Members of the Santa Barbara City Council will discuss Senate Bill 35 on Tuesday in the regular City Council meeting.
SB 35 provides a streamlined, ministerial approval process for eligible multi-unit housing projects by using “objective design standards” — standards that don’t allow personal or subjective judgment by a public official.
Staff chose using Spanish Colonial Revival style for the template for these standards, because: “state law allows use of a specific architectural style as long as the elements are clearly defined; it is a well-known and loved style in the city, and is one of the three required styles within the EPV Landmark District; it uses simple, climate-appropriate, weather-protecting, energy-efficient building techniques that are pedestrian oriented and human scaled; and there are many excellent local examples of this style to emulate.”
“Reviewing eligible multi-unit housing projects for compliance with objective design standards rather than for consistency with subjective design guidelines is a significant change from the city’s typical review and approval process for new development,” the staff report says. “The objective design standards balance maintaining the city’s high standards for aesthetics and sensitivity to historic context with streamlining the planning process to increase housing in compliance with state law.”
In other business, the council will be recommended to pass an ordinance establishing hazard-based premium pay for grocery and drug retail workers. The ordinance was discussed during the April 20 meeting, and the council gave direction to establish 60 days of $5 per hour “hero pay” for grocery and drug retail workers in companies with 300 or more employees nationally.
“At the same time, council expressed concern about minimizing the impact of the proposal on small, local employers that have not reaped the outsized profits of national chains. While council has not yet specified a minimum size limit, many of the comparable city ordinances include a minimum local size of 20 employees,” the staff report says.
Staff also included full or partial credit for employers that already provide hazard pay above the base wage rate.
Council members will also consider a request from Mayor Cathy Murillo and Council member Kristen Sneddon to discuss the city organizing and producing the Annual State of the City event. The council would create a video and share it on various platforms specifically on a week day evening or Saturday at a community-focused open house.