Wednesday, November 14 , 2018, 3:26 am | Fair 51º


Santa Barbara Ordinance Committee On Board with Stearns Wharf Fishing Ban

The move would allow the city to enforce current 'No Fishing' signs often ignored by the public; the panel also approves a Solar Energy Systems Ordinance

The City of Santa Barbara plans to replace the current “No Fishing” markings on Stearns Wharf with permanent signs.
The City of Santa Barbara plans to replace the current “No Fishing” markings on Stearns Wharf with permanent signs. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

The Santa Barbara Ordinance Committee on Tuesday voted unanimously to move forward with a fishing ban in some areas of Stearns Wharf.

The city has more than a dozen "No Fishing" signs on the wharf, but they are sometimes ignored by people who fish. The city doesn't have an ordinance in place to formally prevent people from fishing from any spot on the wharf.

The committee, made up of council members Frank Hotchkiss, Cathy Murillo and Randy Rowse, voted 3-0 to move the proposed ordinance to the City Council. Fishing will still be allowed in designated wharf spots.

Waterfront Director Mick Kronman said the new signs will look better than many of the faded stenciled ones do now.

"The wharf quite frankly is festooned with these things, and it is really not a welcoming message to folks visiting," Kronman said. 

Kronman said that by creating the ordinance the city will also be able to reduce the number of signs on the wharf. 

Although most people obey the "No Fishing" signs currently on the wharf, Kronman said a small group of unruly fishermen ignore the signs and fish in spots that are close to cars and pedestrians.

The practice of hooking, baiting, cutting and casting can pose dangers to people in close proximity.

"We have a million pedestrians out there and 250,000 vehicles on Stearns Wharf," Kronman said. "This is a safety issue."

Councilwoman Murillo asked that the signs also be printed in Spanish. Kronman said her suggestion was a "good idea" and that he would look into it.

The ordinance committee also unanimously approved a Solar Energy Systems Ordinance, which will make it easier for homeowners to install solar panels at their homes.

The ordinance, which is being enacted in response to AB 2188, would expedite the issuance of permits and limit the review of solar energy systems to only the review of health and life-safety requirements, but prohibit discretionary design board reviews, and make solar permits available electronically.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina 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.

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