County of Santa Barbara Long Range Planning Division

Montecito Architectural Guidelines and Development Standards Limited Update, Phase II

Detached Accessory Structures

The Board of Supervisors adopted the Montecito Architectural Guidelines and Development Standards Limited Update (Phase I) on May 17, 2016. In part, Phase I revised the “house net floor area” to include attached accessory structures and partly underground basements. Late in the planning process, some residents raised concerns that these revisions may lead to a proliferation of detached accessory structures. (House net floor area does not include detached accessory structures.)

The Montecito Land Use and Development Code (MLUDC) and Coastal Zoning Ordinance (CZO) contain standards that regulate the size and height of individual detached accessory structures. However, some of these standards are unclear and, as a result, some detached accessory structures are relatively large and tall. These may not be compatible with the size, bulk, and scale of other residential development in the surrounding neighborhood.

To address this potential issue, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to consider new guidelines and/or zoning standards that limit the size and/or number of detached accessory structures (DAS) on residential parcels located in Montecito. The overall goal is to preserve, protect, and enhance the existing semi-rural character of Montecito.

Project Status and Schedule

To initiate Phase II, staff planners attended meetings of the Montecito Association Land Use Committee and the Montecito Board of Architectural Review (MBAR) to gather input on perceived issues and potential solutions. (Approved minutes are available for the MBAR meetings of February 23, 2017 and March 9, 2017.)

These efforts helped to identify four issues that may contribute to an increase in the size and number of detached accessory structures:

1. Unenclosed accessory buildings

2. Height limits

3. Rear setback regulations

4. Floor area calculations

Staff presented these issues to the Montecito Planning Commission (MPC) at a public hearing on May 10, 2017 and requested initial comments and direction regarding potential amendments to the Guidelines and/or zoning ordinances (MLUDC and CZO). The agenda, staff report, and other hearing materials are available below.

Next steps for the project include the following:

1. Draft amendments to the Guidelines and/or zoning ordinances (Summer)

2. Meetings with the MBAR and Montecito Association (Summer)

3. MPC hearing (Fall)

4. Board of Supervisors hearing (Winter)

Public Hearings and Meetings



Please check back for updates on upcoming meetings.

Montecito Board of Architectural Review Hearing Related Documents

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Hearing begins at 1:00 PM
Planning Commission Hearing Room
123 East Anapamu Street, 1st Floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Agenda (PDF)

Presentation (PDF)

MBAR Handouts (PDF)

Community Workshop Related Documents

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
6:00 to 8:00 PM
Westmont College Founders Room
955 La Paz Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93108

Workshop flyer (PDF)

Agenda (PDF)

Staff presentation (PDF)

Group handout (PDF)

Montecito Planning Commission Hearing Related Documents

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Hearing begins at 9:00 AM
Planning Commission Hearing Room
123 East Anapamu Street, 1st Floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Agenda and staff report (LINK)

Marked agenda (PDF)

Staff presentation (PDF)

Submit Comments

We welcome any ideas, comments, suggestions or questions you may have throughout all stages of this project. Please contact the Long Range Planning Division via email.

Join Our Mailing List

Join our mailing list to receive updates on Phase II.


Jessica Steele, Planner:, (805)884-8082