The Santa Barbara City Council will consider appropriate protests to the renewal of the downtown and old town business improvement districts assessments for 2021.
The improvement districts have provided marketing and promotional services for downtown businesses for several decades, and merchants in both pay for the services through an assessment based on their business license fee, location and type of business.
The downtown and old town business improvement district revenues are projected to generate approximately $170,000 in business assessments to fund marketing and promotional activities for downtown businesses, according to the staff report. On June 30, 2020, the City Council approved an annual agreement with Downtown Santa Barbara to provide $310,000 for marketing, promotion and event services. Combined with other revenue sources, Downtown Santa Barbara has an estimated total budget of $579,130.
Under state law, the council is required to conduct an annual public hearing to consider protests to renew the assessments.
In other business, the council will be recommended to uphold the appeal of the Public Works Department and grant project design and final approval of the Westside Community Paseos Project and find that the Sola Street bike-friendly street diverters are required for functional safety.
“Public Works staff and the city’s traffic engineer believe that the functionality and engineering features of the project are necessary to safely implement the City Council approved bike-friendly street and disagree with the HLC’s determination that the project visually disrupts the historic city grid and blocks views of the mountains,” the staff report reads. “For improvement of the aesthetics of the project, staff recommends that a landscape architect be retained, and requests that one or two HLC members volunteer to work with the staff team to provide recommendations on landscape and materials.”
In addition, council members will consider approving the Fiscal Year 2022 funding recommendations of the Community Development and Human Services Committee (CDHSC) for use of Human Services and Community Development Block Grant funds. They will also be asked to authorize the community development director to negotiate and execute grant agreements implementing the funding recommendations, subject to review and approval as to form by the city attorney and conduct a public hearing to gain input on the city’s annual action plan for FY 2022.
Of the total $1,745,691, the following is available per funding category: Public/Human Service: $860,587; Capital: $645,855; CDBG Administration/Fair Housing: $239,249.
The Ordinance Committee will also meet at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss zoning ordinance amendments and objective design standards for affordable streamlined housing projects.
Because Senate Bill 35 was signed into law providing a streamlined, ministerial approval process for housing projects, amendments are necessary because reviewing eligible multi-unit housing projects for compliance with objective design standards rather than for consistency with subjective design guidelines is a significant change from the city’s typical review and approval process for new development.
The regular City Council meeting will begin at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, and can be viewed on city TV channel 18 or streamed live at www.santabarbaraca.gov/CAP.