Santa Barbara County Approves Temporary Zoning Ordinance Amendments to Suspend Certain Development Standards for Businesses and Community Entities Due to Covid-19

Jun 18, 2020

RecoverySBC.org

Santa Barbara County Approves Temporary Zoning Ordinance Amendments to Suspend Certain Development Standards for Businesses and Community Entities Due to Covid-19


The County of Santa Barbara has temporarily amended certain zoning ordinances to provide flexibility and options for businesses to address physical distancing requirements due to COVID-19. The temporary amendments will expire on December 16, 2020, or when the proclaimed Santa Barbara County Local Emergency from the COVID-19 virus is terminated, whichever is earlier. 

The ordinance amendments are part of the County’s Small Business and Community Partnership Enhancement Program (SBCPEP) launched last month to allow businesses or other organizations in the unincorporated areas of the county to expand into outdoor areas to accommodate required physical distancing protocols and safe practices.

Examples of development standards temporarily suspended include setbacks, site coverage maximums, parking and loading standards, signs, restrictions on uses in the right of way, limitations on food service at wineries and tasting rooms, and/or other development standards as determined to be necessary for the protection of public health related to COVID-19.

Additionally, the ordinance amendments authorize the Director of Planning and Development to grant a hardship time extension for projects already approved where vesting of land use entitlements is delayed due to COVID-19.

Applicants who are interested in a hardship time extension should contact the Planning and Development Department at [email protected]. Businesses and community entities that wish to participate in the SBCPEP program and expand on private property must submit a completed checklist, description of their proposal, a revised site plan indicating the temporary layout, and site photos within 30 days of implementing the changes to the Planning and Development Department at [email protected].

Businesses and community entities are encouraged to submit this information prior to implementation of any changes. For expansion in the Public Right-of-Way, business owners must submit an application to the County of Santa Barbara Public Works Department for a No-Fee Encroachment Permit. For more information on SBCPEP, go to recoverysbc.org/sbcpep/.

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