Project Title:Santa Claus Lane Beach Access and Streetscape Improvements
Case Number: (None)                                
Project Location:Toro Canyon Community Plan Area
Assigned Staff and Division:

Mark Friedlander, Long Range Planning Division


Crossing: The Zoning Administrator approved the Final Mitigated Negative Declaration on June 6, 2016. The at-grade pedestrian railroad crossing was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on February 9th, 2018. Planning and Development (P&D) continues to coordinate with Union Pacific Railroad (UPR) regarding design and engineering of the crossing.

Streetscape: P&D expects to release the draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) by  Fall 2019. P&D and the County Public Works Department (Public Works) plan to recommence public outreach in summer 2019. Decision-maker hearings on the associated zoning permits are anticipated in winter 2019


SCL RailcrossingP&D and Public Works are currently undertaking two projects at Santa Claus Lane: a beach access plan and a streetscape improvements plan. These projects implement goals, policies, and actions in the Toro Canyon Plan and Coastal Land Use Plan that are intended to increase public access to the beach and revitalize the nearby commercial area.

Beach Access

No legal access exists across the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) tracks to Santa Claus Lane beach.  Accordingly, the public must trespass across the UPRR tracks with no appropriate railroad crossing safety measures to access the beach.  For more than a decade, the County has been pursuing an at-grade, pedestrian railroad crossing to create safe and legal public access to the beach. The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) must authorize all new railroad crossings. P&D has completed preliminary engineering plans for the railroad crossing and and has received approval from the PUC to construct the crossing. The next steps will include conducting additional public outreach and securing zoning permits for the railroad crossing.

Street Improvements

SCL Commercial DistrictThe County of Santa Barbara (County) proposes streetscape improvements along Santa Claus Lane to improve access to the beach, provide new recreational amenities to the public, increase accessibility to all users of the project area and improve drainage and safety along Santa Claus Lane. Proposed  streetscape improvements include: additional beach and business patron parking, public restrooms, public showers, trash/recycle bins, bike racks, bike lanes, crosswalks, sidewalks, traffic calming measures, a new roundabout at the intersection of Santa Claus Lane and Spindrift Lane/Sand Point Road and landscaping.  


Zoning Administrator

June 6, 2016

Santa Claus Lane Community Meeting

May 19, 2016

South County Board of Architectural Review

August 10, 2012

Santa Claus Lane Community Meeting

January 17, 2012

February 23, 2011


Final Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND)

This final Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) discusses the potential environmental consequences associated with the implementation of the aforementioned pedestrian at-grade rail crossing.

Final MND for Pedestrian At-Grade Rail Crossing

2012 - Parking and Street Improvements Conceptual Project Plans and Report

MNS Engineers prepared a report detailing a brief history of the project area, an existing conditions assessment, summary of public input and an evaluation of circulation and parking improvement options considered.

Santa Claus Lane Circulation & Parking Project Report, August 2012, Prepared by MNS Engineers

MNS Engineers and Van Atta Associates prepared concept level engineering and landscape plans for Santa Claus Lane. The 2012 conceptual engineering plans are presented in four segments, beginning at Padaro Lane and ending at US 101 southbound onramp. 

Conceptual Streetscape Sheets

SCL - Street Plans

Landscape Plans

The conceptual landscape plans are presented in 6 sheets, from the intersection with Padaro Lane to the US 101 southbound onramp. Plans for the US 101 southbound end of the project includes several options for a turnaround at the end of Santa Claus Lane (see Sheet 6, 6.1 and 6.2).

Conceptual Landscape Sheets

SCL - Landscape

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. Join our mailing list to receive information about upcoming activities regarding the Santa Claus Lane Beach Access project.