by Betsy Cramer
Four years ago, when the community workshops on the General Plan Update were in full swing, preserving Santa Barbara’s historic resources via a separate Element in the General Plan was but a twinkle in preservationists’ eyes. Or but a mote, according to others. On Friday at the Council subcommittee, the twinkle became a smile and seemed a certain Plan A. The Historic Resources Element “is a vital part of the General Plan,” Councilmember Dale Francisco said firmly. No one disagreed.
This decisiveness in what has been a far-from-decisive process developed because the Planning Commission urged and then the City Council confirmed: there will be a separate Historic Resources Element, not just bits and pieces incorporated into the Conservation Element. Staff listened; the extensive preservationist community heard.