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Step 3: Planning Permits

Planning Permits  

If you’re in the Inland Area, you will need to obtain a Land Use Permit or an Exemption. If you’re in the Coastal Zone, you will need to obtain a De Minimis Waiver, Coastal Development Permit, or Coastal Development Permit Requiring A Public Hearing. The permitting process will vary depending on changes to the design, size and footprint of the original structure.  Your case manager can direct you to the appropriate permit process.

1. Determine the Type of Permit Needed:

“Like-for-Like”

If you would like to rebuild as “like-for-like” to match the previously existing, permitted structure, your project will likely:

  • Be exempt from planning permits and the Montecito Board of Architectural Review (MBAR) if in the inland portion of the County.
  • Require a De Minimis Coastal Development Permit Waiver if the site is in the Coastal Zone, but is located outside of the California Coastal Commission Appeals jurisdiction.

An interior re-model that does not change the size or footprint of your structure may qualify for a “like-for-like” Planning Permit Exemption or De Minimis Coastal Development Permit Waiver. Your case manager will work with you to determine which process your project falls under.

Different exterior design and no change in design, size and footprint

If you would like to rebuild your damaged or destroyed permitted structure with a different exterior design and are not proposing changes to the size and footprint of your structure, your project will likely be exempt from planning permits. However, because you are proposing a different exterior design, review by the Montecito Board of Architectural Review (MBAR) may be required. Your case manager will work with you to process your project under a Permit Exemption or De Minimis Waiver and coordinate MBAR review.

Substantial modifications to the design, size and footprint

If you would like to rebuild your damaged or destroyed permitted structure but would like to make substantial modifications to the design, size and footprint, your project will be required to go through our standard permitting process.

  • Coastal Zone properties – If your property is located in the Coastal Zone, your project will require a Coastal Development Permit.
  • Coastal Zone properties in the California Coastal Commission Appeals Jurisdiction – If your property is located in the Coastal Zone and within the California Coastal Commission Appeals Jurisdiction, your project will require a Coastal Development Permit Requiring A Public Hearing.
  • Inland Area properties – If your property is located in the Inland Area, your project will require a Land Use Permit.

View and Download the Application for an Exemption, De Minimis Waiver, Land Use Permit, or Coastal Development Permit 

Download Application for a Coastal Development Permit Requiring A Public Hearing in PDF format 

Structures not permitted prior to the 1/9 Debris Flow

If your damaged or destroyed structure was not permitted prior to the recent disasters, your case manager can provide you with options and direct you to the appropriate permitting process.

2.  Coordinate Creek and Floodplain Needs

If you are located adjacent to a creek and/or are within a floodplain, your case manager will coordinate with the Flood Control District.

3.  Submit Application and Building Plans

Once you have a Permit Exemption, De Minimis Waiver or approved Planning permit, submit an application and plans to the Building and Safety Division.

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Radio Ready

During an emergency when the power is out and when critical and timely information must get out to the general public, the County Office of Emergency Management will utilize satellite equipment to regularly communicate with designated County radio stations that have generators and can continue to broadcast. Visit this link for a list of stations to check if you lose power and cannot access the Internet.

Contact The County

105 E. Anapamu St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 211