Several Goleta residents stopped by the council chambers of Goleta City Hall on Monday morning to see where their properties stood under the city of Goleta’s revised zoning ordinance.
The city released a revised draft of its new zoning ordinance on Thursday along with a series of related documents, which were available at the open house for the public’s viewing and inquiry.
The open house precedes a forthcoming series of seven workshops, during which attendees will be guided through the ordinance’s finer details and be able to inquire further before the ordinance undergoes more revisions.
The first three workshops will be held 6 p.m. on Feb. 26, March 6 and March 12 in council chambers at City Hall. They will focus on guiding policies and regulations and permit procedures.
The dates of the following four meetings have not been set.
According to the “overview of changes” included in the documents, the new zoning ordinance updates Goleta’s zoning regulations so they comply with the city’s General Plan, whereas the existing zoning ordinances reference Santa Barbara County’s land uses and review authorities, which planning manager Anne Wells called “outdated.”
Santa Barbara County planning and development director Dianne Black concurred with this and said it’s no surprise Goleta is doing away with the county’s regulations.
“We’ve since done a revision of our ordinance as well, so it’s not surprising to me,” she said.
It’s also not surprising since Goleta has held authority over its own zoning since it incorporated in 2002.
The new ordinance consolidates residential districts into larger and more general categories than those under the existing ordinance. Whereas its former zoning map divided single-family residential units into seven categories differentiated by square footage, the new ordinance bundles them into a singular “single family residential” category.
That is similarly done for other categories, such as planned residential, mobile home parks, and agriculture.
One major change in the new ordinance is the permitting of recreational vehicles to be parked in setbacks, the space between two houses, so long as the RVs are not used for living purposes.
Another is prohibiting the construction of any new oil and gas facilities that practice drilling or processing.
According to the ordinance, pipelines under the Public Utilities Commission can still get approval in the city and alterations and replacements of existing pipelines will be limited “to the minimum necessary to ensure safety or prevent environmental damage.”