The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday will discuss amending the current sit-lie ordinance to portions of Cacique and Milpas streets.
The council directed the City Attorney’s Office during the April 28 meeting to prepare a proposed extension of the ordinance to “certain high traffic portions” on the city’s Eastside, while also requesting a supplemental legal analysis.
The city’s Ordinance Committee recommended adoption of the proposed ordinance on May 19, though the committee requested the coverage area extend north of Milpas to Mason Street, as opposed to ending at the Highway 101 roundabout at Carpinteria Street as was originally proposed.
“The Ordinance Committee found the two-block section of Milpas Street between Carpinteria and Mason Streets to suffer from the same conditions that apply elsewhere in the proposed corridor, namely, narrow sidewalks, heavy pedestrian traffic, and high levels of vehicular traffic on the street,” the staff report reads.
The committee further recommended that council direct a review of “sidewalk obstruction issues” along Milpas Street as far north as Canon Perdido Street, while also calling for a “civic engagement public meeting” for nearby residents.
The city has already regulated sitting and lying down on the first 13 blocks of State Street, and in 2018 added the first two blocks of East Haley Street to address sidewalk obstruction. The ordinance applies from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
The proposed amendment would add South Milpas Street between Calle Puerto Vallarta and Mason Street, including the 101 roundabout, as well as along Cacique Street between South Milpas and South Alisos streets.
“Both streets experience very high vehicle traffic volumes. Sidewalk obstructions force pedestrians into vehicle travel lanes,” the staff report reads.
These types of ordinances are considered “generally lawful,” though neither the council nor law enforcement officials can target those laws against people experiencing homelessness. The staff report cites “serious constitutional limits against laws the courts find to criminalize indigent, homeless people who reside outdoors voluntarily,” adding the importance to limit the ordinance to specific geographical areas with time limits.
In other business, the council will receive a presentation from the Community Development Department and the City Attorney’s Office regarding the fiscal year 2021 recommended budget.
It will mark the sixth budget work session, as various city departments have presented their respective budgets to the council before adoption of the budget.
At a meeting scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. June 15, the council will receive final budget recommendations from the Finance Committee and staff will be asking the council for final direction.
Also on Tuesday, the council will receive a report from Novak Consulting Group on the preliminary findings of a Land Development Process Improvement Study, while also hearing recommendations from the city’s COVID-19 Business Advisory Task Force. The council will be asked to initiate a municipal code amendment to address scope of plan review and building inspection.
Tuesday’s meeting will be held at 2 p.m. To stream online, visit www.santabarbaraca.gov/cap. Visit the city’s website to learn how to participate electronically.