A group of homeowners wanting to enlarge their houses won a key
battle against venerable neighborhood associations who have sought
for several years to keep houses small in the city of Santa
Barbara. Succumbing to pressure from the newly formed Citywide
Homeowners Association, the Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance ad
hoc steering committee voted 5-2 Friday to limit house-and-garage
floor area only on lots smaller than 7,500 square feet. That
describes fewer than half of the city’s residential lots. But until
Friday’s vote, the draft ordinance established hard-and-fast
maximum house sizes for lots smaller than 15,000 square feet – or
82 percent of lots, according to city planner Heather Baker.
Instead, the committee decided that lots larger than 7,500 square
feet should be subject merely to recommended square footages and
negotiable design guidelines. Committee members Dianne Channing and
Joe Guzzardi voted in dissent. After some refinement, the ordinance
will return to the committee April 12 for the final time.


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