Santa Barbara Harbor Commission to Host Lottery for Unassigned 20-Foot Slip Permits

The application period to participate in the lottery for the assignment of a 20-foot slip will be open for a three-week period, beginning April 1 and closing at 5 p.m. April 21.

SANTA BARBARA— Boat owners interested in a 20-foot slip in Santa Barbara Harbor have been invited to participate in a free lottery for the opportunity to get a permit for one of these slips. The Santa Barbara Harbor Commission received a presentation about the lottery at its March 18 meeting.

During the last year, three 20-foot slips have become available and were offered to every individual on the current waiting list. According to a staff report, two individuals have shown interest but have not finalized permit paperwork, leaving at least one, but as many as three up for grabs in the lottery.

Historically, the 20-foot slip size has been a challenge to assign to individuals on the established slip permit waitlists because most of those individuals are waiting for larger slips, so the 20-foot slips go unassigned, the staff report said. Waterfront Department staff also said these lotteries don’t come up very often.

“It probably hasn’t happened in the last 15 years,” said Harbor Operations Manager Erik Erickson.

“I was there for the last one,” said Commissioner Betsy Cramer at the meeting. “I remember there were not very many applicants for it.”

To facilitate the assignment of these slips in a timely manner, the City Council adopted Resolution 08-032, which allows a special lottery to be held after the slips have been offered and declined by all individuals on the current waitlists.

The application period to participate in the lottery for the assignment of a 20-foot slip will be open for a three-week period. It began at 8 a.m. on April 1 and will close at 5 p.m. on April 21.

Lottery participation request forms are available online at or by contacting the Waterfront Business Office at 805-564-5531.

There is no cost to participate. If any slip permits remain unassigned after being offered to every individual participating in the lottery, the Waterfront Department will use the slip space for transient berthing for six months and will return to Harbor Commission to either request hosting another lottery or to explore other options.


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