Where do we zone 1,463 more housing units in an already dense Redondo Beach?
Our City has a General Plan that defines Land Use and Zoning. Some residents argued that our General Plan is not in sync with our resident.
Redondo Beach does have a job vs resident imbalance, it’s true. When you compare our residential density to other cities, one has to ask, why are we building more housing in Redondo Beach?
The City’s General Plan serves to guide local development, policy and resource management.
Three years ago, the City Council embarked on the task of updating the General Plan in hopes of addressing the concerns of residents in a wholistic policy driven manner. For me, I thought having community leaders with differing opinions in the same room, hearing the same parameters and have them agree on a General Plan, then, maybe, we can be minimize the battles for every single project because the projects would be pre-determined by the updated General Plan.
The General Plan Action Committee made up of 30 residents from throughout the city was formed to make informed decision of how Redondo should look like for the next 30 years.
The goal of any General Plan is to carry out an inclusive planning process that would:
- Define and analyze the conditions and issues facing the community
- Integrate these issues with goals, objectives and concerns expressed by the residents, businesses and public administrators
- The General Plan serves to guide local development, policy and resource management.
There are 7 required elements of a General Plan and there are 4 optional elements:
For this discussion we will focus on the new Housing Element which is legally required and can be found in the Land Use Section of the General Plan and is due to the State by October 15, 2021
Population, Housing & Household Growth Trend:
From 1960 to 1970, the number of housing units and households increased about 30%, whereas the City’s population increased 19%.
However, from 2010 to 2016 the population grew by 4% while the housing stock increased by less than ½ a percent.
From the table, starting in the 1990s population growth outpaced growth in housing units. Partly due to city being built out.
The State is seeing population growth outpacing housing throughout the State also Housing has been pushed farther out from job centers creating traffic and long commutes. There is a formula used to determine where to build housing. The formula is weighted to put housing next to job centers in order to reduce commutes but the formula fails to account for density of that area.
RHNA – Regional Housing Needs Assessment
The State of California defines projected and existing housing needs in California based on population trends, economic trends and more. The housing needs are divided by Region.
This number is called RHNA which stands for Regional Housing Needs Assessment. While RHNA is not an obligation to build the units, but Cities must demonstrate adequate capacity for various income levels along with the presence of appropriate zoning/development standards.
State has established a default density for affordable housing which is a Minimum is 30 dwelling units per acre. TO give you an idea of what that means, a single family neighborhood is zoned for 8 dwelling units per acre.
Only some sites qualify for RHNA.
Sites must have potential for near-term development.
State Law prohibits the concentration of affordable housing in one location; it must be spread throughout the city.
So what happened with the General Plan Advisory Committee?
The General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) eliminated Mixed Use throughout most of the corridors and made other changes that resulted in about 1700 units being eliminated from Redondo’s housing capacity. Unfortunately, their recommended plan no longer meets the latest State Law Requirements, or our newest RHNA requirements.
The State Began Passing Laws to Increase Housing Supply
Senate Bill 330
SB330 states Cities cannot go below planned housing capacities that existed as of Jan 1, 2018. (Current General Plan)
- If housing capacity is reduced in one location it must be replaced in another.
- The GPAC recommendations RESULTED IN A NET LOSS IN HOUSING CAPACITY so their recommendations are not allowed.
Senate Bill 166
SB166 – Requires No Net Loss of housing units.
- If sites are being developed with fewer total units and/or are not in the income levels assumed in the Housing Element then:
i. The City must identify replacements sites through rezoning within 6 months.
So SB330 address under planning for capacity while
SB166 addresses underdevelopment of the planned sites.
Assembly Bill 72
AB72 increases enforcement. The State may revoke certification which removes our authority to issue any building permit, this includes businesses and remodels. Further, they can report violations to the Attorney General to enforce through a lawsuit. Fines can be as high as $100,000 per month.
But Redondo Beach requires a vote for Zoning changes…
Encinitas, similar to Redondo Beach, requires a vote to change certain zoning. The City of Encinitas’ Housing Element met the state mandates but the residents voted no on the zoning changes. This issue went to court. The Court said, regardless what the voters said, you have to adopt the Housing Element since it met the state mandate.
The State of California determines the State’s housing needs, then it assigns each region it’s share. Each Region creates a methodology of how to distribute the housing need for each city.
What is our Regional Housing Needs Assessment aka RHNA assigned to us through a formula that does not take density into account?
Redondo has zoning capacities that are not developed and can count towards our RHNA. With our standard considerations such as new ADUs, Residential Recycling (R-2, R-3), already approved Galleria, etc. we still have to accommodate:
1,463 additional units for Very Low & Low Income Housing which is defined for RHNA purposes as 30 dwelling units per acre or more. 30+ du/ac.
On December 3, 2020, GPAC were provided 7 options identified to meet the New State Laws & RHNA requirements. Some of the options were from actions taken to reduce Redondo’s maximum capacity.
- Galleria South – Industrial Flex Area – (Not the Galleria Mall area but the TJ Maxx/Ralph’s/King Harbor Brewing area) add residential overlay to the Industrial Flex use – 51 acres – 600 units – 45 du/ac – 30% acreage
- North Tech – 87 acres – 1,000 units – 45 du/ac – 30% of acreage. North of Manhattan Beach Blvd. East of Redondo Ave to the 405 Freeway.
- Artesia Blvd MU: 212 potential units
- Kingsdale Neighborhood – is currently at 28 du/ac would have to be at least 60 du/ac to incentivize lot consolidation: 350 potential units
- PCH Central MU: 162 potential units
- Restore Density Mixed Use on South PCH from 30 du/ac to 35 du/ac: 38 potential units.
- PCH Central: Keep RH with an increased density from 28du/ac to 30 du/ac or maintain the Commercial Flex Designation proposed by GPAC: 113 potential units
Notice all the large housing numbers are in the North part of town. Also, noticeably missing is the recently purchased Power Plant property. The Power Plant Property is 50 acres, the same acreage as the Galleria Industrial Flex Area being considered as a choice.
Residents voted NO to Measure B which would have allowed 600 units on the Power Plant site. Since we are required to zone 1,463 more units where would you plan them to be?