August 16, 2017
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Franceschi House Tour

by Steve Dowty, PCS Board President The PCS Board of Directors’ meeting for June was held on the grounds of the Franceschi House. The Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department gave a very informative tour. Director Jill Zachary, along with George Thomson and Santos Escobar, explained the current conditions of the building and grounds, and what was being done to address various concerns on structural deterioration and public safety. Last year the City Council directed a joint SBP&R Department and PCS team to come up with a plan for the Franceschi House. Team meetings have been held, which have led […]
May 10, 2017
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The Average Unit Density Incentive Program

The Average Unit Density Incentive Program (AUD), technically a City ordinance, was established in 2013 to encourage the development of smaller, more-affordable workforce housing. The ordinance allows developers the opportunity to build large apartment houses with a lot of small apartments onto a lot with major breaks on parking spaces and planning fees. The AUD ordinance was intended to be an experiment that ran eight years, or created 250 units, which ever came first. However, the floodgates have opened and local residents are largely unaware of the height, bulk and scale of projects slated for their neighborhoods and our historic […]
April 25, 2017
Building

Put a Moratorium on New AUD Development Applications Pending Evaluations of the Program.

The Board of the Pearl Chase Society, whose mission is the preservation of Santa Barbara’s historic structures and sites, respectfully requests that acceptance of new Average Unit Density Incentive Program (AUD) projects by the Planning Department be halted pending evaluation of the Program which, as of February 2, 2017, there are 1,238 units in the pipeline. Of the 67 projects currently being reviewed, 18 propose four story structures over 45 feet tall. The cumulative impact of multi-story apartment houses to Santa Barbara’s historic structures and neighborhoods has not been fully evaluated. A moratorium would allow time for evaluation especially as […]
March 28, 2017
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Preserving the Past at the Fernald House

by Hattie Beresford In 1852, a discouraged 22-year-old Downeaster by the name of Charles Fernald boarded a ship and abandoned San Francisco. He had come searching for gold in 1849 and left with a law degree but little else. When the steamer Ohio reached Santa Barbara, he disembarked for a short visit with friends. Instead, he ended up staying 40 years. Charles had arrived in a Santa Barbara beset by outlaws and vigilantism. His friends quickly recruited the 23-year-old to take on the vacant job of sheriff, a position that clearly was not for the feint of heart since two […]