Project Title:Montecito Architectural Guidelines and Development Standards Limited Update, Phase II
Case Number: (None)                                
Project Location:Montecito Community Plan Area
Assigned Staff and Division:

Jessi Steele, Long Range Planning Division


pool house.jpgNEW The Montecito Floor Area Calculator and Project Statistics Worksheet has been updated to reflect the new guidelines related to the calculation of detached accessory building floor area.The Guidelines have also been updated to reflect the adopted amendments discussed below.

On February 27, 2018, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to adopt the Guidelines Limited Update, Phase II and associated amendments to the MLUDC, CZO, and Guidelines. These amendments result in the clarification of several existing zoning regulations and limitations on the size and/or number of detached accessory buildings on residential lots in Montecito as follows:

  1. Clarify the current building footprint limitation for unenclosed portions of detached accessory buildings (e.g., carports and covered patios) (MLUDC and CZO).
  2. Limit the height of two-story combined detached accessory buildings in the Inland Area (MLUDC).
  3. Clarify the current rear setback limit for detached accessory structures (MLUDC and CZO).
  4. Limit the lot coverage of all buildings to 40 percent of the gross lot area (MLUDC and CZO).
  5. Add guidelines to limit the floor area of detached accessory buildings (Guidelines).

The adopted Guidelines and MLUDC amendments went into effect in the Inland Area on March 30, 2018. The adopted CZO amendments and Guidelines applicable the Coastal Zone will go into effect upon review and certification by the California Coastal Commission (CCC). 


Detached Accessory Structures

Guerra Pool CabanaThe Board of Supervisors adopted the Montecito Architectural Guidelines and Development Standards Limited Update (Phase I) on May 17, 2016. In part, Phase I revised the "house net floor area" to include attached accessory structures and partly underground basements. Late in the planning process, some residents raised concerns that these revisions may lead to a proliferation of detached accessory structures. (House net floor area does not include detached accessory structures.) 

The Montecito Land Use and Development Code (MLUDC) and Coastal Zoning Ordinance (CZO) contain standards that regulate the size and height of individual detached accessory structures. However, some of these standards are unclear and, as a result, some detached accessory structures are relatively large and tall. These may not be compatible with the size, bulk, and scale of other residential development in the surrounding neighborhood. In additional, the Montecito Architectural Guidelines and Development Standards (Guidelines) do not regulate the size or number of detached accessory structures.

To address this potential issue, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to consider Guidelines and/or zoning ordinance amendments to limit the size and/or number of detached accessory buildings (DABs) on residential lots in Montecito. The overall goal is to preserve, protect, and enhance the existing semi-rural character of Montecito.


California Coastal Commission

November 7, 2018

Board of Supervisors Hearing

February 27, 2018

Montecito Planning Commission 

October 18, 2017

Montecito Board of Architectural Review

August 10, 2017 

July 6, 2017

Community Workshop

June 28, 2017

Montecito Planning Commission 

May 10, 2017

Montecito Board of Architectural Review

March 9, 2017 

February 23, 2017


Adopted Guidelines

Additional Information

We welcome any ideas, comments, suggestions or questions you may have throughout all stages of this project. Please contact the Long Range Planning Division via email.