Santa Barbara’s City Council declined to throw in the towel on efforts to revise its General Plan, even though the prior two years of exhaustive debate and deliberation have yet to yield the five-vote supermajority required to get anything passed. The chief bone of contention is the extent to which higher residential densities will be allowed in some of Santa Barbara more urbanized neighborhoods. Mayor Helene Schneider, and Councilmembers Grant House and Bendy White support higher densities—though only in specific neighborhoods—while Dale Francisco, Michael Self, Randy Rowse, and Frank Hotchkiss—to varying degrees—worry that increased zoning densities will undermine Santa Barbara’s historic character while creating little housing that’s actually affordable to the city’s low-wage work force.


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