The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will take another crack at approving code amendments that will streamline the permit process for farmers and ranchers who want to build housing for their agricultural workers.
Supervisors are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. in the Board Hearing Room on the fourth floor of the County Administration Building at 105 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara.
North County residents can watch the proceedings and provide testimony via live streaming video in the Supervisors Conference Room of the Joseph Centeno Betteravia Government Administration Building at 511 E. Lakeside Parkway in Santa Maria.
The meeting can also be viewed via CSBTV on YouTube and on the Board of Supervisors website at www.countyofsb.org/bos.
The agricultural dwelling unit issue is the sixth and last discussion item on a full agenda that includes 73 items on the administrative agenda, so it likely won’t be considered until the afternoon following the midday closed session.
However, the board could choose to reorder the agenda and take up the issue earlier in the meeting.
Other items on the main agenda include amending the plan and executing tenant-based rental assistance agreements with the city of Santa Maria and the County Housing Authority; receiving the Energy and Climate Action Plan progress report; and considering adoption of the 2019 Legislative Platform.
Supervisors will also consider adopting fees for shared mobility devices and the use of county right of ways for business purposes and adopting code amendments for mitigating and responding to threats from current and future rises in sea level and other coastal threats.
Streamlining permits for ag worker housing has been a hot-button issue for people on both sides of the fence — those who support building more community-oriented ag worker housing and those who want to keep such housing out of established residential neighborhoods.
Supervisors considered adopting proposed amendments to the County Land Use and Development Code and to the Coastal Zoning Ordinance at their Nov. 13 meeting but instead chose to send them back to staff for two primary revisions.
One would change the thresholds for determining which type of permit would be required for projects, while the other would revise the requirements for proof of employment and the location of that employment.
As written, the Land Use and Development Code amendment would require only a zoning clearance to permit housing for one to four employees and a land use permit to build housing for five to nine employees on land zoned Agriculture 1.
Workers would also be required to be employed full time on the site in order to live there.
A minor conditional use permit would be required to build housing for 10 to 19 employees, who would have to be employed onsite a majority of the time.
At all three of those levels, the employees could spend part of their time working on other sites owned by the same employer.
To construct housing for 20 or more employees, a full conditional use permit would be required, but there would be no restrictions on where the agricultural workers were employed.
For land zoned Agriculture 2, a zoning clearance would be needed on housing for one to nine employees, a land use permit would be required to house 10 to 24 employees and a full conditional use permit would be required for housing 25 or more employees, but there would be no restrictions on employment.
The amendment to the Coastal Zoning Ordinance would have slightly different requirements than the amendment for the Land Use and Development Code.
For land zoned Agriculture 1, a coastal development permit would be required to build housing for one to nine workers, who would have to be employed full time onsite.
A minor conditional use permit would be required to provide housing for 10 to 19 employees, and a majority of their full-time employment would have to be onsite.
In both cases, employees could work on other parcels owned by the same employer.
For housing 20 or more workers, a full conditional use permit would be required, but there would be no restrictions on the workers' employment.
For land zoned Agriculture 2, a coastal development permit would be needed to construct housing for one to 24 workers, and a full conditional use permit would be required to house 25 or more.
Workers would not be subject to any employment restrictions in either case.
The staff report notes that references to efficiency units have been removed from the amendments because on July 1, the efficiency unit sections were repealed from the California Residential Code and no longer apply to one- and two-family dwellings.
Efficiency units, which are generally single-room dwellings with incomplete kitchen or bathroom facilities, in multiple-family dwellings are addressed by the California Building Code, according to the staff report.