SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The city of Santa Barbara's Planning Division was recognized by the Central Coast Chapter of the American Planning Association for its public outreach efforts conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.
With in-person events being put on hold throughout 2021, the city's Long Range Planning staff created an online engagement tool to connect with and educate the community on proposed changes to building size regulations and housing units throughout the city, said city spokeswoman Shelly Cone.
"The online workshop expanded opportunities for community engagement, allowing the public to share thoughts and collaborate with other community members and city decision-makers about the future of apartment and condominium housing opportunities in the community," Cone said.
The results of the workshop were shared with the city council and planning commission to help inform their discussions of the proposed changes.
The workshop was so successful at engaging a large number of community members on a "complex planning concept" that it will continue to be used for education and outreach efforts in the future, Cone said.