Wednesday, January 18 , 2017, 7:00 am | Partly Cloudy 41º


Local News

Santa Barbara Council Allocates Additional $30,000 for Historic Resources Plan

The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday approved an additional $30,000 to help the Community Development Department implement the Historic Resources Element of the city’s General Plan.

Funding will help with mapping, developing a database of historical resources, and printing guidelines for the city’s Five-Year Historic Resources Work Program, project planner Heather Widen said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The city wants to focus on identifying historic districts and individual properties, creating a master database of historic resources and potential future designations, and crafting guidelines to help homeowners who live in a historic district or home, Widen said.

A lot of the work is already being done by Community Development staff as they review proposed developments, update codes and serve the Historic Landmarks Commission, according to city planner Betty Weiss.

“Everything recommended is already in progress to some degree,” she said.

Much of the work — and necessary funding — has to do with getting the database up and running, and accessible to the public.

With identifying historic districts, city staff members will use data from surveys done within the last 10 years as a starting point. Consultants have gathered extensive data on historic properties for the west downtown, lower Riviera and West Beach/waterfront neighborhoods, which cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, Weiss said.

The waterfront survey is the oldest — done in 2002 — and staff members will start with that area.

The process could draw some controversy, Widen noted. Whenever a city talks about designating a district or individual structure as historic, homeowners want to know how they’ll be affected.

The city plans to have a lot of outreach with workshops, educational presentations, clear guidelines and discussions of the benefits from a historical designation, she said.

Many studies have shown that being part of a historic district stabilizes or even raises property values, according to Nicole Hernandez, the city’s urban historian.

Members of the public and representatives of the Historic Landmarks Commission supported the allocation of $30,000, and the five-year plan for implementing the historic resources element.

Hernandez said the city will include summary pages of each district’s history, along with the guidelines for homeowners in the area, so the area’s people are acknowledged as well.

“That’s where we garnish the pride of that history, and each district already has one (written up by the city),” she said. “It’s more than just a building — it’s what’s behind it that gives it that story.”

The council also approved changes to the Police Management Association’s pension contributions at Tuesday’s meeting.

Members now pay 2.88 percent of the 9-percent member contribution to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System; they previously paid none. The city, which paid the entirety of the employee-paid portion in the past for many labor groups, will now pay less into CalPERS.

All new employees or members who join the bargaining group after Jan. 1 of this year have to pay at least half the normal cost, 12.75 percent, into their own pension benefits, and the city cannot pay member contributions for those people.

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 encourages free expression, regardless of viewpoint, but requires that such expressions be civil in tone, respectful of other commenters and relevant to the stories on which they are posted. We reserve the right to remove any comment for any reason.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree not to submit a comment that is abusive, defamatory, disrespectful, illegal, libelous, profane, vulgar or disparaging (whether on the basis of disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, traits with which people are born, or otherwise).

» Agree not to submit a comment that attacks or threatens another person, threatens or promotes violence, wishes for harm to befall another person, invades another person's privacy or proprietary rights, or uses expletives (including veiled profanity).

» Agree not to stalk or harass another person, dominate the conversation, discourage participation by others, or bait, belittle, bicker with, mock or taunt others.

» 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.

» Comments with spam or self-promotional links are not allowed. Comments that include links are automatically routed to a Pending queue. Regularly checking it is not a priority of ours.

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 >