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Contact

Jessica Metzger
Project Planner
(805) 564-5470 x4582
AUD@SantaBarbaraCA.gov

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Average Unit-Size Density (AUD) Program

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On July 30, 2013, the City Council approved the Program Ordinance. This Program facilitates the creation of multi-unit housing and carries out a key implementation action of the City’s 2011 General Plan. The intent of the Program is to support the construction of smaller residential units near transit and within easy walking and biking distance to commercial services and activity centers. Increased densities and development standard incentives are allowed in most multi-family and commercial zones of the City to promote additional housing. Rental, employer-sponsored, and limited equity housing cooperative units that provide housing opportunities to the City’s workforce are especially encouraged.

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Amendments

The Program has been monitored closely since 2013 and amended multiple times to provide course corrections to better fulfill its purpose. In 2019, City Council initiate ordinance amendments based on staff recommendations,  public input, and Planning Commission recommendations. In 2020, City Council adopted a subset of previously identified ordinance amendments to better facilitate economic recovery from COVID-19 and construction of new housing developments in the downtown.  

On March 30, 2021, City Council directed staff to release a request for proposals for an economic feasibility study to understand project viability with the new building size standards. The Study, completed in 2021 can be found here.

The current AUD Ordinance (effective February 10, 2022) can be found here  and will be in effect unit February 15, 2024.