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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Santa Barbara County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Measure B2004
Charter Amendment No. 2
City of Santa Barbara

11176 / 31.71% Yes votes ...... 24063 / 68.29% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 2 8:23am, 99.9% of Precincts Reporting (355/69)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall the eligibility requirements for the nine member City Architectural Board of Review be changed in order to allow up to four (4) members of the Architectural Board of Review to be non-residents of the City of Santa Barbara?

Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
As currently enacted, City Charter Section 814 establishes a City review board known as the Architectural Board of Review (the "ABR") and it assigns to the ABR certain architectural and engineering design review authority for public and private development projects which are in the process of obtaining City building permits, either for new buildings or for building alterations. Section 814 provides that the ABR shall be composed of nine (9) members, at least two (2) of whom must be licensed architects and at least three (3) of whom must have professional experience in fields related to architecture, such as building design, structural engineering, industrial design, or landscape architecture.

Charter Section 802, which is a section dealing with the membership qualifications for City boards and commissions generally, establishes a requirement that each member of a City board and commission established by the City Charter (such as the ABR) must be a "qualified elector" of the City (i.e., a duly registered City voter) at the time of his or her appointment and must remain a "qualified elector" of the City while on a City board or commission. Because state law generally requires a "qualified elector" of a city to be a resident of that city, in effect, Charter Section 804 requires all ABR members to be City residents.

Measure B would expressly allow up to four (4) members of the ABR to be non-residents of the City notwithstanding the "qualified elector" requirement of Charter Section 802. If approved, Measure B would not require the City Council to appoint non-residents to the ABR but it would allow them to do so, provided that not more than four (4) ABR members are non-City residents. If approved, Measure B would not change the expertise requirements of Section 814 that at least two (2) ABR members to be licensed architects nor would it change the requirement that not less than three (3) ABR members have experience in professional fields related to architecture.

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Arguments For Measure B2004
As the Santa Barbara City Charter is currently written, all nine (9) members of the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) must reside within the Santa Barbara City limits. Although many of our most prominent architects have offices in the downtown area, those that live outside the city limits cannot be members of this critical commission.

The composition of the ABR must include two (2) licensed architects and at least three (3) members who have professional experience in related fields, such as landscape architecture or design. However, when only Santa Barbara City residents are eligible to sit on the ABR, the City Council's options are severely limited during the appointment process. It is important to the City that the Council have the most qualified applicant pool possible.

In recent years, with the increased design review responsibilities assigned to the ABR by City ordinances, particularly with single family residential projects, it has become more difficult for qualified professionals to volunteer the time commitment ABR requires. By increasing the number of qualified local professionals who are eligible to volunteer for membership on the ABR, Measure B2004 will allow the Council to appoint the best professionals possible from a larger pool of applicants.

This amendment, Measure B2004, will allow up to four (4) of the nine (9) members to be appointed from outside the City limits. This change will ensure that sensitive and knowledgeable decisions are made by the best professionals available. The amendment will provide City Council the flexibility to appoint members who will make decisions consistent with the design standards our residents expect. The City's other design review board, the Historic Landmarks Commission, has used this model for several decades with great success.

As your Mayor and City Council, we urge you to join us and vote for this important change November 2nd. Thank you.

s/ Marty Blum, Mayor
s/ Iya Falcone, Council Member
s/ Roger Horton, Council Member
s/ Dan Secord, Council Member
s/ Das Williams, Council Member
s/ Helene Schneider, Council Member
s/ Brian Barnwell, Council Member

(No arguments against Measure B2004 were submitted)

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Created: December 15, 2004 13:33 PST
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