Rebuilding Report

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   March 14, 2019

At the February 20th hearing of the Montecito Planning Commission, Planning & Development Deputy Director of Development Jeff Wilson gave a brief report on the status of rebuilding in Montecito following the Thomas Fire and 1/9 debris flow.

Wilson reported that 323 disaster cases were opened post mudflow, with 70% of those property owners having made contact with their respective case managers. Sixty-eight of those cases have been closed, with structures on those properties being completely demolished or repairs completed. Fifty applications have been submitted for “like-for-like” rebuilding, which enables a structure to be rebuilt with the same or substantially the same footprint, height, floor area, and bulk as the structure that existed prior to the disaster, which triggers an exemption from obtaining a planning permit and adhering to design review requirements. The like-for-like ordinance amendments, which were approved by the Board of Supervisors in May of last year, also allow displaced property owners to obtain a planning permit exemption or waiver to rebuild their structure in a safer location on their lot to meet Flood Control requirements. The amendments allow the replaced or restored structure to exceed the height of the destroyed or damaged structure if necessary to comply with the base flood elevation that exists for the lot after the debris flow or other event. 

Supervising Planner Petra Leyva reported that 51 building permits have been submitted for full demolition and 87 permits issued for partial demolition; of all of those, 34 permits have been signed off. There have also been 17 building permits submitted for commercial, 10 have been issued; these are for San Ysidro Ranch and La Casa de Maria.

Wilson said the County inspection and permitting processes continue to be timely, with staff responding quickly to property owner submittals. 

Also at the MPC hearing, the commissioners heard from Matt Dobberteen with County Public Works, who gave them an update on the construction of the two new roundabouts slated for Montecito. The roundabout planned for the intersection at San Ysidro and North Jameson is in County jurisdiction, with the project requiring review and approval by the Montecito Planning Commission. The roundabout at Coast Village Road, North Jameson, and Olive Mill Road is multi-jurisdictional with the City of Santa Barbara, County, and Caltrans all involved. That roundabout will require joint review and approval by both the MPC and City Planning Commission.

The MPC voted to assign Chair Susan Keller and Commissioner Donna Senaur to a newly formed advisory committee that will review the roundabout plans. Members include the MPC reps, two reps from MBAR, members from the City PC, a Historic Landmarks Commissioner, and one City ABR member. The committee will discuss the aesthetic and functional design of both roundabouts, which are currently in the design phase, with environmental documents being prepared. “From there we’ll move forward,” Dobberteen said, adding that Public Works will give the MPC a progress report on the project at a subsequent meeting. 


You might also be interested in...