On Friday, March 20, the County of Santa Barbara announced that the majority of its public service counters will close and transition to remote forms of service as part of an effort to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The order is in effect starting on March 20 and until April 3 at the earliest. The county emphasized that most departments’ services are accessible online, by phone, drop box, or fax. The departments, with information from the release about the status of their services, are linked below:
- Agricultural Commissioner/Weights & Measures Department: Public service counters in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Buellton and Carpinteria offices are closed through April 3. A drop box is located at the front entrance of each office. Check the website for necessary forms.
- Behavioral Wellness: Nonessential services are temporarily suspended to limit the volume of in-person services. The Psychiatric Health Facility remains open but closed to visitors. In-person services will continue for crisis response and are available 24/7. All clinics will remain open with minimal staffing and clients will be encouraged to schedule appointments via telehealth. The 24/7 Access Line at (888) 868-1649 is available for questions, crisis needs, or linkage to alcohol and drug or mental-health services.
- Board of Supervisors: To ensure continuity of government, the board will continue to meet, employing social distancing. The public is encouraged to interact online, by mail, or by phone. There are a limited number of seats available in both the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria hearing rooms. To participate in the public process for board meetings, please review the guidelines at www.countyofsb.org/ceo/cob.sbc.
- Clerk-Recorder-Assessor: Public service counters at all offices of the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor, including the Elections Division, are closed until further notice. Many services will continue to be provided by phone, online, by mail, or by fax. To determine services available for Assessor and Elections, visit www.sbcvote.com. Clerk-Recorder services are available by mail, including fictitious business names and birth, death, and marriage certificates. Service requests are accepted by mail or fax. Call (805) 568-2250 or send email to Clk-RecHelpDesk@co.santa-barbara.ca.us. Drop boxes to request services are available 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Mail will be picked up throughout the day. For all matters with the Clerk-Recorder, please check the website for information.
- Child Support Services: Public service counters are closed until April 3 at the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria locations; however, services continue through electronic inquiry (e.g., direct inquiry via Child Support Enforcement (CSE) computer system, fax, e-mail) or by phone. Please check the website for information.
- Community Services / County Parks: The Santa Barbara Veterans building is closed. County day-use parks are open, including restrooms. Camping parks, e.g., Cachuma Lake and Jalama Beach, are open for day-use but closed to overnight camping as of Friday, March 20. Scheduled events of 10 or more people, including courthouse weddings, are canceled. Check www.sbparks.org for latest updates.
- County Executive Office/Clerk of the Board The Clerk of the Board division has closed its public counter starting March 19. The public can submit claims, assessment appeals, and other documents electronically via regular mail (with postmark) or through a physical drop box. Other County Executive Office functions will be operational through telecommuting or onsite presence using social distancing protocols.
- District Attorney: The DA Office is serving the public via telephone, email, and scheduled onsite appointments using social distancing protocols. The following onsite services are available via scheduled appointment: victim services, discovery pickup, and restitution payments. Please check the website for information. The District Attorney’s Office will continue to represent the People in open Arraignment and Juvenile Courts in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria.
- Fire: Emergency response will not change; stations are fully staffed and able to respond to any emergencies. The department headquarters remains operational during normal business hours.
- To contact headquarters staff, call (805) 681-5500 or go to “Contact Us” at www.SBCfire.com to submit a question
- Solvang Fire Prevention: (805) 686-5077
- Planning and Engineering, and Inspection Services: Virtual inspections will be conducted on large facilities; Fire Protection Certificates will be reviewed remotely
- The Solvang Fire Prevention office is closed to the public, but available by phone and scheduled appointments
- Fire stations are closed to the public. Notices are posted on the front door of each station directing visitors to call the station to conduct business. An exception will be made for any medical emergency that would require member(s) of the public to enter a station for treatment.
- Fire stations will remain available for the Safe Surrender program.
- Effective immediately all engine company business safety inspections will be discontinued until further notice
- First 5: There are no closure plans and meetings are being held through teleconference.
- Human Resources: Recruitments will continue using social distancing protocols or other alternatives, e.g. Skype. Online testing and assessments will continue for all recruitments, public safety recruitment testing will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis based on the number of applicants using social distancing protocols.
- Parks: Please refer to Community Services listed above.
- Planning & Development: Public services will continue through means other than the public service counters in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria that are closed through April 3. Materials may be submitted electronically via e-mail and digital platforms, such as Box.com. The public counter contact information is available on the website. Responses to voicemails and email inquiries will be provided within one business day. Leave voice messages using the numbers below. Inquiries and electronic documents will be accepted at the email addresses below.
Santa Barbara-South County
Zoning Counter: (805) 568-2090, firstname.lastname@example.org
Building Counter: (805) 568-3030, email@example.com
Santa Maria-North County
Zoning Counter: (805) 934-6251, firstname.lastname@example.org
Building Counter: (805) 934-6397, email@example.com
*Building electronic plans can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Probation Department: The Santa Barbara Juvenile Services site at 4500 Hollister and Santa Maria Juvenile Court Services Unit at 4251 California Blvd., are closed to walk-ins. All other sites remain open. Applications for community service work sites are being accepted, however, all assignments will be postponed until further notice. For information on services and programming availability, contact Probation at email@example.com.
- Public Defender: Staff is servicing clients and employing social distancing and following preventative hygiene recommendations.
- Public Health Department: Nonessential visits at the health centers are temporarily suspended to protect both patients and providers from virus spread. In-person services will continue for those who are ill at all locations. Clients wishing to receive services should call their clinics in advance. Patients will be triaged at the front door of the centers and those exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be routed appropriately in the clinic. Arrangements are also being made to conduct virtual visits both by tele-health and by phone.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is limiting certification appointments for EMTs. To schedule an appointment related to EMT certification, call (805) 681-5274 (opt. 1).
Environmental Health Services (EHS) North and South County offices continue to accept materials (applications, payments, etc.) via drop-boxes and are manning the phone lines. Office doors to the public have closed. Normal business operations continue with EHS staff, conducting complaint, and other specific-need or high-need, inspections as needed.
The Office of Vital Records is currently open to the public, with no restrictions. Walk-in customers must go through a screening process by clinic staff prior to entering the building. Customers pay applicable fees and fill out an application to receive their requested documents.
- Public Works: All public permitting counters are closed. To submit permit applications, plans, and payments:
Mail initial project submittals to County Surveyor, 123 E. Anapamu St., Suite 222, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Subsequent submittals should be mailed to the address above or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Project reviews will be sent via mail or email. Spatial indexes and map scans are available through the Surveyor Information System (Web GIS) at http://www.countyofsb.org/pwd/surveyor.sbc. Contact staff at (805) 568-3020.
Plans for Development Review plan check services and payments will be accepted at the Water Resources window, Santa Barbara County Flood Control & Water Conservation District, Naomi Schwartz Building, 130 E. Victoria Street, Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Contact staff at email@example.com or (805) 568-3440
Road Permit applications and plans are accepted electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org. The road encroachment permit application can be found at www.countyofsb.org/pwd/asset.c/218. North county permits can be placed in the drop-off box; south county permits can be dropped off through the mail slot in the door.
Mail applications to either office:
North County Road Permit Office:
Attention: Road Permits, 620 W. Foster Road, Santa Maria, CA 93455
South County Road Permit Office:
4417 Cathedral Oaks Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93110
Laguna County Sanitation:
Mail or drop off plans for development review, plan check services and construction bids at the North County Public Works office drop box, 620 W. Foster Road, Santa Maria, CA 93455.
To schedule an appointment for fee and charge payments, call (805) 803-8750 or (805) 803-8756. Submit documents and plans electronically to Kevin Thompson at email@example.com.
-District Manager Marty Wilder, firstname.lastname@example.org, (805) 803-8750, (805) 803-8755, or (805) 803-8756.
-Chief Plant Operator Jeremy Chaja, email@example.com, (805) 934-6282
-Supervisor Jesse Padfield, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sheriff-Coroner: Emergency response will not change. The department is operational and staffed.
- Social Services: All services are available; however, reception areas are closed. Clients are asked to use the phones in the lobby to call reception to be linked with a staff member. They will be seen in person as needed using social distancing and measures to prevent spread of the disease. All online services are available.
- Superior Court:
- Until further notice, all clerks offices are closed and jury service is suspended
- The Santa Barbara Historic Courthouse is closed to the public until further notice
- Online Payment options for criminal and traffic fines: https://portal.sbcourts.org/CASBPORTAL/
- Jury Duty Rescheduling:
South County: 805-882-4530
North County: (805) 614-6464; or online at https://www.sbcourts.org/dv/juryreporting.shtm
- File Civil, Family, or Probate documents with the Court electronically: http://www.odysseyefileca.com/service-providers.htm
- Records requests:
South County (805) 882-4778
North County: (805) 614-6414
- Telephonic Appearances for Civil Law and Motion or Case Management Conference hearings: call (888) 882-6878 or online at https://courtcall.com
- Find your Court date: https://www.sbcourts.org/os/cal/
- Self-Help Legal Resource List: https://www.sbcourts.org/sh/index.shtm
- Treasurer-Tax Collector (TCC): The public counters are closed, however the public can make property tax payments via mail, phone and online. For veterans’ services or more information, please refer to the website.
- Property Tax Payment Policies
ONLINE: Credit card and ACH (echeck) payments may be made online by visiting our Online Property Tax System website.
- Property Tax Payment Policies
BY PHONE: Credit card and electronic check payments may be made by phone using an automated interactive voice response system. Dial toll free (877) 399-8089 or local (805) 724-3008.
BY MAIL: Send tax payments to Harry E. Hagen, Treasurer-Tax Collector, P.O. Box 579, Santa Barbara, CA 93102. Payments made by mail must be U.S. Postmarked by the delinquent date to avoid late penalties.
Failure to receive a tax bill does not relieve the taxpayer of the responsibility to make timely payments.