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State finds Santa Barbara County Housing Element Update complies with state requirements


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – On Monday, the California Department of Housing and Community Development found that the County of Santa Barbara's adopted housing element was in substantial compliance with the state's Housing Element Law.

The County of Santa Barbara submitted the adopted housing element for state approval on Dec. 8, 2023, following its adoption by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 5, 2023.

The decision from the state follows positive feedback from the housing organization as the Draft Housing Element process pooled efforts from groups and people across the county.

With this finding from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (CAHCD), the County of Santa Barbara will no longer be accepting project applications under the Builder's Remedy provisions in the Housing Accountability Act detail the County of Santa Barbara.

“HCD appreciates the diligent effort from the County’s housing element team throughout the housing element update and review process. HCD particularly commends the leadership and collaboration of [the team]. HCD applauds the team’s public service and attention to housing and community development needs,” said Paul McDougall, Senior Program Manager at the CAHCD.

Santa Barbara County released its draft Housing Element Program Environmental Impact Report on Dec. 20, 2023, that the county will collect public comment on until Feb. 9 of this year.

Comments can be submitted to the project planner Hannah Thomas at 123 E. Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara, over the phone at 805-568-3577, or via email at

The public comment section for draft portions of the county's Housing Element began early last year.

According to the County of Santa Barbara, after the end of the public comments period in February, the county will compile, respond, and make changes to the draft program Environmental Impact Report as applicable.

Next, the county Planning Commission will hold a hearing on potential rezone sites in early 2024 and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors who will certify final decisions on rezones in the spring of 2024 detail the County of Santa Barbara.

The CAHCD requires Santa Barbara County to identify sites to accommodate 5,664 new housing units in unincorporated parts of the county between 2023 and 2031, an eight-fold increase from the last cycle explain the County of Santa Barbara.

You can find more information about the adopted Housing Element Update here as well as an interactive map showing potential housing sites here.

Article Topic Follows: California
California Department of Housing and Community Development
Housing Accountability Act
Housing Element Update
money and business
Santa Barbara
santa barbara county

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Andrew Gillies

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