Santa Barbara Appoints New Business Liaison

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

Community Development Director George Buell is pleased to announce the appointment of Marck Aguilar as Acting Business Liaison. Mr. Aguilar will begin working immediately to facilitate projects through the City’s review and permitting processes for a variety of private, non-residential development projects on a portion of the State Street corridor, and other high priority economic development projects throughout the City.   

The Business Liaison will act as the central point of contact for development projects, opening the lines of communication and offering solutions to issues or conflicting regulations, and will follow the project through to completion. Aguilar will facilitate communication between project applicants and City staff, and allow for a coordinated and efficient movement of applications between departments. This position will report to City Planner, Renee Brooke, until decisions regarding the formation of an economic development division or department are made.

Projects meeting any one of the following criteria will fall under the purview of the Business Liaison:

  • Private nonresidential or mixed-use development projects (new, remodel, addition) requiring a building permit and located on State Street, between Gutierrez Street and Sola Street.
  • Any improvement that requires a building permit and involves a hotel, large grocery store, or auto dealership.
  • Other projects, as directed by the Community Development Director.

In addition to being the initial point of contact, Aguilar will also serve to assist applicants in understanding the City’s requirements, which will enable them to submit complete applications and avoid possible delays; work as a liaison between City divisions, including Planning, Building and Safety, Transportation Planning, Engineering, Environmental Services, Creeks, City Attorney, and Fire Prevention, and others as needed from application submittal through permit plan check; and, facilitate communication and positive working relationships. Acting in this capacity should significantly reduce the amount of time applicants spend going from department to department.

According to Buell, the appointment of this new position will provide quick relief for businesses on State Street and qualifying projects elsewhere in the city that require assistance.   “With over twenty years of service with the City in various capacities in land development, design review, permitting and capital improvement project management, Marck brings a wealth of knowledge, professionalism and skills that will serve both the City and our customers exceptionally well.”

This appointment is part of a larger effort now underway by City Administrator Paul Casey to develop and staff an Economic Development Program for the City of Santa Barbara.

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Lucky 777 Aug 10, 2019 11:57 AM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Business Liaison

Did the city press release actually list his name as Marck? Not sure if it is Marc or Mark, so cover your ass? OMG, this is metaphoric for what his job is going to be.

a-1579410192 Aug 10, 2019 08:57 AM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Business Liaison

Mark has been working for the City for a few years, but is a relative newbie. He’s not a business person, but a planner. I have to agree with DBD above on the City Staff constantly recommending owners hire CASp and other consultants for small projects when they could simply work with architects, contractors, and inspectors to solve 90 percent of the ADA problems on most projects. It seems suspicious to me that (B&S) staff are making CASp specialist hiring recommendations as plan check correction items when their former colleague (boss) now owns his own CASp consultancy. Are they getting kickbacks from him on these plan check recommendations ?

DBD Aug 09, 2019 01:20 PM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Business Liaison

When the process is so broken that you need programs like accelerate, and hiring a business liason, maybe its time to determine if there is a way to simplify the actual process? When it takes $250,000 in specialists and lost rent to complete a $12,000 construction project, something isn't right. Instead of paying $80k for the report telling us the system was broken, they should have used that money as part of a remodel, and go through the process as any normal person would have to. They would be able to identify where the gaps are. my $.02

a-1579410192 Aug 09, 2019 04:27 PM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Business Liaison

They sort of do already. One of the leading plan checkers is still a private architect working on her own clients projects. Think those plans are reviewed as stringently as she reviews everyone else?

a-1579410192 Aug 09, 2019 01:04 PM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Business Liaison

If this new hire does well, our head Oompa Loompa will take credit. If not, it will blame Mr. Aguilar. "Oompa loompa doompety doo.....If you are wise you will listen to me."

Soccer-Fan Aug 10, 2019 06:22 AM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Business Liaison

56 years ago we thought Santa Barbara the perfect town. Serious senior moments, send one into deep nostalgia, recalling happy sunny days strolling down State Street, meeting familiar faces similarly involved. Perhaps on our way to Ott's, the exciting J Magnim, The Copper Coffee Pot, Hughes, the English import store and the exquisite linen store in La Arcarda with the unforgettable always ebullient owners greet one, and many more. But I could be wrong.

Sam The Dog Aug 09, 2019 12:37 PM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Business Liaison

Welcome to the City of Santa Barbara, if we're not doing a good job we'll hire someone that will [might, well maybe, we hope]!

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