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New committee will lead talks about downtown Santa Barbara changes

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Whatever the next phase of changes will be to the downtown core, the Santa Barbara City Council is going to have a subcommittee lead the way.

Already there has been an extensive public outreach effort, surveys and sample drawings.

Real-time changes including patios, parklets and traffic control additions are already in plain sight.

The big picture master plan decisions are still coming into focus.

It will involve input from several directions including city leaders, planners, business owners, property owners, architectural analysts and historians.

The sphere of influence will also be considered as the downtown area widens out to Anacapa St. and Chapala St.. Not to be ignored will be the relationship with the Funk Zone, waterfront, Haley St. corridor and Presidio Neighborhood.

The council has extended the emergency ordinance that allows for the street additions from restaurants, but how the structures and improvements are laid out for the long haul, if that's the case, is likely going to get a close review.

What has yet to be discussed, but often asked about, is the status of large scale events traditionally held downtown including the Summer Solstice celebration, and the Old Spanish Days El Desfile Historico parade. Both annually draw in excess of 50,000 people each to see the events and thousands more in motion throughout the area.

The State St. promenade has been viewed as an economic life saver for many businesses, during the COVID crisis.

For more information go to : Santa Barbara City Council agenda

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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