Area of the City Explained
The total area of the city of Santa Barbara was last calculated in 1998 and based on the City's Annexation Index Map: land, 21.09 square miles; water, 22 square miles; for a total of 43.09 square miles. This figure is accurate as there have been no annexations since 1998.
The Annexation Index Map is referenced "R-32" and stored in the Public Works Department vault at 630 Garden Street. An electronic format of the Index map was initiated in 2001 by the City's Automated Mapping Coordinator. The electronic format Index replaced the former "hard-copy" mylar map that had been used before (possibly since the 1960s). A hard copy of the Index map is still available for copying as the need arises, however, the electronic format and new hard-copy maps are intended to be updated as new annexations into the City occur.
The composite area shown on the Index map includes all lands and waters located within the City Limits, including the Airport property, the annexed tidelands, and the main land mass of the City. Even though vault-copy maps showing most of the 112 annexations have been reviewed in an effort to be reasonably accurate showing the boundaries of the various annexations on the electronic format, staff did not try to recalculate or verify the total combined areas indicated. There was no reason to believe the land areas shown on previous maps had been calculated and shown incorrectly.