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Culture and Identity

Sound ordinance passed in Santa Barbara as part of effort to improve local student neighborhood

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The City of Santa Barbara and the local community college are working to improve student neighborhoods based on a program used by Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo. 

On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara City Council members passed new noise ordinance guidelines that will take citations out of the criminal process and treat them administratively instead.

Under the plan, the fine structure starts with a warning and escalates to as high as a $1000.

Members of a task force visited Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo to learn what was working best with the Student Neighborhood Assistance Program (SNAP). Students they spoke with said the high fines played a big role in getting people to obey the noise rules.

Santa Barbara City College Public Information Officer Luz Reyes-Martin said the city and the college are hoping to have success similar to that seen in San Luis Obispo.

"This isn't just for students, it's for anyone in the city," said Reyes-Martin. "They know that we're really taking it seriously and that we want to make some significant change in the neighborhood."

She said the council will have a chance to address the fine structure, when members adopt all of the city fees as part of the budget process.