City of Santa Barbara guidelines
If you are fortunate enough to have a scenic view—whether of the city, mountains, canyons or coastline—you may have wondered what rights you have as a Riviera resident and Santa Barbara citizen to maintain or enhance that view. We live in a beautiful community blanketed with trees, hedges and shrubs, which can offer us privacy, enhance the character of our neighborhoods, and often provide scenic vistas of their own. What happens when trees or other vegetation impinge on those special views? When the desire to preserve a view clashes with the objectives of maintaining privacy and greenery, how does the issue get resolved?
The answer is, “it depends”. For those of you not familiar, the City has published a set of guidelines (see links below) that govern tree removal and view maintenance, including a process for resolving disputes. We hope that awareness of these guidelines will help you and your Riviera neighbors to reconcile potentially conflicting interests, and allow you to preserve views without compromising privacy or the beauty of our trees and landscaping.
City Ordinance Resources for Homeowners on Views and Tree Trimming/Maintenance
Views. The City does not have a “view” ordinance per se. It has an ordinance that outlines the process for homeowners in dispute to amicably resolve and mediate issues regarding trees and views.
Vegetation/Trees Trimming and Maintenance.
City ordinances specify when a permit is required to trim or remove vegetation, including trees, given different hillside sloping, parkways, and location on property. There are fines, as mentioned in links below, for the unpermitted removal of trees.
Tree and landscaping removal handouts: