The Santa Barbara City Council will meet Tuesday and discuss installing interim intersection delineators and lighting for the State Street promenade.
The closure of the State Street area to promote economic recovery for downtown businesses successfully stimulated vitality to the downtown, according to the staff report.
However, the State Street Subcommittee is looking toward the future of the promenade, and looking to replace the construction barricades and borrowed plantings.
“Although not permanent, the interim intersection control could look less like a construction detour and more appropriate to the aesthetic and commercial feel of State Street,” the staff report reads. “Additionally, the existing construction barricades are not effective at channelizing bicyclists and pedestrians, which are now sharing the roadway section. Finally, the lighting on the roadway section of Downtown State Street is not designed for people and activities. The interim promenade could use more lighting within the roadway section.”
The council will receive a recommendation from the subcommittee to approve the installation of interim intersection delineators and lighting to last until a permanent design is determined.
The subcommittee suggested large terracotta pots, iron-looking traffic delineators, a green bike path and string lighting in addition to the Holiday tree lighting starting Nov. 1.
In other business, the council will be asked to approve a Mobilehome Park Overlay Zone and re-establish Mobilehome Park Vacancy Rent Control, in order to protect existing mobile home parks from redevelopment to other uses.
Santa Barbara has seven existing mobile home parks with a total of 333 units.
“These parks are unique communities that provide residents with affordable housing, including housing for low-income seniors,” the staff report reads. “During the AUD Program assessment … both the Planning Commission and City Council requested additional protections for mobilehome parks following the removal of the parking incentive. The proposed amendments provide those protections.”
The Overlay Zone would limit the allowed uses in the seven existing parks to mobile homes, permanent recreational vehicles and accessory uses. The Ordinance Committee also requests re-establishing vacancy controls over rental rates for mobilehome parks, which limits the amount a park owner can increase rents when a mobile home owner sells their home.
City staff found that this Overlay Zone is consistent with the city’s General Plan, will not result in environmental impacts, encourages retention of existing structures and the maximum potential of material lifespans, and reduces waste associated with demolition and redevelopment.
Also on Tuesday, the council will be recommended to deny the appeal to approve a Coastal Development Permit for the Olive Mill Roundabout Project.
In August of 2020, the Planning Commission approved the application for a project at the Olive Mill Road/Jameson Lane/Highway 101 intersection, reconfiguring the six-legged intersection to a single lane roundabout.
The project aims to include new road curvature (to slow traffic), pedestrian refuge islands, sidewalks, street lighting, signage, crosswalks, landscaping and drainage facilities.
Scott Wenz of Cars Are Basic filed an appeal, asserting the project fails to “minimize Vehicle Miles Traveled” and “failed to evaluate VMT impacts associated with the project.”
Specifically, Mr. Wenz listed the following issues with the project: there was no environmental study analyzing VMT; it violates the Coastal Act in that it doesn’t minimize energy consumption; and it violates the City Land Use Policy for the same reason.
Staff recommends to deny the appeal, but to also make the findings that the project is consistent with “all applicable policies of the City’s Local Coastal Plan, all applicable implementing guidelines and all applicable provisions of the Code because the project will improve the efficiency of the intersection, with a design that is sensitive to the character of the area including historic resources,” according to the staff report.
Staff wrote that the project “will enhance and restore the overall quality of the coastal zone, assure orderly utilization of the intersection, maximize public access to and along the coast and improve recreational facilities.”
The meeting will begin at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, and can be streamed live at www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov/CAP.