First published in the Oct. 15 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.
The city’s Community Development Department has released the public review draft of the 2021-2029 General Plan Housing Element.
The housing element is an eight-year plan that will serve as the city’s roadmap to provide its fair share of housing for the community, as required in the city’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation, or RHNA.
“Planning for housing is a matter of great importance in South Pasadena and a major topic statewide,” the city said in a statement. “Over the past year, the City Council has taken definitive steps toward encouraging affordable housing and streamlining processes by adopting two significant ordinances — an update to the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance and the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.”
The city launched a Virtual Planning Desk last summer to improve customer service, allowing applicants to access information about housing and improved application forms to expedite the approval process. The Draft Housing Element builds on these efforts and incorporates new statewide housing laws, including Senate Bill 9 and Senate Bill 10. The proposed policies and programs collectively aim to conserve existing housing, boost the housing supply and support lower-income households to stay in their homes or find affordable housing in the city.
The Housing Element has five goals, supported by 38 programs. On an annual basis, staff will evaluate and report on the city’s progress in implementing these programs and issuing building permits to monitor RHNA compliance.
Public opportunities to provide comments will include a Housing Element Community Meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, in the South Pasadena Council Chamber, located at 1424 Mission St., with an option to participate via a Zoom link. The community is also invited to comment during the Tuesday, Nov. 9, Planning Commission meeting in person, by Zoom, or by sending written comments or questions to staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. All public comments will be received until Monday, Dec. 6.
The city will also be releasing a revised draft of the General Plan Update and Draft Downtown Specific Plan with land use policies consistent with the housing element shortly. The Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for the planning documents will be released at the same time. A 45-day comment period will commence from its date of release.
The Public Review Draft Housing Element is posted on the Housing Element web page. Copies are available for viewing at the South Pasadena Public Library and at the Community Development Counter.