Parking at residential developments proposed under the city of Santa Barbara’s Average Unit-Size Density Incentive Program may soon be more plentiful, if the City Council decides to amend the program today.
Under amendments proposed in the new ordinance, AUD program projects located outside of Santa Barbara’s Central Business District with three or more bedrooms will be required to have a minimum of two on-site parking spaces per unit, an increase from the current requirement of one space per unit regardless of unit size or number of bedrooms, according to a city staff report.
Low-income projects and senior housing developments will be exempt from this amendment.
The City Council approved the AUD program in 2013 to increase residential housing in Santa Barbara by building smaller, more affordable rental units in greater density.
The council introduced the new parking amendment after an appeal for an AUD project at 1818 Castillo St., which consisted of two two-bedroom units, five three-bedroom units, and eight parking spaces.
As the public responded to the project with some concern, increasing minimum parking to two spaces per three-bedroom unit aims to “better meet the anticipated parking demand of larger AUD Program units outside of the CBD, reducing the demand for on-street parking in residential multi-unit areas that are more dependent on automobile transportation.”
Due to lower automobile dependency, additional parking will not be required within the Central Business District, located between De La Vina and Garden streets and between Sola Street and Highway 101.
The ordinance will include an amendment prohibiting AUD program projects from being converted into hotels and another lifting the program’s parking incentive from existing mobile home parks. For the latter, any new multi-unit developments at the six existing mobile home parks within the AUD program boundary will be required to provide parking based on bedroom count rather than either the current AUD program minimum of one space per unit.
Today’s council meeting will be held at 2 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.