Monday, October 24 , 2016, 10:58 pm | Fair 59º


Local News

State Clears the Way for Transfer of Santa Barbara Parking Structures, Lots to City Ownership

Department of Finance reverses an earlier decision regarding former Redevelopment Agency-owned properties

The City of Santa Barbara can transfer its former Redevelopment Agency-owned parking structures and lots to city ownership, after the state Department of Finance reversed its earlier decision.

It’s very good news, Assistant City Administrator Paul Casey said. With the dissolution of the RDA last year, he said, the city worried about losing properties in addition to cash assets.

Department of Finance consultant Steve Szalay said the state reviewed information about the parking properties that were previously denied for transfer.

The Department of Finance still objects to transferring the 5.39-acre railroad depot property — which includes parking and the nearby land where a children’s museum is planned — and a Bath Street parcel, but they can be transferred in the future as part of the successor agency’s Long-Range Property Management Plan.

“Finance originally denied the transfer of the parking lots because they were mixed use and open to individuals other than government employees,” Szalay wrote in a letter to the city. “However, based on the unique parking and business improvement area assessment, which was formed in 1971, Finance concurs that these properties should be maintained as governmental purpose and therefore are eligible for immediate transfer.”

The properties include the commuter lots at Cota and Carrillo streets, the 217 Helena St. parking lot, the Garden Street public parking lot, and parking structure Nos. 2, 6, 10, 11 and 12.

The Bath Street property, which the city wants to use for a pocket park, and the railroad depot will need more work before they can be transferred to the city, which is the RDA’s successor agency.

The Long-Range Property Management Plan provides a way to transfer properties that the city wants to keep for future development. Properties don’t have to be liquidated and sold to private parties if they aren’t transferred to the city for governmental purpose, Szalay said.

The City Council will finalize the parking lot transfers at next week’s meeting, according to City Administrator Jim Armstrong. The city will also start to work on its Long-Term Property Management Plan to address the depot and Bath Street properties.

The state did not object to transferring housing assets, Chase Palm Park and the Ortega Water Treatment Facility, which was done in November. The city also handed over about $2 million in housing cash it had at the time RDAs were dissolved.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >