Less growth: Panel OKs Housing Element
By Dawn Hodson, Mountain Democrat
From page A1 | 3 Comments

After reviewing updates to the county’s Housing Element of the County General Plan at the March 14 meeting, the El Dorado County Planning Commission voted to forward a draft of the plan to the Board of Supervisors for further action.

As part of a staff presentation, the commission reviewed what occurred after the last Housing Element update for the period 2008 to 2013. That update projected 7,474 new housing units would be added including 3,708 very low/low-income units on the west slope. However, only 932 units were actually approved or constructed between 2008 and 2012, including 227 new affordable units, or 12 percent of what had originally been forecast.

Based on population forecasts of population growth averaging only 2 percent a year from 2015 to 2025, the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) number generated by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) was reduced to 3,948, or half of what was previously projected for the period 2013 to 2021.

According to the staff report, “This reduction reflects a one-time adjustment by HCD (the California Department of Housing and Community Development) for this planning cycle due to extraordinary economic conditions impacting the housing market resulting in decreased need for new housing within the region.”

Recent changes to state law were also addressed in the housing update, including extending the Housing Element planning period from five to eight years; strengthening the existing obligations of local governments to zone land for affordable housing; and an evaluation of the special housing needs of persons with developmental disabilities.

Proposed revisions to the housing element include policies that encourage parks and trails in residential environments; analyzing an amendment of multi-family density to comply with government code; establishing a working group to coordinate transportation/transit plan considerations; supporting opportunities for hardship mobile homes; supporting funding applications for public improvement projects; exploring housing opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities; encouraging agricultural worker housing; reducing constraints to moderate housing; updating data for at-risk affordable housing units; and updating a land inventory analysis.

Planning staff will present the draft Housing Element Update before the Board of Supervisors at the March 25 meeting. The board will be asked to review and authorize the release of the draft element for public and state comments over a 60-day period.

The county has until Oct. 31 to complete and have the state certify the Housing Element Update. Once adopted, it won’t need to be updated again for eight years.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Discussion | 3 comments

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Phil VeerkampMarch 21, 2013 - 6:32 am

Less growth!!! - This is a win win win. El Dorado County remains rural. The Delta and SoCal interests get more water because we won't need it. EID can stop wasting money on future transmission, treatment and distribution requirements. LINK - A 1928 amendment to the California Constitution mandates that holders of all water rights, including riparian, must use the water and do so reasonably and beneficially. Failure to do so results in loss of the right. - - - Use it or lose it. SoCal and Delta interests are cheering San Stino opponents and might even be sending out a few no growth "facilitators".

1036-FrankMarch 21, 2013 - 9:13 am

This county has no need that I am aware of for SACOG membership or any liberal big govt. agenda group telling the county what housing it must build or approve with threats of withholding federal money for low income section 8 housing projects. The whole "group think" regional collectivism is right out of the Agenda 21 urban planning schemes. It is time to move the Nevada state line to the foothills, just west of Folsom sounds about right, draw a line at Prairie City North and South across the state and you would see a lot of people and businesses staying here.

Carol LouisMarch 21, 2013 - 11:27 am

There's a bigger picture than what the comments elude to. First, EID has all it's customers on 57% of one acre foot. One acre foot is the standard per household for the residents of California per year. EID did this to create more water for development in EDC. Second, EID needs to go back to the state standard, then raise the lower tier benchmark for water usage per household. This would help in making water more affordable. Reinstate varied rates to reflect the true cost of service for various areas/customers. In times of drought we would be buffered from extreme conservation and EID would be buffered from loss of revenue from extreme conservation by the state. We should be able to use as much water as we can to save it from out of county takers. Last, if you have followed San Stino in Shingle Springs and the Dixon Ranch area on Green Valley you will find that those residents are looking for compatible zoning for the area. Not NO Growth. Residents have every right to protect their property values from speculators.