2003-2008 Housing Element Update
Under State law, Housing Elements must be updated every five years and submitted to the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for review. The current Housing Element planning period runs from 2003 through 2008. After a jurisdiction prepares its Housing Element, it is required to submit the element to HCD for review and HCD is required to issue findings certifying whether the element substantially complies with state Housing Element law.
Housing Elements must also demonstrate that sufficient vacant or underdeveloped land is available with appropriate zoning to accommodate the housing needs of each of these economic categories. The emphasis of the analysis is on the very-low and low income categories, which together are referred to as lower-income. For suburban jurisdictions, State law establishes 20 dwelling units per acre (du/ac) as the minimum density required to facilitate the development of housing at prices or rents that are affordable to lower-income families in Santa Barbara County.
Housing Element certification is important for several reasons: to maintain eligibility for certain grant funding programs, to ensure the legal adequacy of the General Plan, and to preserve local control of land use decisions. The 2003–2008 Housing Element update has proceeded in two phases: the “adoption” and the “action” phases. The first phase detailed:
- The County's housing needs and inventory,
- Identified constraints to developing affordable housing, and
- Set forth goals, programs, and policies necessary to satisfy the County’s RHNA obligation for this planning period.
The adoption phase was completed on May 9, 2006 when the Board approved the 2003-2008 Housing Element. The element was submitted to State HCD, who issued findings in a letter dated August 2, 2006 that the County of Santa Barbara’s Housing Element was conditionally incompliance with state housing law.
The land inventory analysis
contained in the Housing Element (p. 117-126) examined both vacant and “underdeveloped” parcels (i.e., parcels
where existing zoning would allow more intensive development). This analysis
concluded that based on current zoning, the land inventory would need to
be increased by 1,235 units to accommodate the need for lower-income housing
identified in the RHNA. This shortfall led the County to adopt Policy 1.10:
Action Item 1, which requires the rezoning of 62 acres necessary to accommodate
1,235 lower-income units to complete the County’s current RHNA assignment
of 6,064 units. On February 24, 2009, a focused rezone program was adopted by the Board of Supervisors, addressing the County's RHNA shortfall.
Housing Element Focused Rezone Program
- Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the Draft Housing Element Rezone Program (Issued June 2008)
- 2003-2008 Housing Element Focused Rezone Program and EIR (Adopted February 2009)
Housing Element Documents
- Final 2003-2008 Housing Element (Adopted March 2004, Amended May 2006; Amended September 2008; Amended February 2009)
- Negative Declaration (Adopted March 2004)
- Notice of Determination (NOD) (Filed March 2004)
- Housing Element Implementation Guidelines (Updated April 2005)
Related Project Information
- Click to be notified about meetings related county housing policies (please indicate whether you'd like to be contacted via email or standard mail)
- Click to be notified when affordable units become available for sale or rent
Housing Related Links
- Ongoing County Affordable Housing Program
- County Housing and Community Development Homepage (CHCD)
Barbara County Association
Of Governments (SBCAG)
- California State Housing and Community Development Department (SHCD)
Dan Klemann, Deputy Director: email@example.com