By an edhat reader

Week of January 9 – 13, 2023: council and advisory committee meetings of Santa Barbara City

A long-time Edhat subscriber, hoping for more public participation in our local government, thought it would be helpful and interesting for the community to have a weekly listing of selected meetings, those of city-wide interest. We agreed. Please tell us what you think. There have been requests for coverage of other jurisdictions; volunteers to do that, please contact If we’ve mis-posted an address or there’s a meeting that we failed to list, please note the correction in the Comments section below. Thanks!

Santa Barbara has a City Calendar of meetings; for January: (NB: City Calendar is a guide to many public meetings.) City TV covers many of the meetings and has reruns. However, Consent Calendar meetings are not televised. Our new city website design is a mixed blessing, prettier-looking but with some information harder to find if it exists at all.

Common acronyms, abbreviations: hybrid or Hyflex, meeting access is both in person and via Zoom or other webinar; PDA, Project Design Approval; FA, Final Approval; CAR, Council Agenda Report. Meeting locations: City Council chambers upstairs at City Hall, 735 Anacapa Street; David Gebhard Room (DGR), 630 Garden Street; or where noted. Noted also for some Council and Advisory Committee meetings are non-public addresses; these are addresses for those public servants who choose to attend the meetings at home or elsewhere.

A relatively quiet week of public meetings.

MONDAY, 1/09

Single Family Design Board, 11:00 A.M., DGR, in person: Consent Agenda, new: 1409 Portesuello Ave, PDA & FA; cont: 329 Calle Laureles, PDA & FA. Architectural drawings, link.

Architectural Board of Review, 1 P.M., DGR, in person, Consent Agenda: 111 N. La Cumbre Rd., FA. Architectural drawings: link.

Architectural Board of Review, 3 P.M., DGR, hyflex, Agenda:

  • Continuing item: 701 N. Milpas (ex- 711 N. Milpas), PDA for “Proposal for a new four-story, mixed-use, Average Unit-Size Density (AUD) project on a 1.52-acre lot located at the northwest corner of Milpas and Ortega Streets. … Project received approval of a Development Agreement by the City Council, and approval of a Height Exception, Front Setback Modification, and Parking Modification by the Planning Commission.”
  • new item: 110-150 S. La Cumbre, Concept Review: “The project consists of a proposal to merge the lots, demolish the existing 2,194-square-foot nonresidential building and construct a 922-square-foot, automatic, self-serve, drive-thru, carwash with a 116-linear-foot dedicated approach lane for queuing of cars….”;
  • 515 W. Los Olivos, cont. item, PDA, for “Proposal for 6 residential units comprising of a two-story duplex and a three-story fourplex using the Average Unit-Size Density (AUD) program. Unit mix includes (1) studio, (1) one bedroom unit, (2) two bedroom units, and (2) four bedroom units….” where the existing residence will be demolished.
  • 425 Garden St., cont. item, PDA, for “demolition of all on-site structures and construction of a four-story 36-unit residential complex with common rooftop amenities…”of which four will be very low income rentals, two moderate income rentals, and 30 market-rate rentals.  Architectural drawings: link.

Neighborhood Advisory Council, 6 P.M., Westside Center, in person: Agenda: information only, Neighborhood Improvement Task Force Project Updates and for information only each Neighborhood Advisory Council member to update the public on specific neighborhood related issues or events impacting their neighborhood or the community in general.


Sign Committee, 9 A.M., in person, DGR, Agenda: two items referred from conforming review on 12/12/2022 and 11/15/2022 1. 128 E Montecito St., and 2. 3609 State St., Second review. Project was continued to the Full Committee from Conforming Review on November 15, 2022.

City Council– CANCELLED, Due to the winter storm, the Santa Barbara City Special Council Meeting on January 10, 2023 has been cancelled. The next City Council meeting will be Tuesday, January 24, 2023. The meeting agenda and information can be found on the City Council Meetings page of our website:
special meeting in the DGR, Hyflex, 2 P.M., access info at the AgendaAgenda packet (225 pgs., including changes to the ADU requirements, including rental terms, and also including the Consent Calendar Item 12, interim financial departmental statements, ending 11/30/2022. ) There are two closed Council sessions, re litigation and employee evaluation; also re litigation, the Consent Calendar item 9, asks to “to increase the not-to-exceed amount from $100,000 to $250,000 for special counsel services related to the Boring case”, that’s the challenge to the city’s sit-lie ordinance.


Staff Hearing Officer, 9 A.M. Meeting cancelled.


Downtown Parking Committee, 7:30 A.M., DGR, in person; agenda includes updates on the bike share pilot program and budget and operations updates; and also an update on parking operations and trends in revenues and expenditures; updates also on programs: parking automation and promenade.

This committee lists its mission statement on its agenda page: “To enhance the economic vitality of the Downtown area, by advising the City on policy of operation and maintenance of the City’s parking facilities and on-street parking supply, in order to optimize the usefulness to customers and visitors that shop and work in the Downtown Business District.” Not mentioned is the public and Zoom or other remote access to the committee’s 7:30 A.M. meetings.

Planning Commission, 1 PM, Hyflex, Council Chamber, Agenda: election of chair/vice-chair; and training: “Making Motions and Findings; Ex Parte Communications; and the Brown Act Training from the City Attorney’s Office regarding procedures for conducting public business: motion making, ex parte communications, and the Ralph M. Brown Act.”

UPDATE – The City of Santa Barbara City Council will hold a Special Meeting on Thursday January 12, 2023, at 2 p.m. The special meeting will be held in the David Gebhard Room, 620 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. The agenda for the special meeting will be published no later than 2:00 p.m.. Wednesday January 11, 2023.

The Planning Commission has cancelled its January 12, 2023 meeting. All items that were listed on the January 12, 2023 agenda will be rescheduled. The next meeting of the Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled for January 19, 2023.

The January 12, 2023 Building and Fire Code Board of Appeals meeting has also been cancelled. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for February 2, 2023. 

FRIDAY, 1/13

No public meetings; administrative offices open.

Of general interest:

City Advisory Commissions are listed with their duties and powers described in the Charter of the City of Santa Barbara, See: Article Vlll, Appointive Boards and Commissions, pg; 25 et seg. Other commissions may be formed by the City Council for certain issues of public concern.  Santa Barbara Municipal Code.

AIA-Santa Barbara, August 2020,  State Street Promenade and housing community survey results, more than 4,800 responses, linked here. Civic groups concerned about city government: Allied Neighborhoods Association, Citizens Planning Association, League of Women Voters -Santa Barbara, and various hyperlocal neighborhood associations.

City of Santa Barbara says it emphasizes transparency: Not listed under city transparency is a link to the Ralph M. Brown Act (“Brown Act“), “In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.”


Written by Anonymous

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