Community Development Director George Buell has announced the appointment of Marck Aguilar as acting business liaison for Santa Barbara.

Aguilar will begin working immediately to facilitate projects through the city’s review and permitting processes for a variety of private, nonresidential development projects on a portion of the State Street corridor, and other high priority-economic development projects throughout the city.
The business liaison will act as the central point of contact for development projects, opening the lines of communication and offering solutions to issues or conflicting regulations, and will follow the project through to completion.

Aguilar will facilitate communication between project applicants and city staff, and allow for a coordinated and efficient movement of applications between departments. This position will report to city planner Renee Brooke until decisions regarding the formation of an economic development division or department are made.

Projects meeting any one of the following criteria will fall under the purview of the business liaison:

Private nonresidential or mixed-use development projects (new, remodel, addition) requiring a building permit and located on State Street between Gutierrez and Sola streets. Any improvement that requires a building permit and involves a hotel, large grocery store, or auto dealership. Other projects, as directed by the community development director.

In addition to being the initial point of contact, Aguilar will help applicants to understand the city’s requirements, which will enable them to submit complete applications and avoid possible delays; work as a liaison between city divisions, including Planning, Building and Safety, Transportation Planning, Engineering, Environmental Services, Creeks, City Attorney, Fire Prevention, and others as needed from application submittal through permit plan check.

He also will facilitate communication and positive working relationships. Acting in this capacity should significantly reduce the amount of time applicants spend going from department to department.

Buell said the appointment of this new position will provide quick relief for businesses on State Street and qualifying projects elsewhere in the city that require assistance.

“With over 20 years of service with the city in various capacities in land development, design review, permitting and capital improvement project management, Marck brings a wealth of knowledge, professionalism and skills that will serve both the city and our customers exceptionally well,” Buell said.

The appointment is part of a larger effort now underway by City Administrator Paul Casey to develop and staff an Economic Development Program for Santa Barbara.

— George Buell for city of Santa Barbara.