June 22, 2022 11:42 AM
Last night, the Santa Monica City Council provided direction for staff to submit the draft redline revisions to the City’s 6th Cycle Housing Element Update to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).
While the Housing Element was adopted by the City Council on October 21, 2021, significant changes to Housing Element Law for the 6th Cycle put the City’s plan out of compliance with the new State requirements. By submitting these revisions to HCD, the City seeks to address these areas of concern and ensure the plan complies with State requirements.
Revisions to respond to HCD comments include:
- As discussed at the April 26, 2022, City Council meeting, the overall housing capacity analyzed in the Housing Element has increased to over 13,000 units.
- Address HCD’s comments on the constraints analysis on such issues as emergency shelters, fees, and processes and permit procedures.
- Reconcile and update the number of permits issued for accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
- Housing preservation programs – – City staff clarified for HCD staff that Santa Monica’s fair housing strategy leads first and foremost with housing preservation with revisions focusing on adding program background and commitments to continue past successes, clarifying geographic targeting, and adding metrics where applicable.
- Distribution of housing capacity throughout the city – revisions include floor area ratio (FAR) and corresponding building height increases largely in commercial boulevards north of the I-10 freeway (Wilshire, Santa Monica Boulevard, Broadway, Colorado, Olympic), Bergamot, and Downtown in exchange for lesser development standards in the Pico neighborhood and neighborhood commercial areas such as Montana Avenue, Main Street, and Ocean Park Boulevard.
- R1 zone metrics and monitoring – to demonstrate commitment to increasing equitable housing access in R1 zones, two new programs have been added to incentivize SB9 units particularly on larger parcels, and add a target to issue building permits for 47 additional housing units per year in the R1 zones coupled with mid-cycle monitoring to assess progress
- Revisions to the Housing Element include a more explicit explanation of how City-owned sites would address affordable housing by identifying five City-owned sites that can accommodate 1,880 affordable housing units to meet the City’s lower income targets in the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA).
The City hopes to receive a “draft in compliance” letter from HCD on the submitted redline revisions, which would provide a path forward for the City Council to adopt a revised compliant Housing Element.
To learn more, visit www.santamonica.gov/housing-element-update.
Public Information Coordinator