Some housing activists are suggesting that Santa Barbara Golf Club, a municipal course, offers a potential solution to the housing question in Santa Barbara. In general, municipal golf courses are likely contenders for future development of affordable housing. As proposed by AB 672, golf courses offer significant potential when re-zoned for residential use and/or open space. If passed, the proposed State Bill would require all municipalities in California to rezone some of its municipal golf course land for these uses that are seen as “higher and best use.”
The Santa Barbara Golf Club is 108-acres of highly valuable land located in a high-priority and high-demand area. The golf course is located in a significant commercial and residential area near the popular La Cumbre Plaza and other outlets in the North State district. Santa Barbara Planning includes the neighborhood within its Average-Unit Density Incentive Program. Even Santa Barbara’s Planning Commission has suggested that the surrounding La Cumbre district is great for increased housing density and walkability. Because of the district’s potential, housing advocacy organizations like the Santa Barbara Tenants’ Union are interested in exploring potential options with regard to converting the golf course into high quality public housing.
Here is a link to a petition in support of the conversion that was created by Santa Barbara Tenants’ Union. As of this writing, it has over 225 signatures from local residents. You can join the Santa Barbara Tenants’ Union and/or learn more about us at sbtu.org.