SB Launches Online Workshop for New Residential Building Size Standards

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

The City is seeking the public’s input to help develop new standards for multi-unit housing projects. Through the City’s new community outreach platform, you can learn about this latest work effort and weigh in on proposed building size standards for new apartment and condominium projects. This “Online Workshop” will be available from February 19 through March 3, 2021, offering community members an opportunity to provide input over a 13-day period (replacing a typical one- or two-day in-person workshop) and at any time of day that is convenient for you.

Information gathered from this Online Workshop will be shared with the City Council and help guide changes to the City’s development standards for new apartments and condominiums. The objectives of the proposed building size standards are to promote better community design, provide sensitivity to the City’s historic resources, clarify community expectations, and expand opportunities for additional, smaller housing units. The first step is to establish what building sizes are appropriate in different locations in the City.

The City is excited to use this new online outreach tool to engage community members on many topics and keep residents informed about major work efforts and special projects. Assistant City Administrator and Interim Community Development Director Rebecca Bjork notes that “the City of Santa Barbara is known for its robust public review processes. This last year we have continued to make progress on major work efforts and sought community input in a variety of ways – this new online platform is one more way for us to inform and engage community members, and even allow them to collaborate on specific topics.” 

In addition to answering survey questions and providing input on building sizes for new apartment and condominium projects, the Online Workshop offers background information on the City’s efforts to prioritize housing and includes visual and numerical information about the size of some existing buildings in the community. Please visit www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov/bso by March 3rd to provide your input.

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a-1613867690 Feb 20, 2021 04:34 PM
SB Launches Online Workshop for New Residential Building Size Standards

Here is a sentence (I think) from the explanation of this process by the city. "Registration is required for the interactive portions of this website to ensure that a broad set of perspectives have an opportunity to be represented by attributing feedback and frequency of feedback to individuals promote accountability and encourage thoughtful responses because feedback can be attributed to them, and provide contact information so that we can let you know any news if something major changes about the project." Thus one cannot participate in the survey without disclosing identity and apparently being subject to some evaluation of the merits of one's thoughts by the people running this PR stunt.

a-1613795571 Feb 19, 2021 08:32 PM
SB Launches Online Workshop for New Residential Building Size Standards

It sounds like, beyond the b.s. regarding design, sensitivity to resources, community expectations, blah blah blah. the real reason: "expand opportunities for smaller housing units." Developers/investors want to take their existing square footage and squeeze more people in, creating value where none existed. I haven't heard many community groups coming forward with this, so who has brought this up?

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