Council Responds to County’s Draft Housing Element

Council Urges County to Allow More Time for Public Participation and to Address Concerns

The Goleta City Council is urging the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors to join the City in addressing housing issues together before submitting its Housing Element to the State. At a Special City Council meeting on February 27, 2023, the Mayor and Council authorized sending a comment letter requesting that the County allow more time to address a list of significant concerns, to consider suggested solutions and for more meaningful public input.

City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said, “The ramifications of the County’s Housing Element are massive and require careful thought, analysis, and extensive outreach, none of which can occur in the rushed timeline provided.  Let’s slow down and do this together.”

After a two-year process, the County recently released its Draft Housing Element on January 30, 2023 with a deadline of March 1, 2023 to provide public comment.  While the plan impacts a number of jurisdictions, it calls for thousands of new units along the City of Goleta’s borders.  This plan to convert land zoned for agriculture located outside the urban/rural limit line will have dramatic impacts on the City and its residents, from transportation issues to housing services.  The proposed housing developments include 1,436 units on the Glenn Annie Golf Course and 2,834 units on the South Patterson Ag block south of Hollister between S. Patterson and Ward Drive, both agriculturally zoned lands. 

Among its recommendations outlined in the comment letter, the Council requests that the County use a more equitable approach such as to prioritize infill on underutilized commercial and other property in the urban area and modify the proposed housing sites it has listed. The City also requests that the County Housing Element include stronger programs committed to preserving new housing for the local workforce with necessary services included.

View the City Council letter here. The County’s Housing Element is available at: