Bay Area Cities Appeal Housing Allocations
The Association of Bay Area Governments received appeals from 28 local governments that will dispute their draft RHNA housing requirements for 2023-2031. The appeals came from 10 communities in Marin County, 6 in Santa Clara County, 6 in Contra Costa County, 3 cities in Alameda County, and 3 from Sonoma County. Instead of filing an appeal, Mountain View, Napa County, San Bruno, San Rafael, and St. Helena sent ABAG comment letters about their allocations. Up until August 30, 2021, ABAG will accept comments from the public, jurisdictions, and HCD on the submitted appeals, and a public hearing will occur in the fall.
Los Angeles Plan Would Add Half-Million Housing Units
Los Angeles City Planning and the Housing + Community Investment Department released a draft plan to provide nearly 500,000 additional housing units over the next eight years, with 200,000 units dedicated to housing for low-income residents. Their proposal, named “The Plan to House LA,” centers equitable development and aims to minimize displacement and homelessness. To achieve its goal and add 57,000 new units annually, the city plans to implement a rezoning program that would increase density allowances in resource-rich neighborhoods zoned for single-family housing while also protecting vulnerable communities. City Planning and HCIDLA is requesting recommendations from the public, and Los Angeles City Council will vote on “The Plan to House LA” in the fall.
MTC/ABAG Release Draft Plan Bay Area 2050
The Draft Plan Bay Area 2050, which outlines the Association of Bay Area Governments’ and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s $1.4 trillion plan for the Bay Area’s future economy, environment, housing, and transportation, is complete and available for public comment. After three years of collaboration, the two groups have released their strategy to generate more public transit, confront the housing crisis, and protect the region against sea level rise. Also central to the plan is ensuring that all policy prioritizes resiliency to weather unforeseen crises and equity to better accommodate all Bay Area residents. The plan includes $468 billion in housing investments, $579 billion for transportation, $234 billion for economic development, among other investments. Adoption is anticipated this fall.
A’s and Oakland Continue to Disagree Over New Stadium, Coliseum Redevelopment
In the latest installment of the Oakland A’s Howard Terminal proposal saga, the city and the A’s continue to disagree on one particular matter: the infrastructure tax financing districts to support the development. While the team and the city are getting closer to agreeing on some previous points of contention, including affordable housing and non-relocation agreements, the A’s rejected the city’s financial requirements. Meanwhile, a group of community members are demanding that the team commits to ensuring community benefits and building affordable units at its Howard Terminal location instead of executing the A’s plan to predominantly fund affordable housing elsewhere. Currently, the city is requiring that half of the A’s 30% affordable housing proposal be built onsite, which would result in 450 units.
Statewide Housing Permits Jump 25 Percent
According to an analysis of Census data analyzed by the Public Policy Institute of California, during the first four months of 2021, the number of new housing units authorized statewide increased 25% compared to the same period in 2020. Growth in March and April was particularly robust, with new permits exceeding 10,000 units in each month—the first time since 2007 that those months have seen such large numbers. Of course, this sharp increase is in comparison with the very low number of permits authorized at the start of the pandemic. In the first four months of 2021, residential permits in the Bay Area were higher than a year ago, but this increase was not enough to compensate for the major decline that we saw between 2019 and 2020. In contrast, other metros like Sacramento, San Diego, and Los Angeles actually saw increases in 2020 that have continued into 2021. Indeed, housing production in Sacramento has boomed since the pandemic started in response to a growing number of Bay Area residents relocating. Over the past 20 years, permitting for single-family homes has fallen from an annualized high of nearly 150,000 in 2004 to about 55,000 today; permitting for multifamily projects has fluctuated much less, from an annualized high of just under 59,000 in 2005 to just under 47,000 in April of this year.
CP&DR Coverage: Planning Takes a Loooong Time
We at CP&DR are used to these long timeframes. Sometimes our biggest editorial challenge is choosing whether to cover a project next month, a year from now, or three years from some. Sometimes, it literally makes no difference, since a story today would end up being the same as a story a year from now. And yet, there are projects that, no matter how important strain even our patience and that illustrate just how creaky California planning can be sometimes. Here is our account of the state's longest-running planning and development stalemates.
Quick Hits & Updates
The Jurupa Valley City Council voted 4-1 to allow EM Ranch Owner, LLC to apply for a general plan amendment to construct 1.5 million square feet of warehouses as part of a 250-acre mixed-use development along the 60 Freeway. While their vote does not signify approval of the project, concerns remain that authorizing this first step could result in warehouse expansion near homes, schools, and places of worship. (See related CP&DR coverage.)