Santa Barbara shoppers hoping for a Target to open on property owned by the City of Santa Barbara near the airport shouldn’t hold their breath. Meeting in closed session, Santa Barbara city councilmembers voted unanimously to abandon the Target option, despite widespread speculation that it could prove the most lucrative a for City Hall. Instead, they voted to open the property up to developers with proposals to build a cluster of smaller-scale industrial and R&D warehouses in the hope of attracting new high tech companies spawned by UCSB researchers, as well as the small manufacturers in the industrial area between the railroad tracks and the waterfront in Santa Barbara known as the Funk Zone. Some of the councilmembers expressed hope that those areas of the Funk Zone will someday provide space for housing development.
The 400 and 500 blocks of State Street will prove more than a little forbidding to cars, trees, and pedestrians in coming weeks, as city construction crews begin ripping out the most slippery, scary sidewalks within city limits and replacing them with safer, wider sidewalks that match those of the rest of downtown State Street. In the process, city construction crews will remove 51 street trees. Upon the project’s completion, 58 trees – some new, some replanted originals – will stand in the area.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday adopted two new ordinances that reform the county’s scandal-beset affordable homeownership program. The first is designed to maintain the existing affordable housing stock: When an owner of an affordable home sells it, the county executive can buy it back without waiting for concurrence from the Board of Supervisors. The second specifies sharp penalties for violating the owner-occupancy rule, which requires individuals participating in the affordable home program to live in the house they buy.