Santa Barbara County Proposes Areas to Rezone for New Housing

Interactive Map Released Ahead of Two Countywide Workshops to Discuss Housing Needs

Image shows screenshot of the County's Interactive Housing Element Map. Sites marked in green are being recommended for rezoning to meet the upcoming Housing Element cycle; areas in purple show sites already in development; yellow parcels are being examined as "potential housing opportunity sites" in the future. | Credit: County of Santa Barbara

The County of Santa Barbara will host two public workshops to discuss potential housing sites in the unincorporated areas of the county — including Santa Barbara Juvenile Hall and Glen Annie Golf Course — which are being explored as options to meet the state’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation ahead of the upcoming Housing Element Cycle (2023-2031).

An interactive map recently released by the county Planning and Development Department shows sites ranging from parcels deep in the Santa Ynez Mountains to areas as far south as Casitas Pass. Each of the sites have details explaining their size and current development status. Some have only been briefly examined and marked with potential for rezoning, while others have started development, including housing projects that are currently in application or review phases.

With a total of 45 sites on 59 parcels of land, the county could account for at least 5,664 new housing units — 4,142 in the South Coast and 1,522 in North County — which would help the county meet the state’s requirement of zoning for 8,001 units by 2031.

“The department inventoried all available land in the unincorporated county to see where new housing units can be accommodated. We found that there is not enough properly zoned land currently available to meet the state’s housing requirements,” said County Senior Planner Selena Evilsizor Whitney. “The department created the proposed rezone map to show a range of sites that could be rezoned to allow for new housing.”  

Areas on the map that are being explored for rezoning include Glen Annie Golf Course, which stretches over 94.7 acres on three parcels just outside of Goleta city limits and could account for as many as 1,500 new units; Santa Barbara Juvenile Hall, which could became 75 units; and San Marcos Growers, which could become over 800 units if rezoned.

The North County Housing Element Workshop will be held in the Santa Barbara County Board Hearing Room in Santa Maria on Wednesday, November 16, at 6 p.m. The South County Workshop will be held the next day, November 17, in the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission Hearing Room at 6 p.m.

For more info and to see the latest updates on the upcoming Housing Element Draft, visit the county website.

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