By an edhat reader

Week of May 30-June62, 2023: Council and Advisory Commission 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! In addition, although the advisory commissions are public meetings, open to the public and most of them are televised, they seem to  get little public attention, yet the effects, the decisions by the ABR and SFDB, for instance, are felt by the neighbors. Although time-consuming to prepare, we hoped to encourage greater citizen awareness of the on-going building in Santa Barbara.

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. (NB: City Calendar is a guide and is not comprehensive.) City TV covers many of the public meetings and has reruns. However, it cannot presently be completely relied upon and if there is a particular city public agency of interest, it would be best to check that commission’s or council’s website. Although often important, Consent Calendar meetings are not televised; nor are those in City Council Room 15; nor are others, such as the library board meeting at the Faulkner Gallery.

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. Agenda item descriptions are generally direct quotes from the agendas. Meeting locations: City Council chambers upstairs at City Hall, 735 Anacapa Street; David Gebhard Room (DGR), 630 Garden Street; Parks Office, 402 E. Ortega St.; 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.


There were two State Street Advisory Committee meetings last week, agendas,  on May 22 and 24; we noted there were no staff reports to study before the meeting. These meetings were not televised on public TV and were available only by Zoom and in person; Zoom does allow recording but if there were any recordings made they, unfortunately, have not been shared with the public. On May 25, the presentations were posted to the SSAC’s website, link.

This shortened week brings long agendas for the SFDB Consent Calendar meeting, the ABR, and even the SHO. The Council meets on Wednesday morning for the last of the department budgets, Public Works. The Planning Commission has a deceptively short agenda, but there’s a 423-pg. packet of the Draft Housing Element, including on p.338 (of 423) a graphic of the Suitable Sites Inventory, focused on the Downtown, La Cumbre, and the high density Milpas strip.



Sign Committee, 9 A.M., DGR, in person, Agenda:

  1. 800 Alvarado Place/El Encanto (referred from Conforming Review – “Project referred because the borders are not stylized, and signs were installed without Sign Committee approval.”
  2. 3771 State St./Taqueria Unica, New Item, Concept Review & FA, “Proposal for one new 19.24 square foot illuminated wall sign and one new 5.16 square foot nonilluminated wall sign directly underneath. Total proposed signage is 24.16 square feet. Total building frontage is 34.71 feet. An exception is requested to exceed the maximum letter height.”
  3. 3956 State St./Jiffy Lube Multi Care, Concept Review & FA, “Proposal for two new 8.5 square foot ground signs and two new illuminated 6.5 square foot wall signs. Total frontage is 30 square feet. Total proposed signage is 30 square feet. An Exception is requested to have two ground signs within 75 feet of each other.”



Single Family Design Board, 11:00 A.M., in person at the DGR: Consent Agenda

A. 710 Surf View Dr., Cont. item, FA,  “Proposal to add a new 544 square foot second story and 179 square foot second story deck to an existing 1,544 square foot single-unit residence located in the Hillside Design District. … The proposed total of 2,502 square feet on a 10,890 square foot lot …Project requires substantial conformance to the plans that received Project Design Approval on January 17, 2023, which is when the project was last reviewed.


B. 239 Rametto Road, New Item, PDA & FA: “Proposal for a 180-square-foot addition and 116-square-foot addition on the first floor to an existing 1,669-square-foot single-unit residence in the Hillside Design District. …” … Neighborhood Preservation Findings and Hillside Design District & Sloped Lot Findings are required.


C. 1301 W. Mountain Dr., Cont. Item, PDA & FA, “…The proposal consists of the demolition of the existing 510 square-foot Additional Residential Unit and the construction of a 2,012 square-foot, two-story Additional (to the 2,720 sq – ft residence) Residential Unit. …. Neighborhood Preservation Findings, Hillside Design District & Sloped Lot Findings, and Grading Findings are required. The project was last reviewed August 15, 2022.”


D. 1155 Harbor Hills Dr., PDA & FA, “…Proposal for a 237-square-foot first-floor addition to an existing 2,099-square-foot single-unit residence. … Neighborhood Preservation Findings and Hillside Design District & Sloped Lot Findings are required.”


Past agendas, architectural drawings and public comments from prior meetings and two for the June 5 meeting, link.


Architectural Board of Review, 1 P.M., in person at the DGR, Consent Calendar:

  1. 102 S. Voluntario St., PDA, “Proposal for two Accessory Dwelling Units detached from the primary unit, each unit will be 620 square feet net.) …. Project requires compliance with the Project Compatibility Guidelines.”


City Council: Regular meeting, 2:00 p.m., Council Chambers, Hyflex, 2 P.M., no meeting; council on holiday.


Architectural Board of Review, 3 P.M., reg. meeting, hyflex, DGR; agenda:

  1. Santa Barbara Airport Terminal Improvement Project Presentation on Preferred Conceptual Design.


  1. 701 ex-711 N. Milpas_ FA, “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. Owner: 711 N Milpas Partners, LP Alan Bleecker, Managing Member Applicant: Tony Tomasello, RRM Design Group The project consists of 1,490 square feet (net) of commercial space, 82 residential units (including 16 moderate-income affordable units), and residential amenities … and 110 parking spaces. …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. Project requires compliance with the plans granted Project Design Approval on January 23, 2023.” …

    This was before the ABR on May 1: from the Minutes: “Motion: Continue indefinitely with comments: 4-1 (opposed: One ABR member opposed “because he feels that the limited amount of corrections noted in the motion are not enough to help this building.”) From the minutes: 1. The Board appreciates the level of documentation and detailing provided up to this point, but requests additional detailing regarding recessing on all storefront windows to the extent possible, a material specification, and physical material of the proposed Eldorado stone. 2. The Board requests a study of the hierarchy of the lighting layout. Consider increasing the sconce size in locations where it makes sense for entries, etc. 3. The Board recommends reworking the flashing details that would be visible to the public on the parapets, balcony edges, ridges, etc. 4. The applicant shall verify that all lighting within the carports and garages are motion censored and recessed at the ceiling. 5. Return with a site section that shows the building, the carport, and the adjacent playfields so that the Board has a better idea of its visibility and disposition.

    Also: Staff comments: Kathleen Kennedy stated that state law prohibits design review on solar energy systems, and it has been expanded recently to cover solar carports, so it is not in the Board’s purview to look at the carport on this project. Staff comments: One public comment letter from Ann Heffernan was acknowledged as received by the ABR, but no letters are posted to the ABR website.


  1. 311 W. Montecito St., PDA, Owner: Edward St George Applicant: Lonnie Roy, ON Design Architects (Proposal for a new two-story, three-guestroom, approximately 3,353-square-foot hotel on a 5,671 square foot lot. Each hotel guestroom includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchenette, living room, and a private patio. … The hotel would be an annex to the approved 32-room primary hotel location to be constructed across the street at 302 and 308 W. Montecito Street…”The project received Development Plan and Coastal Development Permit approval by the Staff Hearing Officer.) Project Design Approval is requested. Project requires compliance with Staff Hearing Officer Resolution No. 005-23 and Project Compatibility Guidelines. Project was last reviewed on February 6, 2023.


  1. 917 E YANONALI ST, Cont. Item, PDA, Owner: OP Equity LLC, Paul Gherini Applicant: Rachel Raynor, RRM Design Group (Proposal for two apartments over a four-space carport, /// Proposal includes converting the existing two bedroom single family residence to a three bedroom residence. Proposal also includes to abate violations identified in ENF2022-00433.) …Project was last reviewed on April 17, 2023.


  1. 1212 Coast Village Rd., Cont. Item, PDA, “Proposal for a facade renovation and tenant improvement to an existing restaurant and adjacent office building. No proposed changes to the existing hotel building. Minor changes to parking. Project was last heard on March 6, 2023.


  1. 523 W. Gutierrez St., One-time Pre-Application Consultation. Owner: Rebecca Griffin Applicant: Trish Allen, SEPPS ”Proposal to demolish the existing single-family residence to construct a three-story residential apartment building containing nine units. The project includes private outdoor deck areas for each unit, nine parking spaces, and bicycle storage.) No final appealable decision will be made at this hearing.”


ABR staff reports and other documents but not for public comments, see: 701/711 N.     Milpas above, link.




Staff Hearing Officer (SHO), 9 A.M. DGR, broadcast live and online, listed on City TV; for Zoom link, for access, see: Agenda: Projects:

  1. 55 Chase Drive, the proposed project involves swimming pool, spa, new retaining walls; under the jurisdiction of the SHO are interior setback modifications (mods).
  2. 22 W. Mission St., owner G. Petty, applicant, J. Gorin; the 15,500 sq-ft site is developed with a commercial building and two residential units that are “as built”. The proposed project involves, among others, legalization of the “as built”; the discretionary applications under the jurisdiction of the SHO are parking modification (mod) and open yard mod.
  3. 432 Donze Avenue: owner: J. Culmback, applicant: J. Gorin;  the 4, 460 sq-ft site is currently developed with a 1m270 sq-t residence that is listed on the Historic Resources inventory and a one-car garage. “The project involves demolition of the  garage and construction of a new 665 sq ft two-story ADU”…” with the removal of a Victorian Box Tree to accommodate the new building.”  The discretionary applications under the jurisdiction of the SHO required for this project include: A. interior setback mod. To allow a an 10foot setback at the first story; B. Rear Setback Mod., to allow 6” setback at the 1st-story and 3-foot setback at the  second-story; and determine that the project is categorically exempt from further enviro. Review pursuant to CEQA guidelines. …”
  4. 1889 Eucalyptus Hill Road, “…the proposal will abate violations that consist of unpermitted work in the garage, preventing the garage from being accessible by two cars;…” the discretionary applications for the SHO required for this project are parking mod. To allow one covered parking space in the garage and one uncovered parking space in the driveway.
  5. 2151 Mission Ridge Rd. The proposed project involves converting the existing garage to floor areas for the residence and constructing a new detached 3-car garage with a second story accessory structure. The discretionary applications under the jurisdiction of the SHOW are Front Yard Mod., to allow the accessory structure to be located in a front yard….”


Staff reports for the above: link.


Also listed for City TV AT 9 A.M.: Special City Council, Subject: Fiscal Year 2024 Recommended Operating and Capital Budget; Agenda packet, including the list of budget review meetings and public hearings.


Recommendation: That Council hear a presentation from the Public Works Department and the General Fund / Measure C Capital Program regarding their Fiscal Year 2024 Recommended Budget.




Street Tree Advisory Committee, regular meeting, 8:30 A.M., Parks Office , 402 E. Ortega St., in person: Agenda:

New Business:  tree removal considerations STREET TREES:

     1. 2500 McCaw Avenue – (2) Eucalyptus species, Eucalyptus, (1) Quercus agrifolia, Coast Live Oak, and (1) Tristaniopsis laurina, Water Gum – Faris Sanjakdar, Public Works

    2. 3230 Lucinda Lane – (3) Pinus halepensis, Aleppo Pine – Raymond Chan

    SETBACK TREES 1. 505 Owen Road – Eucalyptus globulus, Blue Gum – Thomas Dent 2. 1759 Prospect Avenue – Ficus microcarpa, Indian Laurel Fig – Ernest Perevoski


Old Business: Street Tree Master Plan:

    1. 100-400 blocks of S. Milpas Street – request to evaluate existing designation – STAC

    2. 300-1100 blocks of Shoreline Drive – request to evaluate existing designations – staff



Planning Commission including P. C. Guidelines, adopted 12/2022; regular meeting, Agenda:

lll. Training item: Advisory Group Public Service and Decorum Training, by HR and City Clerk’s staff.

lV. Discussion Items:

  1. Draft 2023 Housing Element Update: The PC will receive a presentation on the Revised Draft”, link to the HEU, receive public comment, hold a discussion, and provide feedback to staff.  (Rosie Dyste, project planner.)
  2. Santa Barbra Airport Terminal Improvement Project Update, Jessica Metzger, Airport Project Planner.

V. Administrative Agenda

    A. Committee and Liaison Reports,

        SHO Liaison report and other committee and liaison reports.



FRIDAY, June 2

City Hall open but no public meetings, as of Monday evening.

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. The City Council meets at 2 p.m., Tuesdays, except for these holidays: January 3, January 17, February 21, March 28, April 4, May 30, June 20, July 4, July 11, August 8, August 15, September 5, November 14, November 21, November 28, December 19, and December 26, 2023. The regular Council meetings are sometimes preceded by their Finance and Ordinance committees whose agendas are part of the regular council meeting agenda; the Council also has a Legislative Committee and a Sustainability Committee, each of which meets irregularly.

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: 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.”


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