Jun 18 2022

HOUSING: Impacts to ALL of Piedmont – June 20, Monday

Are Piedmonters aware of what is proposed for the most profound change to housing in Piedmont’s 115 year history?

Due to lack of information and available summaries, few Piedmonters understand how the proposed Housing Element (HE) will impact their home, their taxes, and the City of Piedmont.

If the HE is sent to the State, as proposed by City staff, and approved by the City Council, Piedmont will have committed the city to specific obligations within the HE, such as rezoning, densities, and building height increases.  If the HE is sent to the State, as proposed for Monday, June 20, Piedmont will relinquish the ability to remove committed items in the HE.

Piedmont officials have stated, “It is only a plan.” Not stated however, is the fact that once the HE is adopted by Piedmont and approved by the state, by law, the HE must be implemented.  Funding appears not to be a limitation on development as significant amounts of public money joined with commercial development interests are expected. 

In the staff report attached below, outreach by the City has yielded limited success in informing Piedmonters of the breath and specifics of the proposals.  Despite a City description of “robust” public outreach, there was no hard copy distribution of the  proposed HE, a summary, or a survey sent directly to Piedmonters for their consideration.  

The State extended the deadline for HE approval for approximately one year until May 2023 to allow greater participation and comment by the public.  

Where is the information on required zoning changes and safety requirements in the HE?

The Housing Element includes:

  • Without neighborhood knowledge or input, proposals meeting the requirements of split lots, four units on a lot, tall 4 story buildings replacing existing homes,  etc., will be done with no right by neighborhoods to object, for property owners and the City will have a legal right to build on or divide property according to the HE. 
  • Where zoning changes are required in the HE, such as increasing density and changed uses, the Piedmont City Charter gives voters with the exclusive right to approve zoning changes.  Once the proposed HE is approved and adopted, Piedmont voters will be forced by the State based on the HE to approve zoning changes within a three year period of HE approval.

What is the intended outcome of the proposed HE revision? 

Table IV -1 Quantifiable Objectives (on page 232 of the staff report) shows the number and type of new housing units expected to be built in Piedmont over the next few years.  It is intended to clarify to (decision-makers) authorities the new housing development obligation fulfillment.  No single family zoning or lot survives the rezoning as described in the City Charter. 

Staff report: >  PCA Housing Ele 62022  Over 200 pages long 

Monday, June 20, 2022


and participation information > PCA 62022 Council Agenda

Information on the Housing Element Process and required rezoning linked below:

State Required Housing Element Process –

  • Update previous housing element.
  • New! Public Participation Requirements: Prior to submittal of the first draft within a planning period to HCD, the local government must make the draft available for public comment for 30 days and if any comments were received, take at least 10 business days to consider and incorporate public comments.
  • Submit draft to HCD for review/approval.
  • Revise and adopt (or adopt without changes).
  • New! Transparency Requirements: For any subsequent revisions, the local government must post the draft revision on its website and email a link to all individuals and organizations that have previously requested notices relating to the local government’s housing element at least seven days before submitting the draft revision to HCD.  
  • Submit revised draft/adopted housing element to HCD.

Learn more in Building Blocks: Comprehensive Housing-Element Guide.

Housing Element Completeness Checklist (PDF) — Optional tool outlining the statutory requirement of Housing Element Law to assist jurisdictions in the preparation of the housing element.

New! Consequences for Late Housing Elements — Jurisdictions that fail to adopt a housing element that has been found in substantial compliance within 120 days of the statutory deadline to revise the housing element must complete all necessary rezones within one year of that statutory deadline. This means both that jurisdictions must adopt the housing element and that the housing element must be found in compliance (meaning a letter from HCD affirming compliance) with Housing Element Law by HCD within 120 days of the statutory deadline, or they will need to complete rezones within one year of their housing element due date (as opposed to three years) to maintain housing element compliance. Jurisdictions that adopt more than one year from the statutory deadline cannot be found in substantial compliance with Housing Element Law until the local government has completed any required rezoning.

Staff report:   PCA Housing Ele 62022  Over 200 pages long 

Public HEARING AGENDA and participation information PCA 62022 Council Agenda

City notice below:

Housing Element Public Hearing

City Council Meeting June 20, 2022

On Monday, June 20, 2022, the City Council will conduct a public hearing in Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, to consider the Draft Housing Element for the 6th Cycle (Draft Housing Element) and to submit the Draft Housing Element to the California Department of Housing and Community Development for its 90-day review. The City Council agenda is available on the City website at this link.

State law requires cities to update their General Plan Housing Element. The next Housing Element guides City actions for 2023 to 2031; it is part of the City’s General Plan; and it applies City-wide.

The proposed Draft Housing Element has been developed to meet the State of California’s legal requirements, including the regional housing needs allocation (RHNA). The City Council staff report for the Draft Housing Element hearing on June 20 is located on the City website at this link.

The Draft Housing Element is available for public review on the City’s website at https://piedmont.ca.gov as well as https://piedmontishome.org. It is also available at City Hall, located at 120 Vista Avenue, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

You may send  comments and ideas to the Piedmont City Council via email at citycouncil@piedmont.ca.gov or via U.S. Mail to Piedmont City Council, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611.

All City Council meetings are televised live on KCOM-TV, the City’s government access TV station and will be available through streaming video on the City’s website https://piedmont.ca.gov/government/meeting_videos

New Housing Programs!

  • Interested in building an ADU? CalHFA offers a $40K grant to low and moderate income homeowners to plan ADUs. More information about the grant is available here: https://www.calhfa.ca.gov/adu/

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