Wednesday, August 15 , 2018, 7:10 am | Fair 64º


Local News

Jay Higgins Announces Candidacy for Santa Barbara City Council 4th District

Chair of Planning Commission brings “independent expert” mentality to campaign

Jay Higgins Click to view larger
Jay Higgins

Jay Higgins, a certified land use planner, current chair of the Santa Barbara Planning Commission and 25-year Santa Barbara resident has announced his intention to run for City Council in Santa Barbara’s first Fourth District election this fall.

After speaking to a crowd of supporters downtown just before noon, he filed his nomination papers and candidate statement at City Hall.

“While our colorful history, extraordinary location and unique character give us many advantages, we face serious challenges to the livability and fiscal stability of our community,”
Higgins said. 

“And what I’ve seen recently is that our collective vision and fundamentals have blurred, impacting our families, neighborhoods, businesses and civic nature. I’m concerned, but I’m also optimistic and confident that the solutions exist. In running for City Council, it is with hope that my set of skills could enhance the debates, fostering more informed decisions and bolder leadership.”

Higgins is veteran local land-use planner, who currently serves as chair of the city Planning Commission, where he applies his professional but independent expertise, un-tethered from the
political parties.

His voting record centers on protecting neighborhoods, creating aesthetically valuable housing and cutting red tape at City Hall. He is also known for having spearheaded and
hosted the Santa Barbara Citizens Planning Academy, an eight-week free course that is led by a team of local experts that teach citizens of Santa Barbara about our history, character, planning
and environmental leadership.

A resident of the Fourth District from the San Roque neighborhood, he is a UCSB environmental studies graduate and a married father with two children in local public schools.

Higgins believes that Santa Barbara is already experiencing negative results from tough decisions too long ignored. Basic infrastructure – water, streets, sidewalks, schools, landmarks –
are crumbling, and need longer term commitment to vision.

Housing has become unaffordable to most people, and fine balance between new development and historic preservation requires some deep conversations. Moreover, Highway 101’s improvements are moving too slowly, and State Street’s vibrancy and local flavor is sliding into vacancy and chain stores.

The Fourth District is large, spanning the northern boundary of Santa Barbara, and including the neighborhoods of San Roque, the Upper East, the Riviera, Sycamore Canyon and Coast Village

Higgins has already begun walking door to door, stating, “Clearly, my priorities within the District will be to protect neighborhood integrity and historical resources, maintain support for
fire and emergency evacuation plans, and encourage policies that help merchants prosper.

“Our city has a rich tradition of community leaders coming together to overcome significant challenges. The rebuilding of Santa Barbara after the (1925) earthquake still shapes our skyline,
and today, I believe our city faces a similar critical moment. Coupled with vision, I believe I can apply sound metrics and fundamental approaches to addressing Santa Barbara’s current
challenges. We must take decisive action now to shape and protect the future we want for our kids, or we risk losing some of what we cherish about this city.”


“At a time when housing, land use issues and water are top priorities, Jay's presence on council would bring much needed expertise in those areas. As a planning commissioner, businessman
and father, he is truly invested in this community, and I'd be honored to have him as a colleague on council.” – Randy Rowse, City Councilman and restaurateur

“Jay’s outstanding performance on the Planning Commission has demonstrated to me why he would make a great City Councilman. He is very knowledgeable of the issues and regulations we
deal with in the City, exhibits logical and focused thoughts on each issue and is consistently polite and friendly to all. With his no-nonsense and common-sense approach to City issues there is no
doubt that he would make an excellent City Councilman.” – Addison Thompson, Planning Commissioner and Fourth District resident

“Jay’s leadership in creating the Santa Barbara Citizens Planning Academy is an example of his talent and dedication to our community. Equally important, he’s the rare candidate with
children still in local schools. That ground-level vantage of how families actually live in our town is something often missing on the City Council. So, Jay brings depth of professional experience
and a much-needed family perspective.” – Suzanne Elledge, land use planner, business owner and Fourth District resident

“As a trustee of the Natural History Museum I fought hard to raise money for, and lead, the Museum's Centennial Campaign renovation plans. Jay's was a voice of reason on the Planning
Commission and, without him, I don't know if we would have been able to move forward with our plans. He’s definitely the right fit for City Council.” – Palmer Jackson, Jr., trustee for the Ann Jackson Family Foundation

“What Jay brings to the City Council is a small business and family perspective...something we need more of from our council. Our business is in the Fourth District, and we’d be relieved to know he’s there for us. When it comes to what businesses need from city hall, he ‘gets’ it.” – Christine and Dave Dawson, owners of San Roque Pet Hospital and Fourth District residents

“I am fully endorsing Jay Higgins for the Fourth District representative on City Council. His background on the Planning Commission and education in Environmental Studies uniquely equip
him to have a designer’s eye on the revitalization of downtown, as well as continuing to move Santa Barbara toward a sustainable future. Thank you, Jay, for making the commitment to use
your talents to better our community!” – Paul Porier, AIA and Fourth District resident

“If there's any candidate who truly understands the fine balance between planning and development that makes Santa Barbara so special, it's Jay Higgins.” – Brian Cearnal, AIA, LEED AP


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 Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

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
One click only, please!

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 >