Santa Barbara Community Development Department Earns Award for Outreach During the Pandemic

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

The City’s Planning Division recently received an award from the Central Coast Chapter of the American Planning Association for public outreach efforts in 2021.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and suspension of in-person events throughout 2021, the City’s Long Range Planning staff implemented an online engagement tool to reach out and educate the community on proposed changes to regulating building sizes and encouraging more housing units in the City.

The Online Workshop expanded opportunities for community engagement, allowing the public to share thoughts and collaborate with other community members and City decision-makers about the future of apartment and condominium housing opportunities in the community.

The results of the Online Workshop were shared with the Planning Commission and City Council to inform their deliberation of the proposed changes.

Based on the success in engaging a large number of community members on a complex planning concept, the online engagement tool will continue to be used for education and outreach in future work efforts.

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SBCountyLocal May 25, 2022 06:29 PM
Santa Barbara Community Development Department Earns Award for Outreach During the Pandemic

The APA didn't talk to residents. I would give the Community Development Department a "F" and would give an award. Why? First there are terrible plans for Ortega Park that failed to address the historic murals, which were planned for demolition, or sufficient pool facilities which are desperately needed. Then there is the plan to reduce the size and relocate the garden plots of the community garden at Yanonali Park - without a workshop or notification for the gardeners. This list of failures could be longer, but it gives residents an idea that outreach to residents before, during, and after the worst of the pandemic is anemic at best.

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