State Street Outdoor Facility Fees

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On January 12 the Santa Barbara City Council voted on a new fee structure for outdoor business facilities on State Street. Council chose to go with variable design-based fees, which will charge businesses anywhere from $3 to $5 per square foot for outdoor business facilities, based on the design of the facility (roof, platform, portability). These rates are increased up to 200% for outdoor business facilities that exist beyond the business frontage. New fees will go into effect May 1.

Following the decision to implement the fee in September last year, the issue went to the city’s Finance Committee where it faced much discussion and debate regarding what is fair. The three main topics that came up were flat fees vs. variable fees based on design, the City covering costs associated with the ongoing maintenance of the State Street Promenade, and the equity of those costs being paid only by businesses with outdoor business facilities. After much of the same debate at council, with a vote of 4-2, one absence, the Council decided on variable design-based fees.

Click here to view the staff report. You can find the exact fee structures under the section labeled “Payment Option: Variable Fees Based on Facility Design.”