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City of Santa Barbara
Land Development Team Bulletin
Volume #233, 12/16/2020

Planning Division Launches New Application Procedures


The LDT Bulletin is one way we are increasing communication between the City and our customers. These bulletins will also be located in our lobby area at 630 Garden Street.

We hope you'll find the contents of this issue useful. However, if you prefer not to receive this publication in the future, simply send us an email to:

New Application Procedures

On December 10, the Planning Division launched new application procedures, including updates to our forms and handouts. Changes to application procedures are a key component in the City’s strategy to streamline project review. Now, submittal of a single, consolidated Planning Application is required for all projects requiring discretionary review (projects heard by one of the City’s design review bodies, Planning Commission, or Staff Hearing Officer). Switching to the one, new application simplifies the submittal process for our customers by replacing multiple existing forms, and it aligns with our transition to online permit applications.

In tandem with the new application procedures, we have posted new informational guides and resources containing helpful application instructions, process overviews, and estimated review timelines. Highlights of some of our new informational guides and applications include:

  • Guide to the City of Santa Barbara Land Use & Planning – a bird’s eye view of land use planning in Santa Barbara and the guiding documents, processes, and people that shape our work and support the community’s vision. 
  • Planning (PLN) Application Guide – an informational guide to help applicants prior to application submittal. Supplemental Applications – forms submitted along with a Planning Application that provide additional information specific to certain projects. 
  • Administrative Design Review Supplemental Application – an informational application making it easier for you to understand when a minor project may be approved by staff without a public hearing. This document helps illuminate how a minor project’s design might be adjusted to move faster through the approval process. 
  • Other updated forms: check out other new forms including, but not limited to: a new Sign Application Guide and Sign Application, Pre-Application Review Informational Packet and Application, and the Accessory Dwelling Unit Guide and Accessory Dwelling Unit Supplemental Application.

NEW INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO: For information about our new planning application procedures and forms, please watch this brief instructional video found on our Planning Handouts webpage

Before starting a Planning Application, we strongly encourage you to watch the video and read the guides to understand the type of review your project requires. We recognize that knowing what to submit may be difficult to figure out at first. Fill out the forms to the best of your ability. If you have any questions about our new application procedures, please contact us at the Planning Counter at (805) 564-5578 or

We look forward to sharing these process improvements with you. We will phase out our old applications and forms with the intent that all new and resubmitted Planning applications include these new forms beginning on January 4, 2021.

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City of Santa Barbara/Community Development
630 Garden Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
T. (805) 564-5485, ext. 2653