Two-and-a-half years and 33 meetings later, a draft Neighborhood
Preservation Ordinance (NPO) was squeaked forth by the committee
assigned to produce it, but the issue was far from settled.
Neighborhood preservationists appalled by current mansionization
efforts worry the proposed NPO allows too much, while architects,
builders, and property owners itching to add on to their homes
insist its guidelines and requirements are too restrictive. The
proposed ordinance – still to be ratified by the Santa Barbara City
Council, Planning Commission, and Architectural Board of Review
(ABR) – would require all new second-story additions be approved by
the ABR. Likewise, the ABR will be charged with reviewing any
proposed expansions between 1,830 and 2,500 square feet. The matter
has caused much consternation, especially in the neighborhoods off
Shoreline Drive, where modest one-story homes built in the
1950s – now fetching seven figures – are essentially torn down and
rebuilt as much larger, often two-story structures.


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