Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) Board of Directors recently elected their 2021 leadership and approved the Board of Directors regular meeting schedule through December.
Buellton Mayor Holly Sierra was named board chair and First District County Supervisor Das Williams will serve as vice chair. The board expressed appreciation to outgoing chair, Second District County Supervisor Gregg Hart.
Additionally, four newly elected city and county representatives joined the Board of Directors. They are Guadalupe Mayor Ariston Julian, Fourth District County Supervisor Bob Nelson, Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne, and Solvang Mayor Charlie Uhrig.
“The era of 2020, amid the COVID-19 global public health crisis, stressed the importance of regional transportation investments and construction activities throughout Santa Barbara County to improve our communities, put people to work, and promote economic recovery,” Sierra said.
“Looking forward to 2021, I will work with my board colleagues, SBCAG staff and our community partners to seek federal investment to meet the demands of moving goods and people through our county, including aggressively pursuing full funding to complete the Highway 101 project in the South Coast, and creating opportunities to prioritize safety improvements on our local roads for bicyclists and pedestrians,” she said.
In 2021, SBCAG in partnership with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will continue to focus on the Santa Barbara U.S. 101 Multimodal Corridor Project, which is the top transportation priority project of the region through Measure A, the transportation sales tax measure passed by voters in 2008.
In 2018, Measure A funding helped leverage $184 million in competitive State Senate Bill 1 funding for the project from Carpinteria to Summerland, which began construction in April 2020.
In the new year, SBCAG will seek federal investment through stimulus opportunities and the reauthorization of the federal surface transportation bill to support the project. Additional funding will also help to improve local connections for pedestrians, bicyclists as well as transit and rail users.
The public can stay informed on construction activities and progress by signing up to receive updates at www.sbroads.com.
The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process that began in 2020 is anticipated to conclude this year. RHNA is coordinated by SBCAG as directed by the State of California to support how Santa Barbara communities can adequately plan to meet the housing needs for our region.
The board will also consider adoption of Connected 2050, Santa Barbara County’s next Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP-SCS). The RTP-SCS is a long-range transportation plan that is updated every four years and helps guide future planning efforts and policy decisions that affect transportation, including its relationship with housing and land use.
Other notable efforts this year include integrating the 2020 Census data into transportation planning efforts; adoption of the Federal Transportation Improvement Program, which outlines when and how federal transportation funds are to be spent in Santa Barbara County; and adoption of an updated Public Participation Plan.
SBCAG also is collaborating with the Caltrans District 5 and Central Coast partners to develop a U.S. 101 Business Plan and apply for a grant to create a Central Coast Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy.
Regular meetings of the SBCAG Board of Directors take place at 10 a.m. on the third Thursday of each month. Board meetings, temporarily, do not provide in-person public participation in response to state and regional stay-at-home orders designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Alternative methods of participation are listed on meeting agendas, on SBCAG’s website www.sbcag.org