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Goleta Council Adopts Planning, Stormwater Ordinances

The city moves to streamline the process for minor roadway projects and update its policies on stormwater management

A pair of ordinances received approval Tuesday from the Goleta City Council.

The first is an attempt to streamline the planning process for minor roadway projects. The second is a stormwater management ordinance to protect local creeks and storm drains from pollution.

The first ordinance would exempt certain minor street projects from having to undergo a General Plan conformity determination. Certain projects and transactions, such as alignments, acquisitions of land for street widenings or other projects of a minor nature, are included under the ordinance. The exemption does not bypass city review or approval of such projects; rather, it eliminates one step during the planning process by giving the city’s planning director to make the determinations, as opposed to the Planning Commission.

“If we’re reducing duplicate processes, we’re saving time and money,” city planner Anne Wells said.

Projects that may fall in this category would be alignments for disabled access, small frontage improvements or turning radius changes.

The second ordinance is an improvement to the city’s original stormwater management plan, which was adopted from the county. According to staff, there was language in the adopted policies, such as policies pertaining to rural stormwater issues, that did not apply to the city of Goleta. The new ordinance would replace the existing policies on stormwater management.

Meanwhile, according to Community Services Director Steve Wagner, a large part of the city’s efforts with regards to stormwater is education, and the city will continue to reach out to the public to educate them with respect to preventing pollution of the city’s several waterways as the ordinance goes into implementation.

“Our goal would not be to surprise anybody with any of this,” he said.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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