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121113 Lakeport Planning Commission agenda packet

121113 Lakeport Planning Commission agenda packet

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Published by LakeCoNews
Agenda packet for the Lakeport Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, in Lakeport, Calif.
Agenda packet for the Lakeport Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, in Lakeport, Calif.

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Published by: LakeCoNews on Dec 10, 2013
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12/11/2013

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 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Meeting Date: December 11, 2013 Page 1 Agenda Item V. A.
CITY OF LAKEPORT PLANNING COMMISSION
 
STAFF REPORT
RE:
 OA 13-06 / Density Bonus Ordinance
MEETING DATE:
 December 11, 2013
SUBMITTED BY:
 Andrew Britton, Planning Services Manager
PURPOSE OF REPORT:
 Information only Discussion Commission Action
WHAT IS BEING ASKED OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION:
Public hearing, discussion and recommendation to the City Council regarding the adoption of an ordinance that would modify the
City’s
Zoning Ordinance to provide density bonuses and other development incentives for affordable housing projects in accordance with State law.
BACKGROUND:
State Planning and Zoning Law requires all cities in California to provide specified incentives to development projects that set aside a portion of their residential units as affordable for low income households. The requirements are commonly referred to as the
“density bonus law” because the law allows developers of affordable housing to build
more residential units than would otherwise be allowed under the General Plan and Zoning Ordinance. The density bonus law was enacted in 1979 and has been amended several times since. The law was substantially revised in 2005 (via SB 1818) to require cities to not only grant a density bonus, but to grant additional incentives including, but not limited to, mandatory reduced parking requirements and waivers of other development standards. The density bonus law is codified in California Government Code Sections 65915 through 65918 (Attachment A).
Government Code Section 65915(a) states that “all cities….shall adopt an ordinance that specifies how compliance with this section will be implemented.”
 The City of Lakeport adopted a comprehensive update to its Housing Element in 2009.
Chapter 6 of the Housing Element describes the City’s housing goals, policies and programs that are expected to be implemented during the course of the Element’s five
-year action plan. One of the primary goals of the Housing Element (Goal 2, Page 6-5
) is to “
facilitate and
encourage development of housing to meet the regional housing needs allocations.”
Several policies are related to this goal, including Policy 2A which states: The City shall encourage additional housing to meet the City's Regional Housing Need Allocations by maintaining an inventory of adequate sites to
 
 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Meeting Date: December 11, 2013 Page 2 Agenda Item V. A.
meet the City’s
 housing needs, by actively encouraging and assisting the construction of multifamily housing, by promoting a range of housing types, and by encouraging utilization of density bonuses in support of affordable housing. (Program 2-1, 2-2, and 2-3) This policy references three specific programs which provide specific actions needed to implement the related policy, including the following program specific to density bonuses:
Program 2-2
 
Density Bonus
Revise the Zoning Ordinance to include density bonus provisions consistent with the requirements of state law (Government Code Sections 65915 and 65917). The ordinance shall identify incentives for affordable housing development, including expedited processing.
It should be noted that the adoption of a local density bonus ordinance was also a policy (Policy 20) included in the 2004 Housing Element update.
DISCUSSION:
State law requires the City to adopt an updated Housing Element approved by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) by June 30, 2014. The Planning Department recently started the process of updating the Housing Element, including the issuance of a Request for Proposals for consultant services to help with this project. To allow for quicker and more efficient review of draft Housing Elements, HCD is offering a new streamlined review process to qualifying cities. To qualify for the streamlined review, a city must have implemented certain programs and adopted certain ordinances related to State housing laws. One of the requirements for the streamlined review is the adoption of a density bonus ordinance. State law requires all cities to adopt an ordinance to locally implement the requirements of the density bonus law, but further states that all cities are required to grant density bonuses and incentives as provided under the law whether or not a local ordinance has been adopted. As such, Lakeport is already subject to the density bonus law in all zones that allow residential development citywide, even though a local ordinance has not been adopted. The proposed ordinance (Attachment B) does not recite State law in its entirety but serves as an overall summary of the State requirements and integrates them with existing zoning requirements and processes. Staff recommends that density bonuses and related incentives be approved through the existing development review process, subject to approval by the Planning Commission with decisions appealable to the City Council. Development projects requesting a density bonus and incentives would go through the same process as regular residential projects with no additional process required. The draft
ordinance expresses the City’s intent to expedite the
 processing of these applications to the greatest extent possible. Adoption of the proposed ordinance would not impose any requirements on the City that are not already required under State law. Furthermore, it would not grant developers any notable incentives beyond those to which they are already entitled under State law. The primary purpose of adopting a local density bonus ordinance is to establish review procedures and ensure that the provisions are implemented in a manner that is consistent with the
City’s own zoning processes.
Since Lakeport, along with all other cities, is already
 
 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Meeting Date: December 11, 2013 Page 3 Agenda Item V. A.
subject to the requirements of the density bonus law, staff believes that it would be in the
City’s best interest to amend the Municipal Code to be consistent with State
law. Further, adopting the proposed ordinance now will help qualify the City for a streamlined review of the updated General Plan Housing Element.
CEQA (CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT):
Adoption and implementation of the proposed ordinance has been determined to be exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act as it meets with the criteria established in §15061(b)(3) of the CEQA Guidelines because there will be no physical changes to the environment as a result of adoption of the ordinance and because the contemplated action is pursued only for the purpose of compliance with an existing State Statutory requirement.
IMPACTS/PROS AND CONS:
No fiscal impacts are anticipated as a result of the proposed modifications to the Zoning Ordinance.
OPTIONS:
1.
 
Accept the proposed draft ordinance and recommend its adoption to the City Council based on the findings that the proposed Ordinance is in the best interest of the City, will help the City achieve certain goals and policies contained in the Housing Element and is intended to comply with requirements imposed by the State of California. 2.
 
Propose revisions to the draft ordinance and request that it be returned to the Planning Commission for further discussion.
POINTS OF CONSIDERATION:
Approval of the proposed ordinance
will satisfy a requirement of the City’s Housing
Element and bring the City into compliance with current State housing laws related to density bonus provisions and related incentives.
SUGGESTED MOTION:
See options listed above.
Attachments
 A. State Density Bonus Law (CA Government Code §65915-65918)
 
B. Draft Ordinance

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