Santa Barbara City Hall’s efforts to craft a neighborhood
preservation ordinance have been anything but easy, and they
promise to become even more cumbersome. After touring neighborhoods
threatened by McMansionization last week, a clear majority of city
planning commissioners favor a new ordinance that sets limits on
the size of residential remodels and expansions. The planning
commission, which may vote on the matter as early as this Thursday,
will undoubtedly butt heads with the Architectural Board of Review
and the Historical Landmarks Committee, whose members – mainly
architects – strongly prefer more flexible guidelines. As
preservationists call for tighter remodel restrictions,
neighborhood improvement associations insist homeowners should be
allowed maximum flexibility in exercising their development


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