Staff Report

The Community Environmental Council (CEC), in partnership with Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) and Just Communities, invites the community to participate in online and phone listening sessions as part of their Connected 2050/Conectados 2050 long-range planning effort.

The public is invited to request a listening session by visiting the (English) or (Spanish) website. The public can also sign up to get updates and give input by texting “CONNECT” to 833-956-0921.

“Listening sessions are a chance for people to talk openly about their concerns, needs, and ideas to help us learn how we can improve access to safe and reliable transportation, housing, jobs, and supportive services in their community,” stated Alhan Diaz-Correa, one of CEC’s community ambassadors for Connected 2050/Conectados 2050. “Residents’ local knowledge and personal experiences are essential to incorporating equitable solutions in the county’s long-term plans.” 

Connected 2050 is an update of the Santa Barbara County region’s long-range Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). The final Connected 2050 plan will provide recommendations to help the region’s cities and Santa Barbara County guide short term (3-5 years) and long-term (20+ years) planning efforts and policy decisions by providing a collective vision for the region’s future that balances transportation and housing needs with social, economic and environmental goals.

Public participation is a central component to the process and development of the Connected 2050 plan. The following series of public participation opportunities are available for the community to inform and influence final plans and recommendations in Connected 2050:

June: Listening sessions will occur online or by phone through July to let people give input on how transportation, land-use, and local access to housing and jobs could be improved to better meet community needs. In a safe space of up to fifteen friends, family members, or other community groups, people can share their ideas, concerns, and questions with Connected/Conectados 2050 Community Ambassadors. All participants will also learn how Connected 2050 works and how it will affect the communities where we live and work. The sessions are offered in Spanish and English languages with interpretation experts from nonprofit organization Just Communities. 

July:  The information gathered in listening sessions will help SBCAG staff create several possible plans that would improve transportation, land-use, and access to local housing and jobs. 

End of summer/early fall: SBCAG will host a series of community workshops to get public feedback on the proposed plans. These will then be consolidated into one proposed plan.

June 2021:  The public will be invited to give input on the proposed Connected 2050 plan during public hearings to ensure it strikes an equitable balance between social, economic, and environmental goals. 

August 2021: The final Connected 2050 plan will be adopted. The County of Santa Barbara and its cities will use the plan to guide local improvements for transportation, land-use, housing, and jobs access.