Santa Barbara acts to stimulate business in ailing downtown – California News

Santa Barbara acts to stimulate business in ailing downtown – California News

To deal with an increasing number of storefront vacancies on State Street, the Santa Barbara City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to try making it easier for businesses to open there.

Among the changes: It will speed up the permitting and review process for prospective commercial tenants, and it will dedicate a city phone line for individuals with questions about State Street-area commercial tenant space.

The city’s planning staff will also designate two members to guide downtown business owners and commercial real estate brokers through the discretionary review processes.In addition, applications within the pilot program area will receive priority placement on design review board agendas.

Implementing the changes will cost the city about $82,000 in contract staffing for a 6-month pilot period that will cover businesses looking to open on State Street between Cabrillo Boulevard to the south and Sola Street to the north.

“Whatever we can do as…

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