County of Santa Barbara Long Range Planning Division

Agricultural Employee Dwelling Ordinance Amendments


The Planning and Development Department is proposing amendments to the County Land Use and Development Code (LUDC) and Article II, the Coastal Zoning Ordinance (Article II), to streamline the permit process for agricultural employee dwellings in the Agriculture I (AG-I) and Agriculture II (AG-II) zones. The proposed amendments would apply to the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County, including the Coastal Zone, except the portion the Montecito Community Plan Area governed by the Montecito Land Use and Development Code.

The agricultural sector is the top contributor to the county’s economy and plays a vital role in statewide agricultural production. High labor demand and the countywide housing shortage have created a significant need for affordable housing for agricultural employees and their families. Agricultural employee housing can provide a low-cost housing option to employees and their families who may otherwise stay in hotels or other short-term accommodations. By streamlining and clarifying the permit process for certain agricultural employee dwellings, the proposed LUDC and Article II amendments remove governmental barriers and enable applicants to more easily develop safe and affordable housing for agricultural employees and their families.

The proposed amendments also help implement Programs 1.4 and 2.4 of the Santa Barbara County 2015-2023 Housing Element Update. In part, Programs 1.4 and 2.4 direct the County to incentivize the development of affordable housing and streamline the permit process for agricultural employee dwellings.


Proposed Amendments


The proposed amendments streamline the permit process for agricultural employee dwellings in the AG-I and AG-II zones as follows:

1. Allows agricultural employee dwellings with a Zoning Clearance (ZC) in the Inland Area and a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) in the Coastal Zone;

2. Increases the number of employees allowed to occupy dwellings at each permit level;

3. Modifies the employment location requirements for agricultural employee dwellings within certain zones and permit levels; and,

4. Clarifies that mobile homes and manufactured homes, but not trailers, may be used as agricultural employee dwellings.


Upcoming Public Meetings


Please see below for information on upcoming public meetings and ways to participate in the project.

Upcoming Hearings

Montecito Planning Commission
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Planning Commission Hearing Room
123 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA

Staff Report (PDF)

Findings for Approval (PDF)

MPC Resolution and Proposed Article II Amendment (PDF)

County Planning Commission
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Planning Commission Hearing Room
123 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA

The staff report and other hearing materials will be posted here when available.

Board of Supervisors
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Board of Supervisors Hearing Room
105 East Anapamu Street, Fourth Floor
Santa Barbara, CA

The board letter and other hearing materials will be posted here when available.


Contact Information


Please contact staff with any questions or comments.

Jessi Steele, Planner: jsteele@countyofsb.org (805) 884-8082
David Lackie, Supervising Planner: dlackie@countyofsb.org (805) 568-2023

All comments sent to the above email addresses are part of the public record and subject to the Public Records Act.