On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara City Council will be recommended to adopt an ordinance preventing the unauthorized removal of shopping carts from commercial premises and facilitating the retrieval of abandoned carts.
State law already makes it unlawful to remove a shopping cart from business premises or possess it after it’s been removed, so the ordinance wouldn’t add any additional penalties for individuals who steal carts. Instead, it will focus on cart recovery and management by requiring shopping cart owners to secure their carts during hours when their business is closed, identifying each cart with name, address and telephone number of the owner and a notification of violation if stolen.
“Abandoned shopping carts constitute a nuisance, create potential hazards to the health and safety of the public, and interfere with pedestrian and vehicular traffic on streets, sidewalks and private property. The objective of this proposed ordinance is to provide a mechanism to place primary responsibility for managing cart service with the owner of the cart and to set requirements for the prompt retrieval of carts that have been taken off business premises,” the staff report reads.
The council will also be asked to initiate a plan to allow medical clinic uses, affordable housing and public uses for 3237 State St., along with changing the land use designation.
The U.S. Department of Defense is in the process of transferring the property at 3237 State St., which was previously an Army Reserve Center, to the Department of Indian Health Services.
The plan proposes limited uses to facilitate the proposed medical clinic use and the potential for future affordable housing and/or public facility, public park and recreational use.
Staff recommends a designation of medium density residential, which is 12 dwelling units per acre.
If the council initiates the request for a general plan amendment and specific plan, the applicant will then submit a complete formal application for them and the Planning Commission would conduct a public hearing for recommendations.
Also coming to the council’s desk is the proposed Coast Village Community Benefit District, which council will be asked to consider.
The Coast Village Association is seeking Santa Barbara’s financial support in the amount of $30,000 to initiate its formation to implement robust marketing, promotional campaigns and other enhanced improvements.
“Property owners within a district, once approved through a Proposition 218 public hearing process, would pay property assessments to fund special services above and beyond general municipal service levels,” the staff report reads. “The assessments may pay for services such as additional sidewalk sweeping; beautification programs; district branding and marketing and promotions; parking mitigation programs; district administration; and possibly programs to mitigate the homeless issues in the area.”
According to the staff report, a number of property owners have indicated support to form the district and pay the property assessments.
In other business, the council will be asked to approve a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which outlines a series of policies and action items to aid in implementation.
Some of the CWPP’s key proposals include: acknowledging climate change as a significant contributing factor in the increase in wildland fires; renaming “high fire hazard areas” to “high fire hazard severity zone” and “very high fire hazard severity zone” to be consistent with CAL FIRE; expanding the zones beyond their current borders based on modeling; increasing vegetation management; discussing potential impacts on insurance rates; and adding population and housing as a studied area, among others.
“The completed documents represent the culmination of three years of effort by staff, consultants and the community to create a plan to help protect lives, property and natural resources from the threat of wildfire,” the staff report reads. “The CWPP process is intended to provide the community a forum for identifying values at risk from wildfire, which may include people, property, natural resources, cultural values, economic interests and infrastructure. The identification of these values at risk by the community strongly influences the potential wildfire hazard mitigation projects identified in the CWPP.”
In the consent calendar, council members will be recommended to authorize applying for a state grant of $8,500,000 for the Ortega Park Revitalization Project. Environmental review of the project is underway and Planning Commission consideration of the project is anticipated in spring of 2021.
The city council will recognize the retirement of Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, and congratulate her for her public service as well.
The meeting will take place on Tuesday at 2 p.m, and can be viewed in English and Spanish on City TV Channel 18 or streamed live at www.santabarbaraca.gov/cap.
In addition to the regular meeting on Tuesday, the Santa Barbara City Council will also hold a special council meeting on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m., where council members will hear a presentation from staff related to the development of the Fiscal Year 2022 financial plan.
Staff will also present an overview of major economic indicators reviewed and considered, which are particularly informative for this budget cycle as it relates to the economic impacts due to COVID. The presentation will include a summary of recent revenue trends, projected costs and a long-term forecast of the city’s finances.
The special meeting can be viewed in English and Spanish on City TV Channel 18, or streamed live at www.santabarbaraca.gov/CAP.