NEW DEVELOPMENTS

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.

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