Close Panel
Click for weather info75°F

Harbor Commission

All City Board and Commission meetings are cancelled through March, unless meetings can be facilitated through telecommunications to avoid close personal contact. To protect public safety and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Santa Barbara City Council adopted an emergency proclamation authorizing the City Administrator to take action necessary to respond to the local emergency.


In 1926, Major Max C. Fleischmann, an ardent yachtsman and philanthropist, offered $200,000 (approximately one half the cost) toward the construction of a harbor project on the condition that the City contribute the balance. A harbor bond was approved in a special City election, and the Harbor Commission was established to supervise the project, which began in June 1927. The breakwater was completed 3 years later.

By Ordinance No. 4272, adopted June 12, 1984, the powers and duties of the Commission were expanded to include the "Waterfront." As currently defined, this adds Stearns Wharf and the Waterfront Parking Program.

Learn more about serving on this advisory group.

View Our Video

General Functions

  • Recommend and advise City Council in all matters pertaining to the operation of vessels and water craft within the City harbor, including use, control, operation, promotion, regulation of the harbor, and the construction, improvement, erection, dredging, maintenance and operation of the harbor and all navigable water, buildings, structures, wharves, docks, piers, warehouses, railroads, appliances, utilities, and facilities relating to the harbor, water commerce, navigation and fishery in and about the harbor.
  • Recommend to the City Council plans, rules and regulations pertaining to the above and recommend rates, fees, charges, etc. related to the harbor.
  • Consider annual Harbor Department budgets and make recommendations to the City Council and City Administrator.
  • Make recommendations to City Council regarding the desirable qualifications and duties of the Harbor Director.
  • Make recommendations to City Council concerning the acquisition, disposition, or repair of equipment, facilities, materials and supplies relating to the Harbor Department.
  • Exercise the above powers and duties concerning the Waterfront.        
Committee Functions
Membership Seven Members
Qualifications One member of the Commission need not be a qualified elector of the City so long as he or she is, at the time of appointment, a qualified elector of Santa Barbara County and remains so qualified while a Commissioner.
Length of Term Four years and until successors are appointed. Staggered terms expire on December 31 of the appropriate year.
Meeting Schedule The Board meets on the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 735 Anacapa Street.
Time Involved 6 – 8 hours per month for meetings and related activities.
Financial Disclosure Requirement Members are required to 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

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2020
Top of Page