Police Station Status Update

Authored on
October 17, 2021

The Santa Barbara Police Station Project has progressed since April of 2021. Following support from the Architectural Board of Review to proceed, the Planning Commission was given a project update on March 18, 2021, and a request was made for a height exception. The height limitation for the area is 45 feet, but as a Community Benefit Designated Project, the height can be increased up to 60 feet with the Planning Commission’s approval. After discussion, this height exception was granted.

Following the Planning Commission’s approval for the height exemption, the design team submitted the Development Application Review Team (DART) package to Community Development on June 15, 2021. The project received its DART Response Letter in July of 2021, and the design team worked to re-submit the package, and resolved all outstanding issues on September 3, 2021. The project received another Response Letter on October 12, 2021, with the final items that need attention prior to deeming the application complete.

Once the DART Application is deemed complete, the Initial Study will be written to determine the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) document that will be appropriate for the project.

After the CEQA document is written and reviewed, the project will go to Planning Commission for review of the document. This review will be followed by a hearing with City Council to request adoption of the CEQA document and approve the project. Assuming the project is approved, it will then go back to the Planning Commission for Development Plan Approval.

These actions will formally approve the use of the City’s Cota Commuter Parking Lot as the new location for the Police Station. As part of these approvals, the address for the property will change from 119 East Cota Street to 601 Santa Barbara Street.

Once the project has received its Entitlements, the next phase of the project is the creation of the Design Development Plans and the Construction Documents to submit for a building permit. It is expected the project will received its building permit in 2023, but dates are uncertain at this time and, therefore, projections are best estimates.

Thank you for your continued interest in this very important civic project.