http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2009/04/17/danville-examines-housing-element


Danville Express

Newsfront - April 17, 2009

Danville examines Housing Element

Planners present updated findings to commission

by Geoff Gillette

Danville town planners are taking a look at housing throughout the area as they begin the process of updating the town's housing element, a state-mandated part of the General Plan.

Chief of Planning Kevin Gailey discussed the update with members of the Planning Commission at their March 10 meeting. The Housing Element is the part of the plan that deals with the housing needs of people from all economic strata.

The last update was from 1999-2006. The update currently under way goes from 2007 through 2014. Under the state mandate, local governments must adequately plan to meet their existing and projected housing needs, including their share of the regional housing need. This is done through the Regional Housing Needs Plan (RHNP).

Documents from the Department of Housing and Community Development say the plan should promote:

* Increasing the housing supply and mix of housing types, tenures and affordability.

* Socioeconomic equity and the protection of environmental and agricultural resources.

* Improved intra-regional relationship between jobs and housing.

Gailey said that part of doing the update to the Housing Element is providing a housing-needs assessment that takes into account both current and projected needs. The assessment is set by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), comprising 101 cities within its nine-county jurisdiction.

ABAG has determined that Danville's Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) consists of 583 units, with 196 very low, 130 low, 146 moderate, and 111 above-moderate income units. In the first two years of the current cycle, 2007-2014, construction in Danville constitutes roughly 30 percent of the town's allocation for the planning period with 44 percent of the units qualifying as affordable.

The Planning Commission has held two work sessions to study the update to the Housing Element. Gailey said that in the two sessions, he has been providing background and an overview of the process.

"The Planning Commission is in a 'receive the information and ask questions' mode at this point, not so much in a 'here's our feedback and recommendations' mode," he stated.

Gailey and the Planning Commission will continue to examine the needs to be addressed in the update, and public hearings on the Housing Element will be scheduled starting in May.

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