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City Council Adopts Ordinance Allowing Affordable Housing on Religious Facility Sites

Published on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 | 9:14 pm

The City Council on Monday conducted the second reading of an ordinance that will amend the zoning code to allow for the development of affordable housing projects on sites owned by religious institutions.

The projects will be limited to commercial zones only. The staff’s proposal was to allow religious facilities with housing in commercial districts, special purpose districts and specific plan areas.

The religious facility must be operating at the time of the construction of the multi-family dwelling units and verified as a legally established nonprofit owner of the site for a minimum of five years from the date of application for a housing development.

Housing will be allowed up to 36 dwelling units per acre, versus the proposed staff recommendation of 32 dwelling units per acre.

The proposed housing developments will be allowed use “by right” but all will be subject to Predevelopment Plan Review (PPR) process as part of the Design Review.

“By right” projects will only be subject to a review by the Design Commission but not a review by the hearing officer or the Planning Commission for a Conditional Use Permit or other discretionary entitlement.

However, as agreed upon, projects exceeding 75 units would require a Minor Conditional Use Permit.

According to the motion approved by all council members, the program will go back to the City Council for review after six housing projects or after a year, whichever comes first.

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