CP&DR News Briefs February 1, 2022: CUSS Grants; San Diego Inclusive Housing; The developer is suing Alhambra, and more

$808 million in AHSC grants awarded to 37 projects statewide
The California Strategic Growth Council announced $808 million in funding for 37 affordable housing projects across the state under the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program, which aims to promote dense, focused development. on public transport and to reduce carbon emissions linked to housing. . Combined, the projects receiving this sixth round of awards will avoid more than 1.4 million metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to taking 304,472 daily passenger vehicles off the road for one year. AHSC is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that dedicates billions of cap-and-trade dollars to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment, especially in disadvantaged communities. (See related CP&DR coverage.)

San Diego Changes Inclusion Policy to Promote Housing in Coastal Zone
The San Diego City Council approved, 8-1, amendments to the city’s 2019 Inclusive Housing Act that requires market-rate developers to build affordable housing or face higher costs . City council members reviewed the changes after the Coast Commission recommended a policy that requires affordable units be built within half a mile of public transportation or areas designated for more housing by the California Tax Credit Allocation Community. The city council also approved a requirement that less than five percent of affordable housing should be subsidized by the government. While some changes will impact the entire city, most would be targeted to coastal neighborhoods, although the Coastal Commission must give final approval before the law takes effect.

A developer sues the city of Alhambra for the rejection of a housing project
Los Angeles-based real estate group The Ratkovich Company is suing the City of Alhambra in Los Angeles Superior Court to fight to build more affordable housing. The move follows the city’s rejection of The Villages at the Alhambra, the largest housing project in California to be rejected by a local government. Ratkovich’s development aligned with all city zoning and development requirements and aimed to bring 790 units to underutilized land at the Alhambra, which includes 1 million square feet of office space nearby. public transport. The company hopes the Alhambra will approve the project after spending four years and 20 public hearings reviewing the development, a process that previously violated the state’s housing crisis law.

PPIC: the production of new housing is below needs
California’s strategies to increase the state’s housing supply are not making up for decades of undersupply with population growth, according to 2020 census data and analysis from the Public Policy Institute of California. Census Bureau data shows that new housing has not kept pace with population growth; the number of people has increased 3.2 times more than the number of housing units over the past decade. Now California is short of nearly 3.5 million homes which Governor Gavin Newsom says will be essential by 2025. The census also proved that coastal housing is the most expensive, but inland areas have seen the greater percentage change in home values ​​because residents are pushed or pulled by their lower costs.

Legal coverage of the CP&DR: Vagueness of the development code; Density bonus law
In the city of Santa Cruz, 1930 Ocean Street Extension would build eight quadruplexes on hilly terrain near the San Lorenzo River. The project has been in dispute for years – in part over the potential impact of a nearby crematorium – but the latest battle essentially comes down to this: the city’s planned development permit rules require the proponent must go through a process to change the slope regulations for the project or do they have to exempt the developer of this process? A superior court judge said one thing and now an appeal court has said the opposite. Meanwhile, in San Diego, a community association opposed a 20-story apartment building based on two arguments that might have succeeded in the past: conflicts with the general plan and the idea that the “mass and scale” of the project does not match the neighborhood. . But the Bankers Hill neighbors aren’t winning the argument. They lost all day down the line, and an appeals court criticized the neighborhood group for “circumventing” the density bonus law in their arguments.

Quick hits and updates

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria announced the city would accept Senate Bill 10 to streamline the process of building housing near transit areas. San Diego will likely be the first major city in California to do so.

Documents filed in a lawsuit over the Angel Stadium deal suggest city leaders privately decided to sell the stadium before formal negotiations between the city and Angels Baseball began in November 2019 and while the public still believed the city would renegotiate the lease.

The Oakland Department of Transportation is beginning to phase out its Slow Streets program meant to protect pedestrians and cyclists, a process that began nearly two years ago. Authorities will begin removing slow-moving street infrastructure, including signs, safety cones and barricades, located on approximately 21 miles of roadway over the next two weeks, allowing vehicles to return to the streets. (CP&DR related coverage.)

The Simi Valley City Council unanimously passed a two-year extension of an emergency ordinance that will strengthen local control over the impacts of Senate Bill 9. (See related CP&DR coverage.)

San Francisco developer Republic Metropolitan is suing Santa Clara for violating state housing law and breaking a contract to build a housing project with 170 units for students and 70 units for low-income residents income. The city blocked the project after two years of planning for a mixed-use complex on land owned by the city and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

The Oakland Planning Commission recommends that the City Council approve the environmental review of proposed A’s Howard Terminal waterfront baseball stadium after considering hours of public comment. While some members of the public hoped the commission would take longer, its decision is a major step in moving the $12 billion project forward.

According to a group of researchers who used the results of a longitudinal survey of local governments in the 30 largest metropolitan areas in the United States in 2003-2019, the frequent use of an exclusionary zoning policy motivated race generated unaffordability and exclusion, to analyze the steps needed to reform land use regulation. Researchers argue for the ethical and legal responsibility of urban planners to undo racial segregation entrenched in local zoning.

The Strategic Growth Council has announced the recipients of the BOOST program, a statewide program designed to help underfunded California communities advance their goals of climate action, resilience and equity. Communities include the towns of Barstow, La Puente, Maywood, McFarland, Needles, Rialto and South San Francisco, which will receive support in the form of trainings, partnership development, community engagement planning and implementation support. implementation, assistance with grant applications and communications. assistance.

UC San Francisco has launched a 3-year community investment pilot program to advance health equity by funding affordable housing and small businesses owned by BIPOC. The Anchor Institution Initiative has pledged to invest $5 million in housing assistance, employment and small business loans in San Francisco in the Easy Bay.

While California officials express their commitment to low-emission, climate-focused public transit, their actual achievements are negligible, according to a draft report co-authored by researchers from UC Berkeley, ‘UCLA and UC Davis. At local and regional levels, policy makers tend to adopt car-centric policies, as evidenced by the fact that programs falling under AB 285, the state’s plan to reduce emissions, account for only 2 % of state transit spending.

While a landlord interest group, Santa Ana for Fair & Equitable Housing, hoped to repeal Orange County’s first rent control law, the group announced that it would no longer pursue the effort. Instead, he plans to file complaints about violations of the Ralph M. Brown Act when the board considered and voted on the policy in October.

The Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna metropolitan area took 15th place on The Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com’s list of top 20 emerging housing markets, which analyzes markets that should benefit homeowners and investors, including the most were smaller markets.

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