Santa Barbara Region Economic Community Project
main industries in the Santa Barbara region are tourism, technology,
and small businesses enterprise. Recently, the SBECP has focused the
majority of its efforts on the critical issue of land use. Intent on
preserving the region's natural beauty while accommodating the steep
rise in job and population growth, the collaborative continues to plan
and implement the directives seeded in Preserving Our Future - Land
Use Principles for the Next Generation.
Region Served: The Santa Barbara South Coast - ranging from Rincon
Point on the Santa Barbara/Ventura border through the Gaviota Coast,
bordered by the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific
Population: Approximately 200,000
Size of Region: Approximately 475 square miles
Strategic Partners: Primary partner organization is UCSB, which
has, through the geography department and the UCSB Economic Forecast
Project, provided the basis for the Regional Impacts of Growth Study.
Other partners include local governments, the Santa Barbara Council
of Governments, and several business leaders
The Santa Barbara Regional Economic Community Project has helped
form a fragile agreement over principles that could guide future
land use. Using the Regional Impacts of Growth Study, the Project
hopes to develop a set of land-use policies that will have broad
Four primary objectives were identified through the forum Preserving
Our Future - Land Use Principles for the Next Generation:
- Defining the South Coast as a distinct planning region
- Implementing growth limits
- Developing responsible land use practices
- Planning an efficient multi-modal transportation system
SBECP has already established productive partnerships with other
entities: the Community Environmental Council, the Santa Barbara
Community Indicators Project, local City and County government agencies,
the California Policy Forum (with the Regional Civic Alliance of
Ventura County), and consultants. These partnerships allow the collaborative
to undertake a broad agenda with many technical elements, while retaining
a small staff.
One of the most promising projects is a partnership with UCSB to
develop computer-based growth models. This tool will analyze several
build-out scenarios using a variety of community indicators; and
help planners to streamline and optimize their planning processes.
It is user-friendly and interactive, allowing the public and decision
makers to create their own regional models.