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 (AEDs) 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 AEDs, 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 AEDs, respectively.


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 AEDs 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 AEDs within certain zones and permit levels; and,

4. Clarifies that mobile homes, manufactured homes, and park trailers may be used as AEDs.


Upcoming Public Meetings


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

Upcoming Hearings

Board of Supervisors
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Joseph Centeno Betteravia Government Administration Building
511 East Lakeside Parkway
Santa Maria, CA

On October 2, 2018, the Board of Supervisors will set a hearing for October 9, 2018, to consider the adoption of the proposed AED ordinance amendments.

The Board Agenda Letter and other hearing materials will be posted here when available.

Previous Hearings

County Planning Commission
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Planning Commission Hearing Room
123 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA

On August 29, 2018, the County Planning Commission voted 5-0 to recommend approval of the proposed AED ordinance amendments.

The agenda, staff report, and other hearing materials are available here.

The action letter is available here.

County Planning Commission
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Betteravia Government Center
511 Lakeside Pkwy
Santa Maria, CA

On July 11, 2018 the County Planning Commission voted to continue the hearing to August 29, 2018.

The agenda, staff memo, and other hearing materials are available here.

County Planning Commission
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Planning Commission Hearing Room
123 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA

On June 6, 2018, the County Planning Commission voted to continue the hearing to July 11, 2018.

The agenda, staff memo, and other hearing materials are available here.

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

On May 9, 2018, the County Planning Commission voted to continue the hearing to June 6, 2018.

The staff report and other hearing materials are available here.

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

On April 17, 2018, the Montecito Planning Commission voted 3-0 (Newman recused) to forward a recommendation of approval to the County Planning Commission regarding the proposed Article II amendment.

A recording of the hearing is available here.

The staff report and other hearing materials are available here.

The action letter is available here.


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.