Long Range Planning & Special Studies

Develop public policies that reflect the community’s vision, in order to manage the City’s physical growth within our resources, and to protect Santa Barbara’s unique quality of life for the entire community.


Develop and implement goals, policies, and action plans related to community issues such as affordable housing, land use, growth management, resource conservation, open space, transportation, and circulation.

Prepare studies to update City policies, particularly the General Plan and Local Coastal Program, in response to state law, resource availability, and community goals.

Monitor the amount and type of development to ensure compliance with growth restrictions and to inform the public and decision-makers about development patterns and trends.

Facilitate public participation and community involvement in planning issues.

Participate in the development and review of regional studies prepared by the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments such as the Regional Growth Forecast, the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, and the Sustainable Communities Strategy.

Support City Council and other City Departments in addressing regional governance and planning issues.


Present the Housing Element Update to City Council in February 2023.

Present the Draft Santa Barbara Design Standards to ABR and HLC for comments by June 30, 2023.

Present the General Plan Program Subsequent EIR to Planning Commission for certification by December 31, 2022.

Submit Annual Status and Progress Report on the Housing Element to the Department of Housing and Community Development and a General Plan annual progress report to the Governor's Office of Planning and Research by April 1, 2023.

Monitor pending State legislation related to land use, and respond as necessary, including developing work programs and implementation timelines for new or amended laws.


Authorized Positions