SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The City of Santa Barbara has agreed to make changes to a controversial Zoning Information Reports (ZIR's) requirement for people trying to sell their homes.
The mandatory reports are based, in part, on a physical inspection. http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/services/planning/zir.asp
NewsChannel 3 has learned that during a closed door hearing more than a week ago involving the city attorney, city leaders decided to allow changes to the application process, giving homeowners permission to opt out of on-site inspections inside their home or on their property.
"The City will basically do it from a public area, so, a sidewalk or in front of the property," said David Kim, President of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. "But, it's going to be limited. It's not going to involve an inspector going into the house."
Kim says he and all 1,600 members of Santa Barbara's Association of Realtors consider this a small step in the right direction.
"Our main goal would be to eliminate the mandatory zoning inspection reports," Kim said. "We just feel that they're outdated, they're not effective, there are too many inconsistencies with the reporting, there's no accountability on the City's end when they send an inspector out and there are inaccuracies between a report that's done one year versus the next year on the exact same property."
The change is reflected in a box that the homeowner can check on one part of the ZIR's application.
Kim said the realtor group has spent the past 8-years working with the City on ZIR's issues, in hopes of ending the practice.
NewsChannel 3 reached out to the City of Santa Barbara for comment, however, City Hall was closed on the Friday before the July 4 holiday.