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The Santa Barbara City Council’s plans to place a height limit ordinance on this November’s ballot to compete with the one submitted by a coalition of slow-growthers earned a stinging rebuke from the city’s Planning Commission last week. Commissioners argued that the citizens’ initiative-which would implement a 40- to 45-foot height cap on new buildings, depending on their location downtown-should be given a straight up-or-down vote. Contractors, sustainability gurus, and others urged the city to consider an alternative allowing for taller buildings that would accommodate affordable housing projects, among other things. (/heights212)

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City of Santa Barbara parking tickets will become $4 more expensive as of this March-bringing the price to $50-and the cost of street sweeping tickets will increase by $5. Sparking these increases were a $2 per ticket increase that the County Sheriff’s Department will implement in the cities with which it contracts. City officials estimate the proposed increases will raise $195,000 in additional revenues a year.

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