergencies, dial 911. To file a police report or request a copy, use the Citizens Online Reporting Tool. To arrange for Property Release, call 805-897-2375 to make an appointment. For all other requests, please call 805-897-2355. 

o    Fire: Email [email protected] or call 805-965-5254 for all questions related to fire prevention, wildland fire prevention, and plan submittals.

o    City Clerk: City Council and Advisory Group agendas are available online and outside City Hall. Meeting videos and minutes are also available on the City’s website. For questions related to the Council agenda or public records requests, email [email protected].

o    Human Resources: The Human Resources counter will be closed and appointments will be scheduled as needed. For questions, call 805-564-5316.

o    Downtown Parking: Monthly and Commuter Permit account payments may be mailed to 735 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.  Please include your account number with your payment. Other transactions requiring payment can be mailed to the Downtown Parking Office at 1221 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.  All other submittals and inquiries can be directed to [email protected]gov.

o    Waterfront/Harbor: Call the Waterfront Office at 805-564-5531 for questions and information. Email [email protected]gov to submit fish tickets and most slip management forms, including temporary cancellation, e-billing, live-aboard permits, vacation live-aboard permits, and mailing address change requests. Slip renters can sign up for autopay.

The public is encouraged to check the City’s website to save a trip to City facilities and limit interaction if possible. For updates on City services, facility closures, and special instructions to pay bills, submit plans, and complete transactions,

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JB86 Mar 18, 2020 08:43 PM
City of Santa Barbara Public Counters Closed

Maybe, out of this process the City (and County) might learn how to provide good services and cut staffing via on-line means, like the business world. Nah, never happen.

jqb Mar 18, 2020 03:10 PM
City of Santa Barbara Public Counters Closed

Bars, Nightclubs, Tasting Rooms, Gyms, Movie Theaters to Close Until April 6" It says "These measures take effect on Wednesday, March 18 and will continue until Tuesday, April 7, at such time when Council can reassess conditions" -- sorry to say that things will be worse on April 7. This is going to be a long haul.

Bird Mar 18, 2020 12:41 PM
City of Santa Barbara Public Counters Closed

What about the County? Will the County defer property taxes? For those now losing income, April 10 is not that far away!!! (Assuming that 4/10 is the due date.)

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