Housing Element Update: City submits revisions to HCD

Revised Housing Element submitted to HCD

Published May 15, 2023

Planning staff submitted a revised 6th Cycle Housing Element to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) on May 9, 2023. The revisions do not alter the core of the City’s plan for accommodating 587 new homes by 2031, but provide additional detail regarding infrastructure, programs to increase housing production, implementation timelines, and program evaluation.

Revisions are shown in track changes in the amended document:

Community members may submit comments on the revised Housing Element through Wednesday, May 17th by emailing [email protected].

Comments from State reviewers due May 23

The City Council unanimously voted to adopt the 6th Cycle Housing Element on March 20, 2023 and directed staff to make technical revisions necessary to obtain certification. On a call with City staff on April 25th, HCD staff requested additional detail regarding timelines, evaluation, and some proposed programs. The revised document addresses these comments.

The submission of a revised Housing Element does not change the timeline for State review. The current 60-day review period ends on May 23rd, at which point the City expects to receive a letter from HCD regarding the results of this second round of evaluation.

The City is hopeful that with recent revisions, HCD will deem the City’s Housing Element to be in “substantial compliance” with State requirements. However, based on the experience of cities throughout the Bay Area, it is possible that additional revisions will be requested.

Implementation already underway

Even as the Housing Element awaits certification from State reviewers, the City has already begun implementation:

  • Last year, the City established a new incentive for affordable ADUs and made it easier to convert existing spaces into new housing.
  • This spring, the City conducted an RFP process seeking a consulting firm to lead the preparation of the Moraga Canyon Specific Plan, a centerpiece of the adopted Housing Element. Staff anticipate bringing a contract for the preparation of the Specific Plan to Council this summer.
  • The City is currently conducting a survey of ADU owners, partly aimed at better understanding the barriers to ADU creation and how the City can incentivize affordable ADU rentals.

Implementation also involves additional environmental review, which is already underway. The City is currently in the process of preparing a programmatic EIR that studies the impacts of the new homes and residents that could come to Piedmont once implementation is complete, including options for mitigating those impacts.

For more information about the Housing Element update, visit PiedmontIsHome.org or subscribe to the City’s Housing Updates email newsletter to receive news directly. With questions, email [email protected].