Housing Element Update: Initial Study-Negative Declaration available for review
Posted on 12/09/2022

Housing Element Update: Initial Study-Negative Declaration available for review

Comments due January 8th, 2023

Published December 9, 2022

The City of Piedmont has released an Initial Study-Negative Declaration (IS-ND) for the City’s proposed 6th Cycle Housing Element. The IS-ND is available for public review and comment through January 8th, 2023.

This is the next step in the City’s Housing Element update, a process that has been underway since Spring 2021. Part of Piedmont’s General Plan, the Housing Element outlines a series of proposed policies and programs that would allow the City to accommodate the development of 587 new homes by 2031 – a number assigned to Piedmont by regional authorities. Adopting a Housing Element does not require these homes be built. Rather, the purpose of the document is to demonstrate that the City has a plan for how it could support this growth.

Impacts of new development being studied as part of Housing Element implementation

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires that public agencies study and disclose the potential impacts of proposed projects before making a decision.

A review of the City’s Draft Housing Element based on these guidelines determined that, as a policy document, the Housing Element alone will not have adverse physical impacts on the environment. Physical changes that would result from the implementation of policies and programs proposed in the Housing Element are currently being studied as part of a programmatic Environmental Impact Report (EIR) covering updates to the City’s General Plan and changes to the City Code that would happen after the Housing Element is adopted.

Comments on Initial Study-Negative Declaration due by January 8th

The Initial Study-Negative Declaration is available for download and review at the following links:

Physical copies of these documents are available for review at Piedmont City Hall (120 Vista Avenue) and the Oakland Public Library Montclair Branch (1687 Mountain Boulevard, Oakland).

Community members who wish to provide feedback can send comments in writing to Planning & Building Director Kevin Jackson by email at [email protected], or by mail at 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611. The comment period ends Sunday, January 8th, 2023.

Next Steps: Adoption, Programmatic EIR, and Implementation

The City submitted its proposed Draft Housing Element to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for review on November 18th, 2022. HCD will review the City’s Draft Housing Element for compliance with State law. If reviewers determine that changes are needed, Planning staff will work with HCD to develop any necessary amendments, then bring the proposed updates to City Council for approval.

After the City Council adopts the Housing Element, the City will have three years to implement a substantial number of the proposed programs and regulatory changes outlined in the document. This process 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.

A wealth of information about the Housing Element update process is available at PiedmontIsHome.org, the City’s online hub for the Housing Element update and housing policy. For questions about the Housing Element process, write to [email protected].