Monday, March 27, 2006

Slow-Growth Santa Barbara Out of Options

Link To This Post.

Santa Barbara has to swallow its pride in being a slow-growth community. Officials say they have no choice but to allow the construction of more than 1,200 high-density homes.

I've posted before about the Santa Barbara battle over the construction of more housing. Santa Barbara is one of the first prime examples of how strict growth-control laws (which we should really start calling NIMBY laws) have resulted in pricing all the service workers out of the community, forcing many of them to live in rental housing more than 40 minutes away in Oxnard. (*And I hope no one's foolish enough to actually assume that Santa Barbara compensates Oxnard for this burden, nor the affected Air Quality Management Districts for all the added auto pollution.)

The inset at right was taken from the front page of today's Santa Barbara News-Press, but there's no viewing stories on its site without a subscription. So, here's the AP news brief via San Jose Mercury News:
The Board of Supervisors said state mandates for new housing mean there is no choice but to accept 1,240 high-density homes.

Supervisors are preparing for an April 4 vote on the new growth, insisting any resistance to state mandates would have damaging legal and economic consequences. Approving the state "housing element" will put the county in compliance.

The state assigned growth requirements the 2003-08 cycle several years ago and county officials, who are two years overdue in approving a plan, said rejecting the law is not an option.

Failure to comply blocks local governments from receiving more than $2 million in grants and leaves the county vulnerable to lawsuits.

"It's not an option for me," said Supervisor Joni Gray, noting Santa Barbara County is the only county in the state with an unfinished housing element.
Can someone help me out here... Since when is it a "choice" or an "option" for elected leaders to NOT OBEY the law?
— The Boy in the Big Housing Bubble