Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 6:19 am | Fair 53º


Local News

State Eyeing Two Sites in Santa Barbara for Downtown Courthouse

Environmental review and negotiations will begin for the preferred location, the Hayward properties at 1025 Santa Barbara St.

The California Judicial Branch has its eye on two Santa Barbara properties for a new courthouse downtown.

The State Public Works Board approved pursuing the so-called Hayward properties at 1025 Santa Barbara St. as the preferred location, which includes a parking lot and vacant buildings, and will decide whether to approve an MTD-owned property as an alternative around February, said Teresa Ruano, a spokeswoman for the Judicial Council of California.

A $151 million, 97,266-square-foot courthouse will consolidate the Santa Barbara County Superior Court criminal and traffic courts, as well as adding jury deliberation rooms, a self-help center, a children’s waiting room, a holding area for people in jail custody, attorney/client interview rooms and a parking structure. Senate Bill 1407 started funding the project in 2009, but it’s still in the site selection stage.

Work already has been done to alter the existing Figueroa Division’s first floor to enable security to screen all court-goers as they enter the building instead of on a courtroom-by-courtroom basis.

Now that the Hayward property has been approved as the preferred site, it will undergo environmental review, and negotiations will begin with the property owners. There is $41.5 million budgeted for buying property, and Ruano said the state can’t pay a penny over appraised value.

Architectural design of a project beyond basic preliminary planning can’t begin until a site is acquired, and the state doesn’t expect to close escrow until September 2011.

The Hayward property alternative includes 2.8 acres and four properties. The county Probation Department and Garden Street parking lots amount to about half the land, which is already state-owned as it was acquired from the county in 2002, according to the Public Works Board documents. The other 1.3 acres includes a paved parking lot and vacant buildings that used to be Hayward’s furniture store, Karastan Carpet and Rugs and a dog grooming shop.

The time line estimates so far include approving preliminary plans in September 2013 and completing construction by December 2015.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

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 >