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 required the “house net floor area” to include attached accessory structures and partly underground basements. Late in the planning process, some residents raised concerns that the new guidelines 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 on residential parcels located in Montecito. The overall goal is to preserve, protect, and enhance the existing semi-rural environment 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 were presented 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 and staff report from this hearing can be viewed here. The presentation is also available here.

Next steps for the project include the following:

1. Public workshop (June)

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

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

4. MPC hearing (Fall)

5. Board of Supervisors hearing (Winter)

Public Workshop and Hearings

Public outreach is an important component of the project. Please re-visit our website to review draft documents and obtain information about public input opportunities.

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.

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