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Santa Barbara Develops Five-Year Outline for Implementation of General Plan

Priorities include carrying out policies adopted by the City Council late last year after six years of negotiations

Santa Barbara planning staff outlined on Tuesday a five-year plan for implementing the General Plan’s top priorities, which mostly consist of fleshing out the policies the City Council unanimously adopted in December after six years of negotiations.

Staff members are developing an incentive program to promote smaller unit sizes and residential buildings, updating zoning maps, developing a climate action plan and assessing the city’s demand for alternative transportation.

New state laws require the city to establish a zone where a year-round emergency shelter can open without a discretionary permit, so the Planning Commission will start working on that, according to city planner Betty Weiss.

The General Plan’s housing element addresses homelessness regionally, but it needs to specify a zone by 2013 to abide by the new law.

Council members and planning commissioners were concerned about how long it would take to implement, especially since requirements could change for project applicants.

“We’re supposed to update our General Plan every 10 years, not take 10 years to implement it,” Commissioner Addison Thompson said.

For the detailed implementation plan, click here for the planning department’s staff report.

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.

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