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City Manager's Office

Posted on: January 21, 2023

Housing Element Update

Housing Element Cover

Atherton_color_small (4) copy ADUThe Town certified, adopted and submitted its Housing Element for the 2023-2031 Housing Cycle to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for its review on January 31, 2023. Comments are anticipated in 60 days. 

The use of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) continues to be a significant resource for compliance. Please take a moment to complete our ADU Survey that will assist the Town in its presentation to the State HCD as part of the 6th Cycle Housing Element process. 

Recent public meetings on Housing: 

At the January 31, 2023 meeting, the Council did not adopt the recommendations from the Planning Commission, removed the upzoning considered for the 17 parcels along El Camino Real, and incorporated a 10 unit per acre zoning overlay for 23 Oakwood. These revisions were incorporated into the existing draft document along with a revision to the 2nd ADU recommendation, and staff was directed to modify the document, file the CEQA notice of exemption and submit it to the State as the Town's 6th Cycle Housing Element for their review. 

"Overlay Zoning" - Overlay Zoning occurs when the Town identifies parcels to be a part of an Overlay Zone that would allow a different density or use than already exists on the parcel. When a parcel is part of an Overlay, the existing use is allowed to continue; but the property owner can choose to demolish and rebuild at the new use. In the situation proposed in the January 19 Planning Commission recommendation, parcels are being considered for an Overlay Zone at a higher density to allow multi-family. The development requirements for multi-family are not yet developed and the Overlay Zone itself would all occur over the next 36 months. Development standards would address height, setbacks, lot coverage, parking, fence heights, screening, etc. as well as minimum and maximum density requirements. With Overlay Zoning, the existing use is not considered non-conforming as it is a lawfully permitted use in both the current zone and the Overlay Zone. In other words, the minimum density allowed in an Overlay Zone would be a single-family home. Overlay Zoning does not prevent the existing uses from continuing nor does it impose restrictions or exceptions to expanding those uses. Overlay Zoning does not force property owners to sell properties, nor does it impose a requirement to tear down existing structures. 

For more details, visit the Town's Housing Webpage. Available videos from Council Meetings are available here. To stay engaged on Town topics and issues, sign up for the Town's E-News here. Comments may be sent to council@ci.atherton.ca.us.

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