Consistent with the Council’s Major City Goal of addressing housing and homelessness, the City of Grover Beach is continuing to take steps encouraging housing construction to meet the diverse needs of its community. City code updates recently given the green light by the Grover Beach City Council will directly contribute to increasing overall housing stock including affordable housing availability.
“The Grover Beach City Council continues to prioritize expanding housing opportunities for all those that live and work in our beautiful community,” said Grover Beach Mayor Jeff Lee. “We’re taking innovative steps to ensure that our standards are forward-looking and to streamline housing development at all levels.”
Following a thorough review of the City’s development-related codes, two joint City Council and Planning Commission public workshops were held this fall to gather community input and policy direction on possible code updates that would remove barriers to creating housing and attracting developers. Based on this input and further discussion at the November 8th City Council meeting, the Council directed staff to move forward with a number of changes to the City’s Development Code and Land Use Element to make it easier to build housing in the city. These changes will ultimately help facilitate the implementation of the City’s 2020-28 Housing Element, which outlines policies and programs to facilitate housing production and demonstrates how the City will meet its Regional Needs Housing Allocation (RHNA) requirements set by the State.
As a built-out city with few vacant residential lots, generally small lot sizes and low turnover of commercial properties, Grover Beach faces challenges to initiating housing production. In order to reduce barriers and increase incentives for development, the Council adopted a series of thoughtful, well-designed updates to existing rules that expand opportunities for a variety of projects consistent with City goals, State regulations and local needs.
These amendments included:
• Allowing by-right development of residential projects that meet certain thresholds and objective design standards to streamline the development process.
• Creating objective and straightforward design standards that are simple to implement for the development of these projects.
• Removing or revising subjective development standards and policies that are inconsistent with the State’s Housing Accountability Act.
• Revising or clarifying development standards for public improvements that typically add costs to residential development such as constructing street improvements and utility undergrounding.
• Providing flexible standards to allow for the development of residential micro-units where appropriate.
Following the Council’s direction on these amendments, staff will work with an outside consultant to draft an ordinance to reflect these updates in the City’s Development Code and Land Use Element and carry out the necessary environmental review. This ordinance will be brought to the Planning Commission for review next spring followed by Council review and adoption.