Alamo Pintado Apartments
On October 5, 2023 an SB 330 Application for a proposed 109 Unit apartment complex located at the intersection of Alamo Pintado and Old Mission Drive. This site is identified as site "C" in the city's adopted 2023-2031 Housing Element. This page will be regularly updated as city staff receives submittals.
Alamo Pintado Aprtments FAQ
Q: What is a SB 330 / Builder's Remedy Application?
A: The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) set a deadline of February 15, 2023, for all jurisdictions within Santa Barbara County to complete their Housing Elements for submittal and approval, and also provide a 120-day grace period. The City, along with other jurisdictions in the County missed this deadline. During the period that the City was out of compliance with HCD, any applicant could utilize new State Laws (SB 330) to facilitate housing development, including projects that do not conform with zoning but do meet policies in the existing General Plan and adopted Housing Element. This is known as “Builder’s Remedy”. Other cities throughout California have encountered such applications, including unincorporated Santa Barbara County. The city received 1 such application.
Q: Does this mean the project is already approved?
A: No, city staff still needs to review any subsequent submittals against any pertinent local regulations, state, and federal law. The proposed project also is required to have a public hearing approval. SB 330 applications are limited to a total of 5 public hearings.
Q: What's the difference between and SB 330 application and standard entitlement application?
A: An SB 330 application varies slightly from a standard entitlement application. The following are some of the major differences:
- Limits the number of public hearings to 5 total.
- Project does not need to conform to the underlying zone.
- Freezes all local rules and regulations to be based on the date the project was submitted, including any updates to the Housing element, General Plan, and local zoning regulations.
- All impact fees are based on when the project was submitted, not in effect at the time of approval, or building permit application.
- Requirement that a minimum of 20% of the total units be deed restricted for low or very-low income for a minimum of 55 years (price is set by the State of California and SB County).
- All pertinent zoning regulations and General Plan implementation measures that are enforceable are "objective" (i.e. measurable regulations such as setback, heights, etc). Subjective standards such as design guidelines are not applicable to the project.
- Clear time frames for both the city and the applicant.
Q: Does an SB 330 Application mean there is also no environmental review?
A: The proposed project is not exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process, which is a separate, but concurrent project review. The applicant will still need to provide studies pertaining to water and sewer modeling, traffic, noise, geological soils testing, biological resources, and archeological resources. Per state law, city staff will still need to consultant with our local first nations, as well as, produce an initial study to determine the final level of analysis needed to comply with CEQA.
Q: Does the City get a say in the project approval?
A: Yes! Although it is limited to review only "objective" standards, city staff still reviews the submitted project and will provide comments based on the pertinent rules, and regulations of the City of Solvang. An SB 330 application does not absolve the applicant from providing answers and analysis from requested city staff comments.
Q: It's my understanding that the City adopted its housing element, and has a draft General Plan that is up for approval soon. Will that stop the SB 330 application?
A: Unfortunately no. The City Council did adopted the 2023-2031 Housing Element on December 18, 2023. City staff transmitted this element for review and approval by the Department of Housing and Community Development, and anticipates certification no later than January 31, 2024. Once certified, no additional SB 330 applications will be accepted. Any SB 330 applications received prior to certification may move forward under the adopted General Plan and Housing Element in place at the time of application submittal.
Q: If the proposed project is approved, will the Developer be required to offset any impacts to water, sewer, police, schools, etc?
A: Yes! As with any new development within the city, an applicant/developer will be required to pay what is known as "Development Impact Fees" (DIF). These fees are established by the City Council (School board for public school impacts) through a study consistent with State Law. These are paid to the city at the time of building permit issuance.
Q: I want to go and walk on the site and observe or see for myself. Can I do that?
A: No. This is private property, and you need permission from the property owner to enter the site. This is especially true when any work is being completed on the site by consultants. These consultants are performing tasks that, in some instances of state law, cannot be disclosed what they are doing to protect potential resources on-site.
Q: Can I get on a list and be notified of when documents are available or public hearings are scheduled?
A: Please see the form below to sign-up for our interest list.
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