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Small Business and Community Partnership Enhancement Program - SBCPEP​

The County of Santa Barbara launched SBCPEP a new voluntary program to allow businesses or other organizations to expand into adjacent outdoor areas in the unincorporated areas of the County to accommodate required social distancing protocols and safe practices. 


SBCPEP, or Small Business and Community Partnership Enhancement Program, kicked off Phase 1, allowing extension into the usable public roadside or sidewalk areas.  Fees that would normally be required to apply for this benefit as well as lease payments will be waived during the COVID-19 event. 


Phase 2, which will allow expansion onto private property such as parking lots, is now accepting applications. The information is below.


Businesses and Community entities interested in Phase 1 that seek to use the public sidewalk or roadway for their business operations must submit an encroachment permit application, site plan, and certificate of insurance.


To apply for a No-Fee Encroachment Permit from the County of Santa Barbara Public Works Department for the use of Public Road Right-of-Way, follow these steps:

Step 1: Complete and sign the Encroachment Permit Application

Step 2: Submit a site plan indicating proposed location of encroachment into County Right-of-Way. A minimum 48 inch ADA compliant walk way would need to be represented throughout your site plan.


Image of an example site plan

Example Site Plan


Step 3: Certificate of Insurance in the amount of $1 Million naming the County of Santa Barbara as the additional insured.

Small Business and Community Partnership Enhancement Program (SBCPEP) Phase 2 – Private Property   Now Accepting Applications

As part of SBCPEP, the Santa Barbara County Planning and Development Department (P&D) anticipates adopting zoning ordinance amendments on June 16, 2020 to provide temporary relief from standards including, but not limited to setbacks, parking and the requirement that businesses must operate within enclosed buildings. The intent is to provide flexibility to businesses as they re-open and to ensure the implementation of safe social distancing practices. These changes allow businesses within the unincorporated areas of the County of Santa Barbara to extend the usable space of their business up to their property line. If a business chooses to extend beyond the property line and into the Public Right-of-Way, they must submit an application to the County of Santa Barbara Public Works Department.


Interested business owners will need to fill out a checklist and prepare a site plan identifying the proposed temporary layout.  Photos of the area are also required.  P&D encourages business owners to submit the required information in advance of the use of the outdoor areas, but are required to submit it within 30 days.  Please note that if you are a tenant leasing space and wish to expand outdoors you will need to coordinate with the landlord/land owner.

Below are links to a checklist and a sample site plan (from Google maps) to help guide businesses as they prepare to submit to P&D.

Many cities are also considering similar programs.  For businesses located within a city, please check with your local jurisdiction.

All businesses that are now open, or will be open, must ensure they are compliant with State and local guidelines for COVID-19 safety. 

Businesses must self-certify that they have required safety plans in place and are abiding by their industry guidelines. Businesses can view the Reopen Your Business page for more information.

Santa Barbara Permit Office
4417 Cathedral Oaks Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 681-4990

Santa Maria Permit Office
620 W. Foster Road
Santa Maria, CA 93455
(805) 803-8750