Planning Commission


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  Time Set   9.       
Meeting Date: 08/19/2021  

GPA 2021-01: Housing Element Update – General Plan Amendment: A public hearing to consider the 6th Cycle Housing Element update that will: address the County’s housing needs for all income levels during the 2021 through 2029 planning period, identify constraints to housing, identify sites to accommodate a variety of housing types, and affirmatively further fair housing to meet the requirements of State law. The project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act.  (Applicant: Yolo County; Planner: JD Trebec/De Novo Planning Group)
FILE # GPA 2021-01: 6th Cycle 2021-2029 Housing Element Update
Yolo County
LOCATION: Countywide


ZONING: Various

SOILS: Various


That the Planning Commission:

1. Hold a public hearing to consider the proposed update of the Housing Element (Attachments A-B); and
2. Recommend that the Board of Supervisors:
A. Approve the Resolution adopting the 6th Cycle Housing Element and the associated General Plan Amendment (Attachment F); and
B. Determine that the project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in accordance with the provisions of Section 15061(b)(3) of the CEQA Guidelines, known as the 'common sense exemption' (Attachment C).
The State of California requires cities and counties to update the Housing Element of the General Plan approximately every eight years to ensure that regional housing needs are being met. The Yolo County Housing Element establishes the County's goals for the maintenance and development of housing to meet the needs of existing and future residents, establishes policies to guide County decision-making, and sets forth an action program to implement housing goals.

The 6th Cycle Housing Element Update to the Countywide General Plan is composed of two parts:  the Background Report and the Housing Plan. The Background Report provides an analysis of the County’s housing needs in unincorporated Yolo County and the Housing Plan provides goals, policies, and implementation actions to provide for those needs. Altogether, this includes addressing the existing and projected housing needs for people of all incomes (extremely low, very low, low, moderate, and above moderate) and the needs of special populations, which include seniors, farm workers, persons with disabilities, single parents, large families, and homeless. The 6th Cycle Housing Element Update must also show how the County will accommodate its assigned Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) of 57 housing units, which identifies that 14 shall be affordable to very low-income households, 9 shall be affordable to low-income households, and 10 shall be affordable to moderate-income households.

The County released the Draft Housing Element for public review in mid-June 2021, which was made available for a 30-day review and comment period with a public workshop held with the Planning Commission on July 8, 2021. The Board of Supervisors also received an update on the Housing Element per their request on July 13, 2021 and provided general comments on the Housing Element.
Comments were also received from Legal Services of Northern California and the Delta Protection Commission (Attachment D); both comment letters are addressed in the revisions to the 6th Cycle Housing Element Housing Plan. The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) reviewed the draft Housing Element and provided an initial comment letter dated August 9, 2021. The HCD letter and Summary of Edits are included (Attachment E). The comments provided by HCD asked for more specificity with respect to the Housing Plan programs, clarification of outreach efforts, and a more thorough discussion of implementing new State requirements for Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH).  At the writing of this staff report, the County is currently reviewing the most recent submittal with HCD, which addresses some of their findings related to AFFH. Planning staff expect HCD to follow up with any additional guidance which will be shared with the Planning Commission during the public hearing. 

As of January 1, 2019, AB 686 proactively applies the obligation to affirmatively further fair housing to all public agencies in California. Public agencies must now examine existing and future policies, plans, programs, rules,practices, and related activities and make proactive changes to promote more inclusive communities. This has resulted in extensive time and coordination with HCD as they determine how the new law is to be implemented in the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update.
Discussion and comments received during the public meetings with the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors in July are addressed in the table below:
Planning Commission 7.8.21  
Clarify importance of Senior Housing Discussion on pp 16-17 of Background Report. The Housing Plan includes Policy HO-4.2, which specifically encourages development of housing for Seniors.
Clarify Farmworker Housing Info Updated information on pp. 23-25 of the Background Report.
Sustainable Housing Broadly discussed under Goal HO-6. Reduction of residential energy use is more fully addressed in the Yolo County Climate Action Plan.
Self-help housing HOA-15 is to be modified to include Self-Help housing as a means to assist first time home owners.
Further Fair Housing through infrastructure and opportunity Extensive revision of Section V. AFFH starting on p. 167 Additionally, implementation actions like HO-A19 prioritize infrastructure in disadvantaged areas.
Board of Supervisors 7.13.21  
We should be more ambitious with housing numbers than the 57 units required The State requires that the Housing Element specifically account for the assigned RHNA number, but policies throughout the Housing Element prioritize and identify sites for affordable housing in excess of the RHNA
Further waiving or reduction of permitting fees FSA fees are waived for affordable housing projects and the Board of Supervisors can further reduce fees on a case-by-case basis as addressed in the County’s Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual.
Investments in housing Local governments don’t usually build housing, but facilitate home construction for developers and nonprofit agencies through a variety of means, such as modified zoning to ensure all housing types can be accommodated, providing density bonuses, and streamlining the permitting process for accessory dwelling units.  Actions in the updated Housing Element, such as HO-A2, identify surplus lands available for development.
Focus housing within cities and communities with infrastructure The Housing Element Background Report identifies the areas around Davis and West Sacramento as high resource/opportunity areas. Action HO-A34 specifically requires the County to work with those cities to accommodate affordable housing in a way that would not adversely affect the County's commitment to preserve agriculture and protect the environment.
Creation of opportunity, more rehabilitation and infrastructure needed Extensive revision of Section V. AFFH to address opportunities, and programs like HO-A19 prioritize infrastructure in disadvantaged areas.
The deadline for approval of the County’s 6th Cycle Housing Element by the State Housing and Community Development (HCD) Department is May 15, 2021, which allows for a 120-day “grace period” before the County is placed on a mandatory four-year cycle for two cycles.  Review of the preliminary draft Housing Element by HCD has been completed and revisions recommended by HCD have been incorporated. This final draft Housing Element will be subject to a public hearing at this Planning Commission meeting, to be followed by a hearing and formal adoption at the Board of Supervisors, anticipated on August 31st.
County staff worked with De Novo Planning Group as a consultant through a Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) Grant provided by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) provided data and additional support. California Department of Housing and Community Development provided review of the Housing Element.

Staff also conducted outreach to various stake holders and public interest groups, including the County Citizens Advisory Committees, and through use of an online survey to solicit comments.
Any person who is dissatisfied with the decisions of this Planning Commission may appeal to the Board of Supervisors by filing with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors within fifteen (15) days from the date of the action. A written notice of appeal specifying the grounds for appeal and an appeal fee immediately payable to the Clerk of the Board must be submitted at the time of filing. The Board of Supervisors may sustain, modify, or overrule this decision.
Att A. Housing Element- Housing Plan
Att. B. Housing Element- Background
Att C. Notice of Exemption
Att D. Public Comments
Att E. HCD comments and response
Att F. Housing Element Resolution

Form Review
Inbox Reviewed By Date
Eric May Eric May 08/12/2021 12:23 PM
Leslie Lindbo Evelyn Tamayo-Arias 08/12/2021 03:58 PM
Taro Echiburu Taro Echiburu 08/12/2021 04:08 PM
Form Started By: JD Trebec Started On: 08/02/2021 10:49 AM
Final Approval Date: 08/12/2021


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