After the Town certified, adopted and submitted its 6th Cycle Housing Element to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), initial comments were received on April 4, 2023 - here is a link to the letter received from HCD. A Report was presented to the City Council at their May 17 Regular Meeting (Link to Report) outlining HCD's feedback and recommendations.
HCD's comments require the Town to provide further analysis of the following:
- How will the Town address the needs of Extremely Low-Income (ELI) households and Special Needs Populations?
- How will the Town mitigate Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) issues including fair housing, capacity, inventory, and other contributing factors?
- The Town must expand the discussion of housing needs to include specific quantitative data related to income level.
- The Town must further analyze identified SB 9 sites to ensure that the unit yield predicted will achieve the Town's Regional Housing Needs Analysis (RHNA) Goals.
- The Town must further analyze sites and strategies to determine if the overall site inventory meets the Town's RHNA Goals - including capacity, small and large sites, zoning for lower-income households, suitability of non-vacant sites, infrastructure, and site shortfalls.
- The Town must further analyze governmental and non-governmental constraints - local processes, ordinances, densities, and other constraints.
- The Town must assess its multi-family strategy to ensure that it meets the requirements of State law.
- The Town must address HCD's concerns related to its Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) strategy.
On Monday, July 19, the Town's Planning Team will host an Outreach Workshop to discuss the State's AFFH requirements and how they relate to the Town and its affordable housing strategies - to include any potential for multi-family. Feedback from this Workshop will feed into the City Council's Regular Meeting on July 19 at which the Council must clearly define the required Project Description for the purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of the Town's Housing Element.
The Town's Planning Team have numerous concurrent project studies and analysis ongoing in relation to the Housing Element. These include, but are not limited to: necessary CEQA review of the Town's Housing Element; creation of Objective Design Criteria; development of Land Use Ordinances for adoption consistent with the Housing Element Policies and Programs; development of an update to the Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance for consistency with State Law and the Housing Element; and creation of an Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance. All of these studies and analysis will proceed through a public review and engagement process as they matriculate up to the Planning Commission and ultimately the City Council.
One of the key components of the Town's Housing Element is its reliance upon ADUs as a primary means of compliance at the Very Low and Low Income categories. That reliance rests on the community to commit to using ADUs as that viable solution. ADUs offer a practical solution for multi-generational families seeking additional living space. They can provide an opportunity for homeowners to downsize and/or use the ADU to generate rental income. ADUs can be used as shared family space or caretaker space at little or no cost. There are these and other habitation scenarios that exist today that will help the Town reach its State mandate.
To help with that effort, we launched an online survey to determine what's out there now. We need to determine if there are existing ADUs or Junior ADUs that are presently in use; and, if so, at what rate are they provided? If you have an ADU or JADU and have not yet responded, please do so HERE. The Survey will be up through the month of July 2023.
We do not anticipate a formal response back to HCD until the end of 2023 and after we have completed additional outreach workshops, completed CEQA, and completed various ordinance and land use revisions. To stay abreast of these meetings and issues, please be sure to sign up for the Town's News Flashes and Public Notices and watch the Agendas and Minutes page for meeting information. The City Council meets regularly on the 1st Wednesday of each month at 4 pm for a Study Session and on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 6 pm for a Regular Meeting. The Planning Commission meets regularly on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 6 pm.
To stay engaged on Town topics and issues, sign up for the Town's E-News here. Comments may be sent to email@example.com.
Videos from Council Meetings are available here.