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KCBX News Update: Cleanup of Santa Barbara's waterfront underway, Goleta to review housing plan

Santa Barbara's waterfront after ocean swell.
City of Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara's waterfront after ocean swell.

City of Santa Barbara is cleaning up its waterfront after storm

The City of Santa Barbara said today its waterfront and harbor were hit hard by large swell and high tides overnight and this morning. The city says staff are cleaning up sand and debris from the swells and are asking the public to keep their distance.

Coastal flooding and storm surge impacted waterfront parking lots, beaches, the harbor, and Stearns Wharf, according to a press release from the city.

High water levels in Santa Barbara on Friday, January 6.
City of Santa Barbara
High water levels in Santa Barbara on Friday, January 6.

Even after the cleanup is complete, the city says the public should still be aware of the possibility for rogue waves and coastal flooding in the area.

The worst of this week's storm is over, but rain is on its way back to the Central Coast this weekend and will intensify Monday.

Information on how Santa Barbara County residents can prepare is at readysbc.org.

Goleta to hold a public hearing on its housing plan

The Goleta City Council announced it will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, January 17 to talk about its draft Housing Element plan for 2023-2031.

The plan establishes city policies and programs for housing in that period, including how to reach the city’s housing quota mandated by the state. That requirement is called the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), which the state put into place to speed up housing development amid the statewide housing crisis.

Goleta submitted its plan to the state last summer, but the state requested more information in the plan and sent it back. The city has since revised the housing element plan, and is calling for public input before approving and resubmitting it.

This comes as Santa Barbara County, like the rest of the Central Coast and California as a whole, is facing a severe housing crisis. The county is one of the state’s most expensive areas to live, and rates of homelessness have increased there in the last few years.

The public hearing is on Tuesday, January 17 at 5:30 p.m. It will be held in-person at Goleta’s City Council chambers, remotely via Zoom, live-streamed on the city’s website and broadcast on Goleta TV Channel 19.

The draft plan is available at cityofgoleta.org/HousingElement.

KCBX News is led by News Director Gabriela Fernandez under the oversight of Programming and Content Director Marisa Waddell. Amanda Wernik and Sarina Grossi are the current reporters, with assistance from reporter/editor Kim Foster Carlson. Posts by "KCBX News Staff" reflect collaborative writing and reporting from multiple news team members and may include work from Fernandez, Wernik, Grossi, Carlson, Waddell and newsroom interns/volunteers.
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