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Meeting Date: March 01, 2016
AGENDA ITEM: Public Hearing -Introduce and Waive the First Reading of Ordinance No._, of the City Council of the City of Livingston, Amending Title 5, Chapters 3, 6 and 7 of the Livingston Municipal Code Relating to Housing.
MEETING DATE: March 1, 2016
PREPARED BY: Randy Hatch, Contract City Planner
REVIEWED BY: Odi Ortiz, Acting City Manager
Introduce and waive the first reading of Ordinance No. _ , of the City Council of the City of Livingston, amending Title 5, Chapters 3, 6, and 7 of the Livingston Municipal Code relating to housing.
BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION:
These proposed municipal code text amendments would revise the Livingston Zoning Code to accommodate the requirements of the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The text amendments would: revise the City’s current language on Transitional Housing to the language required by the State; add definitions for Supportive Housing and Target Population; and add a new Code Section on Reasonable Accommodation. By completing these changes to the City’s Code, the City will qualify for Streamlined Review for its new Housing Element Update currently being prepared.
This whole effort is a technical task, but one that should have been done by the City some time ago. The City did do several similar technical amendments to the Zoning Code after the adoption of the current Housing Element, but these specific changes were overlooked.
It is important for the City to qualify for Streamlined Review for several reasons. As the name implies, the required review of the City’s new Element by State HCD will be completed faster and easier. Also, with Streamlined Review, the City’s Housing Element would be valid for 8 years as opposed to only 4 years without qualifying for Streamlined Review. Finally, the City would not be as open to potential legal challenge to our Housing Element.
As with all amendments to City ordinances, certain characteristics must be checked and verified. The proposed new Code language and features must be consistent with the City’s General Plan. A Zoning Text Amendment is a project under the State’s environmental provisions and must be assessed with regard to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
The federal Fair Housing Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (fair housing laws) prohibit discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status and disability. Fair housing laws impose an affirmative duty on local governments to make reasonable accommodations, defined as modifications or exceptions in their zoning laws and other land use regulations and practices, when such accommodations "may be necessary to afford" disabled persons "an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling."
Further, California Government Code section 65583(c)(3) requires that jurisdictions analyze and attempt to mitigate or remove potential and actual governmental constraints related to housing development and maintenance for persons with disabilities. The attached Reasonable Accommodation ordinance is drafted and proposed in furtherance of these laws and is a pre requisite of streamlined housing element review.
Transitional and Supportive Housing
In 2008, the State legislature passed Senate Bill 2 (SB2). As part of the bill, it provided that transitional and supporting housing be considered a residential use. As a residential use, the proposed transitional and/or supportive housing would subject only to those restrictions that apply to other residential uses of the same type in the same zone.
The definitions of transitional housing and supportive housing have been revised within the City Municipal Code to specify that these housing types are considered to be residential use of the same type of the zone in which each is located. The attached revisions to the definitions of transitional and supportive housing and the revision to the zoning matrix are made in furtherance of SB2 and are prerequisites of streamlined review.
Planning Commission Action
The Planning Commission, at its February 9, 2016, regular meeting held a public hearing to consider these Code Amendments. At this meeting, the Commission heard the staff presentation and asked questions for clarification. At the conclusion of the public hearing and after due consideration, the Commission adopted Resolution 2016-01, recommending to the City Council the adoption of the above reference Ordinance.
GENERAL PLAN CONSISTENCY:
These proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendments are consistent with 1999 General Plan Objective "A" "Designate and allow for the development of a wide range of housing types in the City including housing for middle and upper income families to meet the needs of all Livingston residents."
This Ordinance is exempt from California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to Public Resources Code section 21083 .3 because these changes were considered in the environmental analysis of the 2009-2014 Housing Element. The revisions are also exempt from CEQA under CEQA Guidelines section 15305, addressing minor alterations to land use limitations, and 15061 (b)(3) because it can be seen with certainty that the activity will not have a significant effect on the environment.
1. Ordinance No.
Exhibit A, Land Use/Zoning Matrix: Table 2, Residential Uses