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Jackson and Williams Respond to Punta Gorda Manufactured Housing Project

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, and Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Carpinteria, released the following statement Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in response to a letter sent to them by Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider on the Punta Gorda housing project.

Sen. Jackson stressed the importance of community input in manufactured housing projects such as Punta Gorda.

“I understand the very serious community concerns surrounding the Punta Gorda manufactured housing project in Santa Barbara. At a time when affordable housing is a critical need, it is also important that projects are undertaken in a manner that is conducive to community support," she said.

Although local communities have little input in the design review of such housing projects, Jackson says her office is both researching what the state Department of Housing and Community Development can do to support local needs in the future and planning to collaborate with the current project's developers.

"We have no authority to stop the project currently underway, and I look forward to continuing to work with the community and cooperatively with the developer on issues surrounding the landscaping and other considerations to help minimize its visual impact," she said. "I look forward to working collaboratively with the Mayor and the City of Santa Barbara to address these issues in the future."

Assemblymember Williams has also made efforts to assuage community concerns, working directly with personnel responsible for Punta Gorda.
"My office has been engaged on this issue for several months, as our constituents have reached out with concerns," he said. "Understanding that manufactured home parks are approved and permitted by CA Housing and Community Development, and not local governments, we reached out to the builder, architect and landscape architect for this project to connect them with these concerned citizens.

His efforts have thus far resulted in additional screening from landscaping and the potential for community input in regard to final color schemes consistent with the development's surroundings.

"My office conducted a site visit with the builder and constituents, and the builder committed to augmenting landscaping plans with more trees for screening purposes. There are also plans to take community input on final paint colors for the homes, so that they blend in to the surroundings more easily," Williams said.

"I have also encouraged several concerned folks to give us their legislative ideas for changes to regulations governing this kind of project, and have received nothing back at this point," he said. "I also welcome specific legislative proposals from the Mayor and the City of Santa Barbara."

Lisa Gardiner is the communications director for State. Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.


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