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Head Of South Coast Government Agency Hit By Controversy Resigning

The head of a South Coast government agency which recently came under fire from a grand jury announced he is leaving to take another job. George Buell is stepping down as Director of the City of Santa Barbara’s Community Development Department.  Buell has served as head of the agency since 2014.

Earlier this month, a Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report focused on the agency, which oversees planning, development, and building safety in the city. It says it projects a no-growth attitude and that the permit process can be too long.

The report claims there is an inconsistent application of building codes by staff and that the work flow between the agency’s divisions is sometimes inefficient. And, the Grand Jury report found serious morale problems in the department.

It says the city needs to take a more active role in addressing the issues with the agency. 

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.