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County of Santa Barbara releases map of potential housing development sites

Interactive Housing Map
Posted at 4:44 PM, Nov 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-15 22:55:10-05

The County of Santa Barbara is finding new ways to keep community members up to date with the many housing plans in store across the region.

An empty plot of land on Woodmere Road in Orcutt is the location of just one of several housing development proposals that can be seen on the county’s new Interactive Housing Map.

The map, just released last week, is part of the County of Santa Barbara’s Housing Element Update, which requires the space for more than 5,000 new housing units to be accommodated within the next eight years.

“I know a lot of people have been having a hard time finding anywhere to rent or to buy,” said Karin Warren, Orcutt resident.

When accessing the map, viewers can check out pending housing projects, potential development sites, and as is the case of the location on Woodmere Road, sites that are recommended to meet the criteria for the County’s Regional Housing Need Allocation Process.

We spoke with one Orcutt couple who voiced their displeasure upon hearing that one of their favorite trials could be turning into a future housing development.

“We are just sad to see more of our open spaces disappear,” Fred White told KSBY.

“We have lived here what, 35 years? And we have seen housing go up so quickly,” added Chris White.

Two public workshops will also be taking place this week to allow community members to weigh in on the county’s ongoing search for housing development sites. The first one is this Wednesday evening in Santa Maria, and Fred and Chris White say they will be there to raise their concerns.

“How can you keep building more houses that put more demand on our water supply?” asked Fred White.

Karin Warren shared her own concerns with the proposed developments.

“I find it kind of sad to see so many close housing things shoved into one tiny unit, so you don’t have any property of your own to spread out,” Warren said. “There is definitely a need for more space for people, I just wish there were better solutions.”

The second community housing workshop is scheduled for this Thursday evening in downtown Santa Barbara.

The interactive map also includes a feature that allows people to type in their home addresses so they can see potential housing developments in their neighborhoods. You can view the map by clicking here: https://sbcopad.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9375e0705e864eada0ff535c23ba99ac

Community members will be able to attend the workshops in person or virtually. They will be offered in both English and Spanish. You can find a registration link for the meetings here:

North County Housing Element Workshop: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/north-county-of-santa-barbara-housing-element-workshop-tickets-445601866177?lang=en-us&locale=en_US&status=30&view=listing

South County Housing Element Workshop: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/south-coast-housing-element-workshop-tickets-453925823357?aff=ebdssbdestsearch&lang=en-us&locale=en_US&status=30&view=listing