Inter-Departmental Correspondence





December 1, 2003



9:45 a.m.



December 16, 2003



Honorable Board of Supervisors



Marcia Raines, Director of Environmental Services



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Consideration of a General Plan Amendment to update and revise the General Plan Housing Element and a Zoning Text Amendment to adopt an Inclusionary Program for Affordable Housing.




That the Board of Supervisors:



Adopt a resolution:



Certifying the Negative Declaration as complete, correct and adequate and prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act and applicable State and County Guidelines; and



Approving the General Plan Amendment to adopt an updated and revised General Plan Housing Element.



Adopt an ordinance approving the Zoning Text Amendment to adopt an Inclusionary Program for the unincorporated area.



Adopt a resolution directing staff to transmit the Inclusionary Program to the Coastal Commission for certification of conformity with the California Coastal Act.



The Planning Commission is recommending a General Plan Amendment to adopt an updated and revised General Plan Housing Element. Consistent with State housing element law, the draft Housing Element provides data on housing needs, and evaluates and revises housing policies and programs for the unincorporated County. The Planning Commission is also recommending an Inclusionary Program to promote the production of affordable housing in the unincorporated County.




The Planning Commission voted 3-1 (Commissioner Kennedy absent, Commissioner Wong dissenting) to recommend the Housing Element to the Board of Supervisors for approval. In so doing, the Commission recommended minor wording changes to the revised Implementation Plan. It should be noted that Commissioner Wong voted against the motion to approve the Housing Element only because he disagreed with a wording change proposed as part of the motion for approval; he stated that he was otherwise supportive of the Housing Element. The Planning Commission voted 4-0 to recommend the Negative Declaration and the Inclusionary Program to the Board of Supervisors for approval. In doing so, the Commission recommended that the Inclusionary Program be revised to apply to single-family subdivisions of five or more lots.




The County's existing Housing Element was adopted in 1991 and certified by the State Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) as complying with State general plan housing element requirements. State law also mandates periodic review and revision to housing elements. County Planning staff has prepared an updated and revised Housing Element and an ordinance implementing an Inclusionary Program; both incorporate the recommendations of a Board-appointed Housing Element Task Force, which met monthly during 2002 to develop housing policies and programs.




The Planning Commission recently held three public hearings to consider the draft Housing Element and the Inclusionary Program and is recommending approval of both with modifications as described above.


State HCD reviewed the draft Housing Element and recommended revisions in order to bring the draft into compliance with State law. Staff submitted the requested revisions and will report on any subsequent comments received from State HCD at the meeting on the 16th.


C/CAG reviewed the draft Housing Element and determined that it is consistent with the airport/land use criteria for Half Moon Bay Airport, as contained in the San Mateo County Comprehensive Airport Land Use Plan. C/CAG recommended additions to the document to ensure consistency, as described further in the staff report.


At previous meetings on the Housing Element, concerns have been expressed about the impact of increased housing production, particularly on traffic in the City Half Moon Bay. It should be noted that the draft Housing Element does not propose any rezoning at this time, but rather staff's analysis shows that the County will be able to meet its regional housing need allocation through a combination of approved and pending projects, ongoing housing programs and available sites with appropriate zoning and infrastructure currently in place. Looking to the future, the Housing Element contains policies aimed at ensuring sufficient production of affordable housing by evaluating currently underutilized land for possible redevelopment to more intensive use, particularly along major transportation corridors.


Inclusionary programs require new housing developments to include a percentage of affordable housing. In 1994, the County implemented a 20% inclusionary requirement in the unincorporated Colma BART Station area. Coupled with the County's density bonus ordinance, the program has been successful in producing 155 affordable units to date. The proposed inclusionary program would apply this program in all unincorporated areas to developments of five or more units, as described in more detail in the staff report.


In an effort to encourage maximum pubic participation, legal notices of all Housing Task Force, Planning Commission, and Board of Supervisor's hearings were published in local newspapers, and notices of Planning Commission and Board hearings were mailed to all Community Advisory Councils, Homeowners Associations, San Mateo County Cities, Core Community Service Agencies and Utility Service Providers, as detailed further in the staff report. The Housing Element is available on-line at