Landlords in Santa Barbara County are subject to new regulations governing the eviction of tenants under a new urgency ordinance passed at an April 6 County Board of Supervisors special meeting.

The ordinance requires landlords to act in good faith, give tenants early notice of substantial remodels and obtain all necessary county permits and deliver them to tenants before delivering termination of tenancy notices, according to 2nd District Supervisor Laura Capps’ district representative, Jordan Killebrew, who spoke in favor of the policy during the meeting.

The legislation, introduced by Capps and 1st District Supervisor and Board Chair Das Williams, arrived after nearly a thousand Isla Vista renters living at CBC & The Sweeps were delivered eviction notices on March 16 that will require scores of students and families to move out over the coming weeks. 

It’s unclear, but possible, that the emergency ordinance could impact the situation at the CBC & The Sweeps, the county’s legal counsel said during the meeting. 

The complex’s new managers did not present their tenants with any permits or details of upcoming substantial renovation work — the reason for the evictions — which is illegal under the new ordinance, but it is not immediately clear if the regulations apply retroactively.

“There’s confusion, I believe, as to how this could potentially apply today,” Capps said in response to questioning as to how the legislation would impact the evictions at CBC & The Sweeps. 

The legislation passed the four-vote hurdle it needed to be enacted immediately; 4th District Supervisor Bob Nelson was not present for the vote. The supervisors heard from a number of residents facing eviction during public comment.

5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino commended the quick work of the county’s legal council in providing a record turnaround time for the writing of the ordinance and lamented the county’s failures to construct adequate housing in recent decades.

“​​We’re talking about superseding state law that is from the most progressive legislature in the country, so these are bold steps,” Lavagnino said during the meeting. “We need to do everything we can to be bold and be proactive, and that means building the houses that we have failed to build in this county.”

3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann emphasized the need for further housing in the county.

“We want the housing for the firefighters and the nurses and the teachers and the gardeners and people who spoke today who are in Section 8, and to get that, we need to think more than simply creating more housing,” Hartmann said. “We need to make sure that the housing is going to the people who live here now, who want to work here, who contribute to the fabric of our community.”

Williams said the county is continuing to craft policies that will help reduce the housing strain and deliver more affordable units for future generations.

“It will not save the people in The Sweeps, but it might save a generation of working people in Santa Barbara,” Williams said.


Mark Alfred
Mark Alfred (he/him) was the University News Editor for the 2022-23 school year.