In a major work effort to meet the City of Santa Barbara’s goals, policies and implementation measures of the General Plan’s Historic Resources Element, city planners are proposing amendments to the existing Historic Resources Ordinance.
The amendments, which apply citywide, aim to ensure the continued protection, preservation and enhancement of historical, architectural and archaeological resources; streamline the review process of potential designations and restoration projects to historic resources; and outline a process and criteria for designating historic districts.
To inform property owners of historic resources around the preservation principles, appropriate treatment of historic resources and the city’s architectural design review process before beginning a project, staff and members of the Historic Landmarks Commission developed Historic Resource Design Guidelines. The Santa Barbara City Council will be asked to adopt the guidelines Tuesday afternoon.
The guidelines are available to view on the city’s website at SantaBarbaraCA.gov/hrdg, and provide specific instructions on: windows, doors, exterior woodwork, exterior plaster and masonry, roofs, roof elements and chimneys, porches and balconies, paint, additions, new construction, accessory dwelling units, streetscape, landscape and lighting elements and more.
“The overarching goal of the guidelines is to protect the historical and architectural integrity of significant historic structures and landscapes in Santa Barbara,” the draft document with the guidelines reads. “Incorporating these guidelines into a project’s design will encourage more compatible architecture, attractive development in historic districts, context-sensitive design and contribute to the overall historic character of the city.”
Major elements of the proposed Historic Resources Ordinance would: streamline the process to designate historic resources; outline a process to initiate, nominate and designate Historic Districts; include a new section on enforcement and penalties; establish a Certificate of Appropriateness process to review and approve minor maintenance administratively; update and incorporate definitions and language consistent with State and National Historic Preservation standards; create a consistent format for findings for each type of historic resource; eliminate redundant sections already included in Title 30; and remove outdated ordinance provisions, among others.
In similar business, the City Council will be asked to consider proposed amendments related to the Architectural Board of Review Single-Family Design Board and Sign Regulations to maintain consistency with the concurrent amendments proposed to the HLC in the new Historic Resources Ordinance.
The proposed amendments to the ABR Ordinance will revise the section pertaining to the project compatibility analysis, as well as the section dealing with appeals to the project compatibility analysis to Council.
Specifically, the amendments clarify that the project compatibility analysis requires that the board make “findings” as the basis to support their decision, as opposed to referring to the analysis as merely “considerations.”
“This simple clarification will make it clear to applicants and interested parties of the limitations and basis of the board’s decision should they wish to appeal,” the staff report says.
A change is also being added to the proposed “Project Compatibility Findings” to specify that the board must find that a project is consistent with design guidelines applicable to the location of the project within the city, intended to alert applicants to identify the design guidelines appropriate to their project location before bringing a design proposal to the ABR.
The 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.