A two-year freeze on live music at three downtown community centers is starting to thaw as Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation officials have moved to gradually allow non-amplified live music, deejays, and mariachi bands to perform at the City of Santa Barbara’s Westside, Franklin, and Louise Lowry Davis community centers.
The music ban was enacted in response to frequent noise complaints leveled by a handful of neighbors about family festivities — quinceañeras, birthdays, and other celebrations — held in the main auditorium of the Westside Community Center. The ban on amplified live bands will remain in place.
According to city parks and rec czar Jill Zachary, a paid monitor will be onsite to ensure musical performers don’t get too loud and that people attending don’t get too rowdy. In addition, she said security deposits for hall rentals would increase from $200 to $500. The Westside Community Center auditorium has a capacity of 175 — the other two of 125. In the past, parking, trash, and after-party congregations had been the subjects of complaints. The city facilities have traditionally provided affordable venues for low-income individuals to host larger family gatherings.