Area: Approximately 198 acres
North: Sola Street
South: Highway 101
East: De la Vina, Ortega, and Chapala streets
West: Highway 101
While no schools or parks are in this area bordered by Highway 101, the Department of Motor Vehicles is located here.
West Downtown contains extensive commercial as well as residential use. One of the oldest residential neighborhoods in the City, West Downtown contains some of Santa Barbara's architecturally important residential structures. Many of these homes have been converted into relatively low-density apartments. In addition, new apartment complexes are replacing older single-family houses as West Downtown continues in transition to higher-density residential and commercial uses. Increased commercial activity has occurred in the eastern portions of the area, primarily on Chapala and Carrillo streets.
This section of Carrillo Street west of De la Vina Street is destined to become one of the most traveled arterials in the City circulation system. For that reason, the General Plan proposed that it shall be designated to perform the principal function of carrying traffic from the freeway, the Westside, and the Mesa into the Core and existing and future commercial uses should minimize conflict with smooth traffic flow into the CBD. West Carrillo Street should serve as an attractive entrance to the City's Central Business District. Commercial uses are appropriate if they are of a low intensity and are suited to this transition area. This area should be zoned to reflect this General Plan goal.
Since it is in close proximity to the downtown business and shopping area, the General Plan considers West Downtown to be appropriate for apartment development, and allows twelve dwelling units to the acre. The entire neighborhood is zoned for multiple-unit development or commercial uses (R-3, R-4 or C-2), even though substantial portions are currently occupied by single-family homes.