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Single Family Design Board

Most City Board and Commission meetings are being facilitated through telecommunications to avoid close personal contact during the COVID-19 crisis. Please refer to the current Board/Commission meeting agenda for further information on how to participate, or contact the Board/Commission secretary for further assistance.


The Single Family Design Board was created in 2007, by Santa Barbara Municipal Code Chapter 22.69.010 to promote the general welfare, protect and preserve the City’s natural and historical charm, and enhance the City’s aesthetic appeal and beauty.

General Functions

  1. Ensure that single family residential unit projects are compatible with the surrounding neighborhood in size and design.
  2. Protect public visual resources.
  3. Promote the ecological sustainability of the City’s built environment through the design review process.
  4. Carefully apply the Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance, Single Family Design Guidelines, Single Family Design Board Guidelines, and Lower Riviera Design Guidelines, and other guidelines to the types of specific single family residential projects listed in the table at the end of this announcement.
Committee Functions
Membership Seven Members
Qualifications Appointees may not hold any full-time paid office or employment in City government. Appointees may serve on the Architectural Board of Review or Historic Landmarks Commission and the Single Family Design Board. They must be residents of Santa Barbara County.
  1. Two licensed architects.
  2. One licensed landscape architect.
  3. Three persons who possess professional qualifications in fields related to architecture, including, but not limited to, building design, structural design, structural engineering, industrial design, or landscape contracting.
  4. One representative of the public at large.
Length of Term Four years or until a member’s successor is appointed.
Meeting Schedule The Board generally meets every other Monday at 3:00 p.m. (the Architectural Board of Review meets on alternate Mondays) in the David Gebhard Public Meeting Room (DGPMR), 630 Garden Street. The Consent Calendar is generally held every Monday at 11:00 a.m. in the DGPMR.
Time Involved
  1. Regular full board meetings every other week for 3 – 6 hours.
  2. Consent Calendar assignment 1 – 2 hours weekly for one member and/or a landscape architect; rotates periodically depending on Board-member preferences.
  3. Site visits for projects on pending agenda prior to meetings, approximately 2 – 6 hours.
  4. Occasional review of special studies and other documents, previous meeting minutes and current meeting agendas, approximately 2 -3 hours per month.
  5. Subcommittee assignments (could range from 1 to 15 hrs additional review per month, depending on assignments)
  6. Occasional evening or weekend public workshops and special trainings at special workshop locations throughout the City, (plan for approximately 3 hours monthly)
  7. As needed attendance as an SFDB representative at
    1. City Council appeal hearings on a Tuesday afternoon or evening regarding appealed projects or updates to guidelines or ordinances; or
    2. Planning Commission on a Thursday afternoon or evening when a project has an environmental review hearing scheduled with special aesthetic impact or grading issues.
Financial Disclosure Requirement Members are required to file a Statement of Economic Interests upon appointment, annually and when leaving the advisory group.
AB 1234 Ethics Requirement  Assembly Bill (AB) 1234 requires this board to complete AB 1234 Ethics Training no later than one year after the first day of service and then the training course must be completed once every two years thereafter.   
Compensation $50 for each full board meeting attended and $25 for each Consent Calendar meeting completed.
Staff Planning Division, Community Development Department, Irma Unzueta, Senior Planner (805) 564-5470 x5507
Reference Municipal Code Section 22.69.020; Ordinance No. 5416; Resolution No. 07-063.

Last Updated: Jun 9, 2020
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