Cupcakes were shared and city officials clinked their plastic champagne flutes and downed sparkling cider, as the Goleta City Council on Tuesday adopted the city’s New Zoning Ordinance.
It was a historic night for the city, which voted to adopt on first reading the new NZO after hundreds of hours of planning work, more than 20 public meetings and open houses last year alone, and direction from the city’s Planning Commission and City Council.
“Thanks to the unprecedented high level of public involvement and input, the Goleta Zoning Ordinance tailors the code inherited from Santa Barbara County to Goleta’s needs,” Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said in a statement. “Goleta residents, staff, and people who work and play here will gain great benefits from the new Ordinance’s greater predictability, consistency, and clarity.”
Second reading of the NZO is scheduled for March 3. The new ordinances will replace the city’s existing zoning regulations in their entirety. The NZO lays out rules and regulations for land use and development on private property. City officials say the purpose of the new ordinance is to implement the city’s General Plan, as well as protect and promote the public health, safety, peace and comfort. It is the city’s first independent zoning ordinance, something Advance Planning Manager Annie Wells said makes for “an exciting time” for the Good Land.
“We are on the brink of General Plan-consistent land use regulations that reflect the desire and needs of our community,” she said in a statement. “Once adopted, the regulations, Title 17 of the Goleta Municipal Code, will be available to the public in an online platform and is a welcome step into the 21st Century – a milestone initiative that will affect every land use and development decision the city makes.”
The city’s current Zoning Ordinance was inherited from Santa Barbara County upon incorporation in 2002. As a result, city officials said it did not reflect the city’s land-use vision in its General Plan, which was adopted in 2006.
Goleta city officials have been working on the NZO since 2013, when the City Council authorized staff to prepare new zoning regulations and a new zoning map. Following robust public outreach, the revised draft NZO was released to the public in January 2019. At least nine additional Planning Commission workshops, six open houses and one joint City Council and Planning Commission meeting was held, as well as three Planning Commission hearings last fall.
“Years of work have paid off and Goleta’s New Zoning Ordinance is finally here,” Peter Imhof, director of planning and environmental review for the city, said in a statement. “We are tremendously grateful for all who participated in this process. The final product is the result of a true collaboration over a long period by many people.”
To learn more about the NZO, visit www.goletazoning.com.