The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday will hold a public review of the city’s draft sea-level rise adaptation plan.
The plan will identify actions the city can take to mitigate sea-level rise impacts, including recommendations for actions in the near-, mid- and long-term. It will provide detailed recommendations for necessary actions in the next 10 years and a structure for decision making beyond 10 years.
The draft plan recommends initially developing a Shoreline Monitoring Plan and a five-year implementation plan that prioritizes near-term actions and identifies potential costs, funding options, timelines, and resources needed for each action.
The city’s adaptation plan considers potential impacts due to coastal erosion of beaches and bluffs, inundation by regular high tides and impacts from waves and flooding during a 100-year coastal storm. The study area does not include the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport and Goleta Slough, as the areas have been studied as part of a separate master plan.
The plan includes the following assumptions: up to 0.8 feet of sea-level rise by 2030; 0.8 to 2.5 feet of sea-level rise by 2060; and 2.5 to 6.6 feet of sea-level rise by 2100.
Some of the near-term actions include: raising or modifying the breakwater at the Santa Barbara Harbor; implementing sand bypassing or berms at East Beach, Leadbetter Beach and Arroyo Burro Beach; relocating major water utility lines south of Cabrillo Boulevard; reconstructing the Laguna Creek tide gate; and potentially redesigning the El Estero Water Resource Center.
Long term actions include: pursuing flood protection measures for low-lying areas, such as levees along the waterfront; raising the grades around the harbor or relocating certain facilities; and potentially reconstructing, redesigning or removing Stearns Wharf.
Tuesday will mark the beginning of an extensive public outreach and comment period on the draft plan. The public outreach will begin Tuesday and run through Sept. 30, featuring reviews by city committees and commissions and a public question-and-answer webinar. Following public outreach and revisions, recommendations will be made to the city council, which would then consider adopting the final plan, according to the staff report.
In other business, the council will discuss designating St. Paul’s African Methodist Episcopal Church as an official City Landmark.
The city’s Historic Landmarks Commission recommended the church, at 502 Olive St., be added to the city’s Historic Resources List in 1990 due to its architectural style and historical significance to the city. The commission’s HLC designation subcommittee directed staff to pursue the landmark designation at its July 11, 2018 meeting.
In June 2020, after the death of George Floyd and related protests throughout the country and the world, the HLC received 695 letters requesting it priorizie the “designation of places important to preserving African-American culture, including the recognition of St. Paul’s AME Church as a Landmark,” the staff report reads.
At its July 8 meeting, the HLC voted 8-0 in favor of adopting a resolution recommending the council designate the church as a landmark.
Also Tuesday, the council will receive a COVID-19 update, which will include the potential adoption of an emergency ordinance to extend and amend the city’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan. The update will also include a presentation from the Latinx and Indigenous Migrant COVID-19 Response Task Force regarding their outreach and awareness campaign to the local Latino community.
Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be held virtually. To watch the meeting, visit www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov/CAP.