Friday, July 29 , 2016, 10:42 pm | Fair 64º

  • Follow Noozhawk on LinkedIn
  • Follow Noozhawk on Pinterest
  • Follow Noozhawk on YouTube
 
 
 
 

Local News

Judicial Council Delays Santa Barbara Courthouse Project

The Judicial Council of California has voted to delay Santa Barbara’s plans for a new criminal courthouse — and 10 other courthouse construction projects — for at least a year unless funding is restored by the Legislature, which is unlikely.

Santa Barbara’s project has been long approved for Senate Bill 1407 grant funding, but since the bill was passed in 2009, nearly $1.5 billion of court construction funds have been diverted to the state’s general fund or to bankroll trial court operations. Under the plan approved by the Judicial Council, Santa Barbara courthouse design would be delayed to the 2014-15 fiscal year unless SB 1407 funds are restored.

The new building would consolidate all the criminal courtrooms and use the 1.3-acre Hayward Properties at 1025 Santa Barbara St., which already has been purchased for the project.

As of now, two projects have been canceled and 11 grant-funded courthouse construction projects across the state have been indefinitely delayed because of that money being diverted to other areas. Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed 2013-14 budget would transfer $200 million more out of construction funds, and as a result, cause delays for remaining projects.

The Judicial Council will request funding so projects can proceed, but voted to delay them as a contingency plan.

“We are seeking the return of all or a portion of those funds that were raised from court users for the express purpose of building court facilities,” Justice Brad Hill, chair of the Court Facilities Working Group, said in a statement after the meeting. “We understand the difficult fiscal environment the state is in, but further delay will imperil our vital infrastructure and compromise the safety of those citizens who use our courts.”

The projects that haven’t been outright canceled have gone through cost-reduction efforts to keep moving forward; Santa Barbara’s plan has shrunk significantly during this process.

The Court Facility Working Group’s cost-reduction committee met with Santa Barbara County Superior Courts executive officer Gary Blair in late January to look over lower-cost options for the plans and the group responded positively to the plan to build a three-story, eight-courtroom building behind the current Figueroa Street courthouse.

The full group instead voted to delay the project along with all the others.

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 >