County of Santa Barbara 2023-2031 Housing Element Update

4 Documents in Project


SCH Number
Lead Agency
Santa Barbara County
Document Title
County of Santa Barbara 2023-2031 Housing Element Update
Document Type
EIR - Draft EIR
Present Land Use
Existing vacant residential and commercial zoned properties, limited agricultural zoned lands
Document Description
The County of Santa Barbara proposes to implement the 2023-2031 Housing Element Update. The Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) analyzes the potential impacts associated with the implementation of the Housing Element Update’s goals, policies, and programs, including the potential rezone program. The Housing Element Update is a mandatory component of the County’s Comprehensive Plan (i.e., general plan). It assesses current and projected housing needs in the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County and provides an inventory of sites available for residential development. State housing element law, Government Code Sections 65580-65589.11, requires that the County update its Housing Element every eight years. In February 2023, the County’s previous 8-year housing cycle (2015-2023) concluded. As a result, the County’s Housing Element Update subject to this Program EIR pertains to the 6th Cycle 2023-2031 housing planning period. State housing element law requires that cities and counties have adequate sites available to accommodate their share of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) for all income levels. The County’s 6th Cycle RHNA totals 5,664 units. The County’s sites inventory shows that it lacks sufficient capacity to accommodate its lower and moderate-income RHNA in the South Coast and its lower-income RHNA in the North County. Program 1 in Housing Element Update requires that the County accommodate the shortfall of lower- and moderate-income units plus a 15 percent buffer for these units through a combination of rezones and housing development on County-owned sites. The County identified 36 potential sites that could be rezoned and nine County-owned sites that could be selected for new housing. These sites combined identify more sites than necessary to accommodate the County’s 6th Cycle RHNA plus the 15 percent buffer. The Board of Supervisors will select a sufficient number of sites to match the RHNA plus the 15 percent buffer.

Contact Information

Hannah Thomas
Agency Name
County of Santa Barbara, Planning and Development
Job Title
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency

Erika Leachman
Agency Name
WSP USA Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc.
Job Title
Consulting Planner
Contact Types
Consulting Firm


Santa Barbara
Total Acres
1.58 million
State Highways
1, 101, 135, 154, 192, 246
Other Location Info
unincorporated areas countywide

Notice of Completion

State Review Period Start
State Review Period End
State Reviewing Agencies
California Air Resources Board (ARB), California Coastal Commission (CCC), California Department of Conservation (DOC), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Marin Region 7 (CDFW), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, South Coast Region 5 (CDFW), California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), California Department of Parks and Recreation, California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, California Department of Transportation, District 5 (DOT), California Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Planning (DOT), California Department of Water Resources (DWR), California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), California Highway Patrol (CHP), California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC), California Natural Resources Agency, California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Coast Region 3 (RWQCB), California State Lands Commission (SLC), Department of Toxic Substances Control, Office of Historic Preservation, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights, California Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics (DOT)
State Reviewing Agency Comments
California Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics (DOT)
Development Types
Other (Housing Element Update)
Local Actions
General Plan Amendment, General Plan Element, Rezone
Project Issues
Aesthetics, Agriculture and Forestry Resources, Air Quality, Biological Resources, Coastal Zone, Cultural Resources, Cumulative Effects, Drainage/Absorption, Flood Plain/Flooding, Geology/Soils, Growth Inducement, Hazards & Hazardous Materials, Hydrology/Water Quality, Land Use/Planning, Mineral Resources, Noise, Population/Housing, Public Services, Recreation, Schools/Universities, Septic System, Sewer Capacity, Solid Waste, Transportation, Vegetation, Wetland/Riparian, Wildfire
Local Review Period Start
Local Review Period End


Notice of Completion [NOC] Transmittal form
State Comment Letters [Comments from state reviewing agencies]

Disclaimer: The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of these documents. To obtain an attachment in a different format, please contact the lead agency at the contact information listed above. You may also contact the OPR via email at or via phone at (916) 445-0613. For more information, please visit OPR’s Accessibility Site.

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