The Town submitted its Draft Housing Element for the 2023-2031 Housing Cycle to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for its initial review in 2022. Comments were received at the end of October and over the past several months, the Town has been hosting several public meetings to discuss and consider revisions to the Draft Housing Element to address the State's response.
The use of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) continues to be a significant resource for compliance; but the Town also has to address mandates that require the identification of multi-family opportunities in Town. 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:
- November 17, 2022 the City Council hosted a Special Meeting/Study Session to review, in detail, the State’s response letter.
- December 15, 2022 the Council met again at a Special Meeting/Study Session
- January 11, 2023 the City Council Study Session
- January 12, 2023 - Community Engagement Meeting (@Menlo College - Russell Center (space is limited))
- January 18, 2023 - City Council Meeting (@ Council Chambers)
- January 19, 2023 - Planning Commission Special Meeting (@Council Chambers)
- January 31, 2023 - 2 pm - Special Meeting on January 31, 2023 for adoption and submission. At this meeting, the Council can consider submitting the Draft Housing Element as last reviewed at the January 18 Council Meeting OR the Draft Housing Element incorporating some or all of the Planning Commission Recommendations from January 19.
"Up Zoning" - Upzoning occurs when the Town rezones parcels to allow a higher density or different use than already exists on the parcel. When a parcel is up zoned, the existing use is allowed to continue; but, the Town can incorporate restrictions on the property owner's ability to expand the use. If the existing use is discontinued (i.e. abandoned or demolished), the property would be required to be developed consistent with the new upzoning. In the situation proposed in the January 18 Housing Element, parcels are being considered for up zoning to a higher density to allow multi-family. The development requirements for multi-family are not yet developed and the upzoning 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. When up zoned to a higher density use, development standards could establish a minimum density between 1 and whatever maximum is proposed (in this case 20). The Town would also review its Exceptions to Non-Conforming Uses Ordinance to address any exceptions that would allow the continuation or expansion of the existing single-family uses. Upzoning does not prevent the existing uses from continuing, does not force property owners to sell properties, nor does it impose a requirement to tear down existing structures.
"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.