Land Use Committee Meets

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 9, 2018

Next week, the Board of Supervisors (BOS) will consider adopting amendments to County land use development codes regarding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Planning and Development staff has prepared final-draft proposed ADU ordinance amendments based on direction and comments from the BOS, County Planning Commission, Montecito Planning Commission, and the public in the last year and-a-half. Those draft amendments have been reviewed by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), and will be in front of the BOS Tuesday, August 14. 

Because the County has yet to pass its own ordinance language regarding ADUs, Montecito and other unincorporated areas have been governed by the state-mandated ADU laws, which went into effect January 1, 2017. California Assembly Bill 2299 and Senate Bill 1069 reduce the barriers that homeowners once had when trying to gain approvals for these “granny units,” expanding the capacity to accommodate their development to provide additional rental housing in residential areas throughout California. Since the passing of the State laws, there have been 60 ADU permits approved in Montecito, with 34 of those requiring building permits. The majority of these applications have been for existing structures in order to make them legal rentals, according to Land Use Committee member Lisa Burns.

It’s expected that the draft language in front of the BOS on August 14 will be slightly different than draft language proposed by the Montecito Planning Commission and Santa Barbara Planning Commission. One major change is the removal of the reference that a property owner must reside in either the principal dwelling or ADU. Rental of both the ADU and the main residence will be allowed. The County language will include stricter regulations on appearance and style, parking, setbacks, and Historic Landmarks Commission (HLAC) review, among other items.

The Land Use Committee was briefed on some expected changes; the staff report, which will explain the amendments in detail, will be available online on Thursday, August 9.

The committee also discussed the emergency bridge repairs on Highway 192; members of the committee including Tom Bollay, Martha Gray, Laura Bridley, and Burns met several times with Caltrans and County reps to review the bridge designs and provide input, mainly on aesthetics. “We at least tried to influence them to not make them horrendously offensive,” said Bollay. “They won’t look as handsome as our old railings, but the new bridges will have the same appearance and will be cohesive.”

Most of the bridges will be expanded in size, and four of the bridges – Romero Creek, Toro Canyon Creek, San Ysidro Creek, and Toro Creek – will be finished by the end of October. The bridge over Montecito Creek at the base of Parra Grande is expected to be finished at the end of November. 

The full Montecito Association board will meet next Tuesday, August 14. 


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