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Parks & Recreation Commission

The City Council created the Board of Park Commissioners in 1902. For many years the Board supervised the planning and construction of public park facilities.

In May 1929 the Recreation Commission was established by City Council on the recommendation of the Board of Park Commissioners, who felt that City parks would be more frequently used if recreational facilities were included in the parks. For many years recreation facilities and programs were administered by the Recreation Department, and included adult sports, youth sports and social activities, aquatics, cultural arts, senior citizen activities, and special activities for the disabled, as well as community-wide special events on a year round basis.

In 1990, the two departments were combined into the current Parks and Recreation Department. On November 3, 2009, the Board of Park Commissioners and Recreation Commission were officially combined into one Parks and Recreation Commission.

General Functions

  • Act in an advisory capacity to the City Council in all matters pertaining to parks, recreation, beaches, creeks, plazas, parkways, and street trees.
  • Consider the annual budget for parks, recreation, beaches, creeks, plazas, parkways, and street tree purposes during the process of its preparation and make recommendations with respect thereto to the City Council and the City Administrator.
  • Assist in the planning of parks, recreation, beaches, creeks, plazas, and street trees for the inhabitants of the City, promote and stimulate public interest therein, and to that end solicit to the fullest extent possible the cooperation of school authorities and other public and private agencies interested therein.
  • Perform such other duties not inconsistent with this Charter as may be prescribed by ordinance.
Membership 7 Members (one member may be an individual of age 16 years of older)
Qualifications Must be qualified electors of the City. Notwithstanding the eligibility requirements specified in Section 802 of the City Charter, Section 809 of the City Charter, as amended by the voters of the City on November 3, 2009, (1) member of the Parks and Recreation Commission may be an individual of age sixteen (16) years or older who resides in the City but is not a qualified elector. The City Council may, but is not required to, appoint a youth member to the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Length of Term Four years and until successors are appointed. Staggered terms expire on December 31 of the appropriate year.
Meeting Schedule The Commission meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 4:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, City Hall, 735 Anacapa Street. *During the months of November and December, the Commission meets on the third Wednesday of the month.
Time Involved Approximately 10 - 20 hours per month for meetings and related activities.
Financial Disclosure Requirement Members must file a Statement of Economic Interests upon appointment, annually and when leaving the advisory group.
Ethics Training Requirement The City of Santa Barbara requires members of this commission to take City ethics training within one year after member is appointed or reappointed. 
Compensation None.
Staff Parks and Recreation Department, (805) 564-5431
Reference Measure C, November 3, 2009, General Municipal Election; City Charter Sections 800 - 805 and 809; Municipal Code Section 2.08.020.F; Resolution Nos. 03-006, 95-158 and 79-113.
Last Updated: Aug 19, 2014