Staff Report

A regional blueprint on land use planning and prioritization of local resources to address existing and future housing, transportation and jobs is the topic of a virtual public workshop being at noon and 5:30 p.m. Sept. 24, presented live via Zoom webinar and hosted by the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG).

Those interested can participate in one of the two Connected 2050 and Regional Housing Needs Allocation workshop sessions being offered.

SBCAG seeks public comments on two major initiatives: the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (Connected 2050 RTP-SCS) and the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). Both initiatives use local input to inform the planning and decision-making processes of SBCAG Board members, as well as city and county planners.

The public workshops are part of a series of solicitating community feedback that began in the spring, which include listening sessions, 1:1 stakeholder meetings, and a countwide digital survey.

At the Sept. 24 workshop sessions, SBCAG will present several scenarios, each representing a different vision for future development, growth and transportation in Santa Barbara County, and use interactive polling to solicit suggestions from attendees.

“Santa Barbara County has the opportunity to voice their opinion on the long-term growth and development of our community for the next 30 years,” said Marjie Kirn, executive director of SBCAG.

“While we cannot deny the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency on our daily lives for the foreseeable future, the pandemic only highlights the need for public participation in this process as it will have tremendous influence on how to build a better and more sustainable community in the future,” Kirn said.

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“The September workshop is another opportunity for residents to voice their opinion on issues like safe and affordable housing, how essential goods like medicine and food are transported, and how far we want to travel to reach our jobs or schools,” Kirn said.

At its core, Connected 2050 RTP-SCS is intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change while helping achieve a number of important local and statewide goals.

Goals and objectives developed by public participation guide recommendations that address five core issue areas: the environment, mobility and system reliability, equity, health and safety, and a prosperous economy.

The RHNA process is undertaken by SBCAG every eight years in response to state housing law. RHNA is used to ensure each of the region’s nine local governments plan to accommodate a minimum number of housing units.

The state provides a region-wide number of housing units which SBCAG is required to distribute locally while considering local limitations, as well as state-defined planning objectives. 

Public input will be used to inform the SBCAG Board of Directors in the selection of a methodology to be used for the distribution process and based on local priorities such as jobs-housing balance, sustainability, and availability of resources.

The final RHNA Plan will be considered for adoption by the SBCAG Board of Directors alongside the Connected 2050 RTP-SCS in August 2021.

The following information can be used to participate in the public workshop sessions. Advance registration is not required, and Spanish language interpretation services will be available.

Zoom webinar

· Join manually: Webinar ID: 863 7439 3563; Passcode: 389560; OR

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· One-click: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86374393563?pwd=RVlEMThQV2ZMUXBOM3N4SGhURGlmdz09; Passcode: 389560; OR

· Telephone: 669-900 9128; Webinar ID: 863 7439 3563; Passcode: 389560

The public can stay engaged with Connected 2050 RTP-SCS and RHNA process by texting “CONNECT” to 833-956-0921 or sign up for updates at Connected2050.org, or Conectados2050.orgfor a Spanish-language version.





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