Staff Report

Over the past decade, proposed changes to the Avenue of Flags have been a recurring topic in Buellton. City officials recently provided the following update:

The Avenue of Flags Specific Plan has been completely updated to include the final round of revisions leading up to the Specific Plan’s approval by City Council on Oct. 26, 2017.

While the overall downtown revitalization goals and programs of the Specific Plan remain the same, council made some significant changes, most notably the approval of a single architectural design style – Art Deco – for future development and exterior renovations. Added to the Specific Plan was a call for “high quality development” and the encouragement of local and regional businesses rather than national chains.

The Specific Plan area’s underlying General Commercial Zone now has a Specific Plan overlay which uses “form-based code” to regulate land use, development standards, building form, and public infrastructure. Development incentives in exchange for community-benefit public improvements may be considered through the Development Opportunity Reserve (DOR) program.

The Specific Plan serves to implement the Buellton Vision Plan 2012 goal of creating a vibrant downtown district around the Avenue of Flags. It is a culmination of a multi-year planning process, from 2015 to 2017, involving the community through numerous public workshops, listening to the desires of property and business owners, and several public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council.

What’s happening on The Avenue in 2018?

Development project applications are being processed for:

  • Arco Gas Station project – AM-PM convenience store and quick-serve restaurant
  • 518 Avenue of Flags Mixed-Use development – retail, office, showroom/storage, residential
  • Art Deco Interest in other properties

Other things of interest include:

  • Art on The Avenue: Public art has popped up on the median near Damassa Road, where it will stay through fall.
  • Median Improvements: The City Council recently put $250,000 in the budget as a start on improving Median 2 with parking and “flex space”
  • Parking lot on city-owned property at 480 Central Ave. The potential 19-space parking lot may provide off-site parking for commercial uses on the avenue.

The final version of the Avenue of Flags Specific Plan is available on the city’s website. Go to and select “Planning” from the “Departments” menu, then navigate down the page to “Avenue of Flags.”

For more information, call the Buellton Planning Department at 805-688-7474.