The Santa Barbara Police Department has released a list of five ideal sites for its new police station.
According to a Wednesday news release the new sites are the vacant Sears at the La Cumbre Mall, the Earl Warren Showgrounds, the Louise Lowry Davis Center and the Cota Street commuter lot. The department is also considering building the new station at its current location of 215 E. Figueroa St.
City Council will consider 18 potential sites and a “no project” option this month. Once a preferred site and four alternates are selected an environmental review process will begin.
“Our police station is a busy place. Currently, it takes four separate buildings to house operations. Today’s facilities have not been earthquake retrofitted (as required by California’s Essential Services Buildings Seismic Safety Act of 1986),” read the news release.
The current station also does not have enough bathrooms for the department’s 22 female officers and the cramped interview rooms are too close to witness areas. Storage space is also lacking which makes equipment difficult to access.
“In 2017, with the passage of Measure C, Santa Barbarans chose to create a new police station to address the current inadequacies and to support both the special equipment necessities and everyday patrol needs,” read the news release.
City staff are analyzing the size, parking, zoning, access to high call areas and costs associated with each site. The project will be more expensive if the existing site is not City owned.
Staff will review site considerations with City Council on Tuesday.
Community members are invited to attend and provide comments.
All of the site criteria, analysis, and environmental review documents are available at www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov/PoliceStation, under the Planning Documents tab.
The staff report to City Council will describe the site selection process and the recommended sites. It will be posted on the City Council website today.
All the new preferred site proposals have the benefit of parking and at least an adequate level of space for the project.