What is SBCAG?
The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments is a regional planning agency comprised of Santa Barbara County and all eight incorporated cities within the county. SBCAG distributes local, state, and federal transportation funds and acts as a forum for addressing regional and multi-jurisdictional issues.
The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) is an association of city and county governments in Santa Barbara County. Many of the issues that face local governments and the people they serve such as traffic, housing, air quality, and growth extend beyond jurisdictional boundaries. SBCAG’s primary purpose is to assist local governments in solving common problems and addressing public policy issues that are regional or multi-jurisdictional. SBCAG exists to provide a forum for regional collaboration and cooperation between agencies.
SBCAG was established in 1966 as a voluntary council of governments under a joint powers agreement executed by Santa Barbara County and each of the general purpose city governments in the county. SBCAG is an independent public agency governed by a 13-member board of directors consisting of all five county supervisors and one city council member from each of the eight cities within the County. The agency employs a staff of 20 and has an annual budget of about $20 million. The Overall Work Program contains a listing of projects and programs SBCAG is working on during the current fiscal year. Learn more about the SBCAG Board and staff.
SBCAG's primary organizational and functional responsibilities include:
Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA)
Designated by the California Transportation Agency, SBCAG is responsible for the multi-modal transportation planning, programming, and fund allocation required by state statutes. This includes the annual allocation of Transportation Development Act (TDA) funds.
Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC)
SBCAG is designated as the Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) and is responsible for protecting public health, safety, and welfare by ensuring that vacant lands in the vicinity of airports are planned and zoned for uses compatible with airport operations. To do this, SBCAG must determine that the adoption of local land use plans and policies will minimize the public’s exposure to excessive noise and safety hazards.
Local Transportation Authority (LTA)
As the Local Transportation Authority (LTA), SBCAG is responsible for administering the 1/2 cent county-wide sales tax authorized by voter approval of Measure A, adopted in November 2008. This tax is projected to generate $1 billion for local and regional transportation projects over thirty years. SBCAG is responsible for the annual allocation of more than $18 million to local agencies as well as the development and construction of fifteen state and regional projects identified in the Measure A plan at a total cost of more than $132 million.
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
SBCAG has been designated by the Governor as the agency responsible for all transportation planning and programming activities required under federal law. This includes the development of long range transportation plans and multi-year funding programs, and the selection and approval of transportation projects using federal funds.
Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies (SAFE)
This program is responsible for the installation, operation and administration of the system of approximately 350 roadside call boxes in Santa Barbara County. This system is financed by a $1 annual fee on all motor vehicles registered in the county.
Affiliate Census Center
SBCAG has been designated by the State Department of Finance to serve as the affiliate census center for Santa Barbara County. As such, SBCAG serves as the conduit for government and public access to census data.
Congestion Management Agency (CMA)
As the CMA, SBCAG is responsible for the development and implementation of the county-wide Congestion Management Program (CMP) required in all urban counties in California. The CMP is a comprehensive program designed to reduce auto-related congestion through capital improvements, travel demand management, and coordinated land use planning among all local jurisdictions.
SBCAG also administers a county-wide Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program that promotes ridesharing, public transportation, biking, walking, telecommuting, and other transportation alternatives. Traffic Solutions also works directly with employers to assist in developing employee transportation programs.