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SB35 Streamlined Approval Project Guidance

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In 2017, the Governor signed Senate Bill (SB) 35 Streamlined Approval Process, which added Section 65913.4 to the Government Code providing for a streamlined, ministerial approval process for multi-unit housing projects of two or more residential units or mixed-use, subject to certain conditions and consistent with objective zoning and design review standards. In response, the City adopted Objective Design Standards and related amendments to Title 30 of the Santa Barbara Municipal Code, effective June 10, 2021. The final adopted standards are available here.

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Approval Process

The streamlined approval process is an opt-in program for developers who must request streamlined ministerial approval pursuant to SB 35. The process starts with submittal of a Preliminary Housing Development Pre-Application which initiates a required scoping consultation with California Native American tribes affiliated with the geographic area. Once the Tribal Scoping Consultation is concluded, submittal of a SB-35 Supplemental Application and Objective Design Standards checklist starts the process of application review.