A rendering shows the proposed concept for the Surfliner Inn project at 499 Linden Ave. in Carpinteria.
A rendering shows the proposed concept for the Surfliner Inn project at 499 Linden Ave. in Carpinteria.

Should the Lompoc Unified School District be allowed to issue $125 million in bonds to pay for facility improvements? Can Goleta raise its sales tax rate to fund city services?

Should Carpinteria change the zoning for one downtown property to block the city’s proposed Surfliner Inn project?

Voters will decide on those and other questions for the local measures on Santa Barbara County’s Nov. 8 ballot.

The Santa Barbara County Elections Office has ballot information on its website for each of the measures, which are summarized below.

Read Noozhawk’s story from Monday for deadlines on registering to vote and returning your ballot.

Carpinteria Considers Rezoning a Specific Downtown Property

Carpinteria city voters will consider a zoning change for a downtown property that would affect the city’s ability to go forward with its Surfliner Inn project.

The city proposes a 39-room hotel that would be built and operated on the 499 Linden Ave. parcel that is currently a public parking lot. The city would lease the property to a private developer and hotel operator.

Parking and public restrooms would be moved across the railroad tracks to another city-owned lot. The project has not gone through its development review process yet.

Measure T, Save Our Downtown and Beach Parking Lot Initiative, qualified for the ballot and asks voters to change zoning for the city-owned property related to the project.

The initiative asks voters to change the 499 Linden Ave. property zoning from general commercial to open space recreation with a residential overlay, which would prohibit commercial development. Measure T also asks voters to re-adopt the open space recreation zoning for the adjacent property.

Read all of the ballot measure-related documents on the City Clerk website here.

“If Measure T2022 is approved, development of the Surfliner Inn would not be possible,” the Carpinteria City Attorney’s analysis of the measure reads.

“If Measure T2022 is not approved, Parcel A would maintain its current designations and the Surfliner Inn could be approved, approved with modifications, or denied through a public development review process,” wrote Jena Shoaf Acos, acting as city attorney.

In the argument in favor of Measure T, proponents Amrita Salm and Gary Campopiano wrote that they want to prevent commercial development of the city parking lot and protect downtown open space views from the mountains to the ocean.

In the argument against Measure T, Mayor Wade Nomura and three City Council members wrote that the initiative would prohibit construction of new parking and that proponents are opposed to the proposed hotel project.

Goleta Puts Flavored Tobacco Ban, Sales Tax Increase to Voters

Goleta’s City Council already banned the sale of flavored tobacco, but that ban was challenged with a referendum petition. The city decided to put its ordinance on November’s ballot as Measure C.

If approved with enough yes votes, the measure will allow the ban to take effect, and if it fails to pass, the city’s ban will not go into effect. 

To confuse things, there’s also a statewide proposition banning flavored tobacco sales on the ballot. Goleta’s ban would go into effect if approved, even if the state proposition fails to pass. If both propositions fail to pass, flavored tobacco sales will be allowed in the city.

Measure C’s flavored tobacco product ban applies to any tobacco product with a taste or smell other than tobacco, including menthol, mint, fruit flavored, candy flavors, herbs or spices.

The proposed state ban has exemptions for hookah, loose leaf tobacco and premium cigars.

Click here for the Goleta City Attorney’s impartial analysis of Measure C and ballot arguments in favor and against the measure.

All five Goleta City Council members signed the argument in favor of Measure C.

“Flavored tobacco is the way that the tobacco industry targets children to get them addicted early. This ordinance is meant to protect the health and well-being of our residents, especially our vulnerable youth,” they wrote.

Opponents of Measure C, including owners of local smoke shops, wrote that children should not have access to tobacco products and that adults will be forced to go back to traditional cigarettes rather than flavored tobacco alternatives if the ban goes through. The ban would also hurt local tobacco retailers, wrote Fouad Karroum, Norris Halak and Georg Farah.

Goleta also proposes a 1-cent sales tax increase, which would increase the rate to 8.75% from 7.75%.

The increased revenues, estimated at $10.6 million a year, would stay in Goleta’s budget and not be shared with the county, state or other agency, according to City Attorney Megan Garibaldi’s analysis of Measure B.

Guadalupe Wants to Increase Its Transient Occupancy Tax Rate, Type of Businesses Paying 

The City of Guadalupe proposes increasing its transient occupancy tax to 10% from 6% and including more types of businesses.

The new category of “lodging” would include levying the tax on stays of 30 days or less at any hotel, motel, short-term rental, bed and breakfast, lodging house, rooming house, apartment house, dormitory, public or private club, mobile home or house trailer at a fixed location, recreational vehicle park, campground, or parking area.

It exempts campsites within the state park system and housing operating for religious, charitable or educational purposes.

Generally, TOT (or bed tax) is levied on occupants by hotels, motels and short-term rental facilities associated with tourism and business travel.

The increased TOT rate of 10% would stay in effect until ended by voters, according to the Measure Z ballot text. A majority of voters need to approve the measure for it to pass and take effect.

Lompoc Asking Voters to Increase TOT

Lompoc proposes increasing its transient occupancy tax rate to 11% from 10% and allowing a 2% collection allowable discount for operators if they pay their tax revenues to the city on time.

The TOT increase requires a two-thirds vote to pass.

Solvang Proposes Increasing Sales Tax Rate

Solvang proposes increasing its sales tax rate (Measure U) 1% for a new rate of 8.75%. It will go into effect if it passes with majority voter approval.  

As Noozhawk previously reported, the city estimates the increase would generate $1.6 million in revenue per year to support essential services.

Buellton School District Asking Voters to Approve Bond Measure

The Buellton Union School District proposes a general obligation bond (Measure R) that needs at least 55% voter support to pass.

If approved, the district could issue up to $8.8 million of bonds, generating an average $731,600 per year to spend on school facility projects like classroom modernization, replacing roofs, and upgrading inadequate HVAC systems.

The money cannot be used for operating expenses, including teacher or administrator salaries.

College School District Proposes Bond Measure

The College School District proposes a general obligation bond (Measure Y) that needs at least 55% voter support to pass.

If approved, the district could issue up to $23 million in bonds to provide financing for facility projects like repairing or constructing classrooms, replacing roofs, updating playgrounds and sports fields, and renovating school points of entry to improve campus security.

The money cannot be used for operating expenses, including teacher or administrator salaries.

Guadalupe Union School District Proposes 2 Bond Measures

The Guadalupe Union School District proposes two general obligation bonds (Measure V and Measure W) on the November ballot. They both need at least 55% voter support to pass.

Measure V would allow the district to issue $8.5 million in bonds, generating an average $439,000 annually, to build a new junior high school, build a gymnasium for school and community use, and make facility improvements.

Measure W would allow the district to issue $8,490,000 in bonds, generating an average $438,000 annually, to fund facility projects such as modernizing classrooms and replacing roofs.

Hope School District Asking Voters to Renew Parcel Tax for Another 5 Years

The Hope School District proposes renewing its education parcel tax (Measure S) that voters passed in 2018.  

The district wants to extend, without increasing the tax rate, its existing parcel tax for another five years, starting on July 1, 2023. The rate of $79 per parcel, per year has exemptions for senior citizens and certain disabled people.

The measure would fund staffing costs, maintenance projects and facility improvements, according to the ballot text. 

Lompoc School District Proposes $125M Bond Measure

The Lompoc school district proposes a general obligation bond (Measure A), which needs at least 55% voter support to pass.

If approved, the district can sell up to $125 million in bonds to finance school facility projects. The money cannot be used for operating expenses including teacher and administrative salaries.

The district may need its debt to exceed the statutory bonding limit and if it does, it will seek a waiver of bonding limit from the state board of education, according to the ballot text.

This general obligation bond is estimated to cost 6 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation while the bonds are withstanding (about 38 years).

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.