Feb 17 2023

Housing Element Update: Piedmont receives comments from State reviewers

City of Piedmont Press Release – February 17, 223

The City of Piedmont received written comments on its proposed Housing Element from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) on Thursday, February 16th, following the conclusion of the State’s 90-day review period.

As expected, State reviewers requested a number of technical revisions to Piedmont’s Draft Housing Element, primarily asking for specific additional analysis to support a number of findings and proposals in the document.

Additionally, reviewers requested that the City adjust or clarify implementation timelines for several proposed programs. Reviewers did not identify major structural issues or call for significant redirection of the City’s plans.

“I am gratified that HCD broadly supports the City’s plan to accommodate more housing,” said City Administrator Sara Lillevand. “Developing this plan over the past two years was a tremendous collective effort on the part of Planning staff, consultants, the Housing Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, City Council – and most important, the more than 1,000 community members who participated in this process. While we have some additional technical work to do before final adoption, the State’s letter confirms that we are on the right path and nearing the end of the road.”

Planning staff have been in regular communication with State officials since first submitting the City’s draft for review on November 18, 2022, holding multiple meetings to answer questions about how the proposed Housing Element addresses each of more than 100 specific requirements.

A list of these requirements and how Piedmont has addressed them is available for download at PiedmontIsHome.org, along with a copy of the HCD comment letter.

The State’s requests for technical amendments to Piedmont’s Draft Housing Element are consistent with those received by nearly every city in the region.

The volume and complexity of State laws related to housing has grown substantially in recent years, making preparation and compliance significantly more complex than for previous Housing Elements.

Next steps for adoption Planning staff and consultants are carefully reviewing each of the State’s comments and will work with HCD to complete the requested revisions, then bring proposed updates to City Council for approval.  Staff anticipate bringing the revised Housing Element to City Council for adoption in March.

Planning & Building Director Kevin Jackson will provide a verbal update on the receipt of the State’s comments and status of the Housing Element at the February 21, 2023 City Council meeting.

Implementation already underway

If the City Council adopts the Housing Element by May 31, 2023, the City will have three years to implement a substantial number of the proposed programs and regulatory changes outlined in the document.

Some of this work has already begun:

The City is currently soliciting proposals for a consulting firm to lead the preparation of the Moraga Canyon Specific Plan, one of the core elements of the City’s plan to accommodate 587 new homes by 2031. Piedmont’s Moraga Canyon area was one of two sites in the region to be selected this year as a study subject by the James R. Boyce Affordable Housing Competition Studio at UC Berkeley.

• Staff have begun discussions with affordable housing organizations about possible future developments.

• The City has already established a new incentive for affordable ADUs and made it easier to convert existing spaces into new housing.

For more information about the Housing Element update, visit PiedmontIsHome.org, or subscribe to the City’s Housing Update email newsletter to receive news directly.

With questions, email PiedmontIsHome@piedmont.ca.gov.

2023-02-17 City Receives Housing Element Comments from State Reviewers

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