Go To the Planning and Development Home page
Search this site...
Main Page

Applications, Forms & Documents

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Code Enforcement

Environmental Documents on Active Projects

Permit Information

Projects & Programs


Building & Safety

Energy, Minerals & Compliance

Long Range Planning

Back to Authority to Regulate

Implementing Ordinances

Land Use and Development Codes and Zoning Ordinances

Every year planning and zoning laws are added, deleted and amended by the State legislature, court cases interpreting these laws, and actions by the County Board of Supervisors. The Planning and Development Department staff must review your application for compliance with all of these laws and regulations. State law requires that zoning be consistent with the adopted Comprehensive Plan and Coastal Land Use Plan. Each piece of property within the unincorporated portions of Santa Barbara County has been assigned to a specific zone (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial) which describes the rules under which that land may be used. A development proposal must comply with the property's zone requirements, including its permitted uses, density, setbacks, parking requirements, minimum lot size, etc. In addition, the Land Use and Development Code and zoning ordinances contain general regulations and permit regulations which further describe the way property may be developed and the conditions under which projects may be approved.

Chapter 35 Codes and Ordinance

    Sometimes the Land Use and Development Codes and Zoning Ordinances do not reflect the most up-to-date language due to delays in revising the document. This Matrix lists recent ordinance amendments that have yet to be included. Please use this Matrix to determine if the Article or Land Use and Development Code you are interested in has been recently amended and the ordinance amendments that may have revised it.

    Section 35-1 - Santa Barbara County Land Use and Development Code: This document is currently applicable to the unincorporated area of the County outside the Coastal Zone and the Montecito Planning Area. Although this document contains regulations that relate to the Coastal Zone, these portions will not be in effect until the Coastal Commission certifies this document as an amendment to the County’s Local Coastal Program. This document implements the Comprehensive Plan (and eventually the Coastal Land Use Plan) by classifying and regulating the uses of land, buildings and structures in the unincorporated area of the county located outside of the Montecito Planning Area. This document also contains road naming and street addressing standards as well as sign regulations.

    Section 35-2 - Montecito Land Use and Development Code: This document implements the Comprehensive Plan and the Montecito Community Plan by classifying and regulating the uses of land, buildings and structures in those areas of Montecito located outside of the Coastal Zone. This document also contains road naming and street addressing standards as well as sign regulations

    Section 35B - Montecito Growth Management Ordinance (MGMO): This document implements the goal of the Montecito Growth Management Plan which is to preserve the semi-rural character, quality of life and environmental resources of the Montecito community while assuring adequate services consistent with available resources and environmental constraints. The MGMO accomplishes this by pacing the development of new residences in order to bring resources related to air quality, fire protection, sanitary services, transportation infrastructure and water services into balance with existing and future development. The MGMO restricts the number of permits for new residences that may be issued on an annual basis. Allocations for residences that do not qualify as affordable are restricted to 19 per year, and are awarded on a competitive basis. Applications for allocations receive points depending on how the design of the project impacts existing service levels or protects resources

    Article II - Coastal Zoning Ordinance: This ordinance is applicable to the unincorporated coastal zone and implements the Coastal Land Use Plan by classifying and regulating the uses of land, buildings, and structures in the coastal zone.

    Article VIII - Sexually Oriented Businesses: The purpose of this ordinance is to regulate the location and operation of sexually oriented businesses which, unless closely regulated, have serious secondary effects on the community.

    Article IX - Deciduous Oak Tree Protection and Regeneration Ordinance: This ordinance addresses deciduous oak tree removal in the inland rural areas if such removal is not associated with development that requires a permit under Section 35-1 and Section 35-2 of Chapter 35 of the County Code or Ordinance 661.

    Article X - Medical Marijuana Regulations

In addition, some rural lands are still classified under Ordinance 661, the zoning ordinance which preceded Section 35-1. However, many of the provisions of Ordinance 661 have been repealed and replaced by Section 35-1.

Subdivision Regulations

Subdivision Map Act: This document is the State law that establishes provisions for tentative, final and parcel maps as well as certificates of compliance, lot line adjustments, reversions to acreage and voluntary mergers. The Map Act delegates to local agencies the regulation and control of the design and improvement of subdivisions

Santa Barbara County Code (Chapter 21 - Land Division): This ordinance regulates the division of land in compliance with the requirements of the Subdivision Map Act. This ordinance also includes regulations for lot line adjustments

Growth Management Ordinances

Montecito Growth Management Ordinance: This ordinance establishes mechanisms for the pacing of residential development in the Montecito Planning Area.

Back to Authority to Regulate

  Send us your questions or comments. Submit a customer satisfaction survey.