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Santa Barbara’s Zoning Information Reports

May 18th, 2015 · No Comments · Santa Barbara Real Estate, Santa Barbara Realtors, Zoning Information Reports

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On May 16, 2015 the Santa Barbara News-Press’s staff writer Paul Gonzalez wrote that, ” according to the Santa Barbara County’s Grand Jury the Santa Barbara Zoning Reports are unreliable, and have outlived their usefulness.”

A Zoning Information Report is a disclosure issued by the Community Development Department of a home’s zoning and permitted uses. An abstract or summary of that property. The reports are required by anyone selling their home here in Santa Barbara. The 17 page report released Wednesday found the ZIR’s have become inconsistent and unreliable. The reports were adopted in 1974 to prevent illegal construction, illegal rental units, and monitor adequate street parking. The Zoning Information Reports which have become the bane of realtors here in Santa Barbara are under the microscope now. In other areas of California they’re referred to as Resale Inspections.  Unfortunately the Community Development Department has done a poor job of inspections without taking responsibility for their mistakes at the expense of many home sales. It’s a shame, because as people have found out in other areas outside Santa Barbara, “Resale Inspections” by that city or town’s Building Department often time reveal important information regarding the subject property – and can be an excellent disclosure for prospective buyers. Wouldn’t you like to know if something was built without permits?

The Grand Jury recommends that the ZIR’s become voluntary and for informational purposes only. If you’re thinking of buying a home in Santa Barbara you might have to request a ZIR report in your offer if that happens. The Santa Barbara City Attorney, Ariel Calonne,  declined to comment.  The City must respond to the Grand Jury within 90 days.

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