skip to Main Content

Recovery Assistance

Task Force to support EOS: Robert Ooley, Ellen Bildsten, Dan Johnston, Susan van Atta, Ken Radtkey, Brian Cearnal, Chris Manson Hing, Bob Kupiec

Montecito Recovery Center: 

Click here for important information on upcoming FEMA dates!

AIASB is now represented at the Montecito Recovery Center on Coast Village Road.  Many thanks to Harrison Design Associates and Cearnal Collective for providing staff on behalf of AIASB for the first few weeks. United Way of Santa Barbara has generously provided a grant so that AIA Santa Barbara can support the staffing of the Montecito Center.


The Montecito Center for Preparedness, Recovery and Rebuilding is located at 1283 Coast Village Circle, Montecito, CA 93108.
Phone:  805-845-7887

Hours of Operation:

Mon-Sat 10 am to 2 pm (Wed additional hours 6 pm-9 pm)

Information Handouts:
Rebuild Guide
Consumers Guide to Hiring an Architect 
Thomas Fire Rebuild Manual
Thomas Fire Flowchart
Thomas Fire Rebuild Group Status Update
General Meeting Ed Keller Book 

Now at the Montecito Center:

Map of the Inland Montecito/Coastal boundary showing residents north of the 101 within the Coastal zone
Tess Harris’s presentation to Mont Assoc.
MLUDC, Montecito Guidelines, and Article ll.
Flood Control business cards to to address individual questions or concerns that property owners may have.
Information on breakaway construction and the review period

The Draft Map will be released on June 11, and an informational public meeting will be held at the County on June 12. FEMA will have representatives at the meeting and will stay in the community to assist the public.

Thank you to Trico Reprographic for sponsoring our May 12th Community Workshop!

In the News

KEYT – Architects Join Together to Help Solve Montecito’s Rebuilding Issues

Edhat – Architects Offer Guidance at Montecito Center

Newspress – Starting the Rebuild

KCLU – Architects Stepping Up to help Thomas Fire, Flood Victims

“Mobilizing architects for a community in need” 

On December 4th, 2017, the largest fire in California History struck Santa Barbara County like a bomb; so close to home, the fire raged sometimes within feet of our community. The back slopes of members’ offices burned, families and friends were evacuated with early morning emergency alerts, and toxic air quality kept everyone in air masks for weeks on end. We are proud to say, the AIA community in Santa Barbara held strong, supporting each other and neighbors in need. Highlighting the resilient Spirit of Santa Barbara, AIA Santa Barbara continued our work, presenting to City Council on December 5th , gathering in a tight-knit Holiday celebration on December 9th, and continuing the communication of important information to all of our members throughout the emergency.  

On January 8th, unprecedented rainfall resulted in mudslides that decimated Montecito, a neighbor to Santa Barbara. The destruction in our community was tragic; homes swept away, mass closures and evacuations, and resources spread to their limits between the two disasters. We at AIA Santa Barbara regrouped and developed a multi-modal approach to responding to these tragedies, helping our community, and mobilizing our members. 

First, working with the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) AIA Santa Barbara organized an Safety Assessment Program training workshop on January 19th to teach participants to conduct rapid damage assessments of structures affected by earthquakes, wind, and water. Licensed architects, engineers, and building code officials will be certified as a Building Evaluator by the State of California to consistently and safely assess structures for habitability. This training will mobilize in our city a cadre of professional engineers and architects and certified building inspectors who can assist local governments in safety evaluation of their built environment in an aftermath of the mudslide. 

Further mobilizing our membership, AIA Santa Barbara reached out to the Local Assistance Center, which serves as a centralized, single point location for essential resources and services to help community members recover and rebuild. Representatives from various local, state and federal agencies provide counseling support, resource and housing assistance, information to aid in rebuilding, permitting, hazardous materials clean-up, loss of business or employment, basic health and human services, and other topics. Dedicated members, embodying the generous spirit of Santa Barbara, took shifts to man an AIA Santa Barbara booth until we raised enough money to staff an office at the Center, providing information and handouts regarding floods, building safety, and what to do next to people affected by the disaster. Special thanks to United Way for providing funding.

After addressing the current needs of the community, the Recovery Assistance Task Force are now working to strengthen the dialogue with the City and County in order to assist as well as keep the Santa Barbara community informed of building and policy going forward. Our president and vice president are working closely with local officials to begin to develop documents addressing building, permitting, and other information. This branch of our Advocacy Committee to has been focus directly on Relief and Response. This committee is working on ways our experienced membership of design professionals can assist in the rebuilding of our community through information packages, building plans, site assessment, and workshops for those whose homes were affected.

After experiencing two record breaking disasters back to back, our incredible membership has paved the way to ensuring a smooth disaster response not only through the AIA but also personally by helping friends, neighbors, local emergency responders and more. As for the AIA, we must uphold the generous and resilient spirit of our membership and our home of Santa Barbara by developing responses that are persistent, relevant, and substantial.  

Back To Top