Proposed Final General Plan
Council gave direction on August 10, 2010, and staff proceeded to prepare the draft final policy documents. The format of the policy documents has changed slightly to improve ease of use, with further editing, reference material moved to a separate appendix, and the addition of labeled tabs. This documents was then released for public review on September 16, 2010, and is the subject of the Planning Commission’s final review, Final EIR certification, and final policy recommendations to Council for adoption.
The City Council’s August 2010 direction on PlanSB, summarized in Exhibit A, “PlanSB Direction & Next Steps”, is hereby referred to as the general starting point for any further Planning Commission questions or clarifications. The two exceptions being Multi-Family Residential Density and Workforce – Rental/Employer Housing which, given varying Council opinion, warrant further discussion.
Over the course of the last five years, the Plan Santa Barbara General Plan update process has progressed from a set of City Council goals to a final General Plan document and a citywide, Program EIR. During Phase I, a baseline of key resource data was developed with the Conditions, Trends & Issues Report, a completely updated set of Master Environmental Assessment maps, and the initiation of the program EIR and citywide traffic model.
Phase II began in 2007, following a yearlong hiatus to produce the Upper State Street Study, and focused on public outreach. Key efforts included: working with the Outreach Committee; establishing the YouPlanSB.org website; producing a citywide brochure and survey; 40 grass roots community meetings; a youth survey; a series of five public workshops; seven Board and Commission meetings; eight Planning Commission and Council meetings; and a public opinion poll. This phase culminated in the publication of the Community Input Summary Report in December 2007.
Phase III was the policy development effort and included a series of three public workshops (focused on Development Trends, Policy Options, and Policy Preferences), seven Board and Commission meetings, and 13 Planning Commission and Council meetings. The culmination of this phase was the Policy Preference Report that established the Project Description to initiate the formal draft EIR process in January 2009.
Phase IV began in March of this year with the open house release of the draft General Plan Framework, Land Use Element and General Plan Map, Housing Element, initial goals and polices for the remaining six elements, and the EIR for public review. The 60-day public review period was then followed by six Planning Commission hearings and eight City Council work sessions to date.