Santa Barbara city leaders have worked out a deal with the state to keep a dozen parking lots from losing local control. There was a fear, the state could be in charge of the parking, and with that, the fees would likely rise.
The state had an interest in the property because the lots were built in part with what’s called, redevelopment money. The state is connected
to those funds, and with the budget situation fragile, a plan was in the works to possible take over the lots and control the income.
Santa Babara leaders flew to Sacramento and made a case for the current operations, with reduced fees, subsidized by business owners, to encourage shoppers. That, in turn, brings more money into the local economy.
Higher parking fees were viewed as a turn off to shoppers and downtown stores, and restaurants could have suffered.
Community Development Director Paul Casey says the status quo now exists, and “We’re thrilled about that.”
Council Member Grant House said, “Why is this such a great big deal? The downtown parking lots are part of the magic of the beauty of downtown Santa Barbara.”