Mixed-Use Moratorium – Why did you not extend?

Mixed-Use is a zoning term. Mixed-use development is a type of development that blends residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or entertainment uses, where those functions are physically and functionally integrated, and that provides pedestrian connections. For example, you can have retail on the first floor and residential or offices above it.

August 15, 2017, the City Council unanimously adopted an Urgency Interim Ordinance imposing a 45-day moratorium on the approval of any new Mixed Use development projects in the City’s MU zones, with specific exemptions for projects having previously approved to proceed including any project modifications and subsequent approvals for those projects – like Legado. The Galleria is zoned CR – Commerical/Residential so the Moratorium does not apply.

September 7, 2017, the City completed and issued a Moratorium Status Report describing measures taken to alleviate the condition which led to the adoption of the ordinance. In particular, the Community Development Department and the City’s General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) had initiated work identifying and quantifying the potential individual and cumulative impacts of Mixed Use development upon traffic, infrastructure, schools and City services should additional Mixed Use development occur in the Mixed Use zones.

September 19, 2017, the City Council unanimously adopted Urgency Interim Ordinance extending for 10 months and 15 days the moratorium on the approval of any new Mixed Use development projects in the City’s MU zones. The initial moratorium is due to expire on August 13, 2018, unless extended.

January 2, 2018, the State’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) sent a letter to the City of Redondo Beach that states:

“The moratorium significantly limits the availability of sites identified in the Housing element to accommodate lower-income households and constrains a variety of housing types, including multifamily and supportive housing. As a result, the element does not comply with housing element law…taking actions to prohibit, even temporarily, multifamily development is viewed as a serious constraint and contrary to planning and zoning law, particularly housing element and related laws.”

HCD’s letter also stated that “other housing-related laws have been changed or added and take effect on January 1, 2018.” Given HCD’s letter, the adoption of the moratorium would make it difficult for the City to deny certain housing projects. So we would lose our local control.

HCD’s letter further notes that Gov. Code Section 65863 was amended by SB166, and states “At no time,…shall… a local government take action to cause an inventory to be insufficient to accommodate housing for lower-income households.” If the HCD finds that the City’s actions are inconsistent with state law, under AB72 which became effective on January 1, then the HCD would be required to report it’s findings to the Attorney General.

July 17, 2018, the Moratorium came back to Council for a final one-year extension – no additional extension are allowed by law. Redondo Beach has been used as an example of why the State needs to take away local control when it comes to housing. The State has been passing or attempting to pass law after law that chips away at our ability to control housing projects.

The GPAC is comprised of 27 residents and they are behind schedule. They can’t even agree on a vision statement. The General Plan is not going to be completed in a year. Meanwhile, we are in the crosshairs of the State.

There hasn’t been a single inquiry for a Mixed Use Project in Redondo Beach.

On July 17, I had to choose between being sued by developers or the Attorney General, I opted to follow the new State law by voting no on the moratorium extension and if developers sue, that’s ok.. So far, in this city, developers are losing their court fights anyway.


  • Staff Report, July 17, 2018, Council Minutes
  • Laura Emdee, Redondo Beach City Council Member


  1. Stephane Ernoux on July 29, 2018 at 2:54 am

    Seems like a good summary. Thanks Laura.

  2. Lynn Taylor on July 29, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    What about the Galleria development. Does this forgo this plans? Where do we stand as neighbors watching a decaying mall become even more of an eyesore as time goes on. I am not in favor of a large housing complex on the Galleria site and the original plan I saw at a open session is a failed concept. Please update on this issue. Thank you.