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Santa Barbara- S County

Santa Barbara County Planning and Development open for business on-site and online

Lisa Plowman, Director of Planning and Development at County of Santa Barbara, points to drop-off boxes inside Anapamu St. entrance. (Photo: Bryce Hanamoto)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara County's Planning and Development Department is open for business, despite temporary counter closures at the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria locations.

Construction is deemed "essential" under the state-mandated stay at home order.

"We're encouraging people to come in and submit their information either online or we have a drop-box both in the south county administration building at 105 E. Anapamu and a drop-box at our Foster Rd. office," said Lisa Plowman, Santa Barbara County's Director of Planning and Development. "So, people can submit plans, submit fees to process their applications."

The blue drop-off box for Planning and Development checks is tucked to the left. (Photo: Bryce Hanamoto)

Plowman said construction inspections are continuing, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the majority of city and county employees working remotely from home.

"We have hundreds of applications in the pipeline and so we're continuing to process those through and work with our agents and applicants to get those materials we need to finish those applications," Plowman said.

County permit and application forms along with COVID-19 information. (Photo: Bryce Hanamoto)

Laurel Perez, Principal Planner with Suzanne Elledge Planning & Permitting Services, is one of those agents.

"We are assuring our clients that we're trying to operate business as usual," Perez said. "Our office helps navigate development projects through the permit review process, everything from residential projects to commercial, institutional and industrial."

Perez said the group currently has dozens of projects in the works within the city and county of Santa Barbara, as well as the city of Goleta.

"We've spent the last few years sort of gearing up for this effort to go remote with digital submittal, application submittals and teleconferencing, video conferencing. So, several of us were fairly prepared for this transition." 

Plowman said public hearings are continuing, including Wednesday's Planning Commission hearing set for 9:00 a.m.

"We will soon go to Zoom so people can participate remotely."

Santa Barbara County's Planning & Development public service counters will remain closed through April 3.

For more information, click the following link: countyofsb.org

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Beth Farnsworth

Beth Farnsworth is the evening anchor for KEYT NewsChannel 3.