After waiving the second reading of an ordinance dealing with updating the city’s municipal code, the Escalon City Council unanimously approved amendments to the Housing Element included as part of the city’s General Plan at their Dec. 5 meeting.
“The city is currently in the process of updating the Housing Element for the fifth cycle planning period, which address the 2015-2023 planning period,” Development Services Manager Dominique Romo noted. “As part of the Housing Element Update, the City and its consultant have identified a number of programs for implementation that require changes to the Zoning Code.”
Changes were approved by a 5-0 vote of the council at Monday night’s meeting, said City Manager Tammy Alcantor, with the council moving on staff’s recommendation for the approval.
The council had previously reviewed the proposed updates at the Nov. 21 session and at that time also hosted a public hearing to solicit input.
Changes were made to several sections, including those dealing with the definition of ‘employee housing’ and the definition of ‘supportive services’ Also, one section dealing with ‘target population’ was revised to replace the definition of ‘transitional housing.’
In connection with those changes, officials noted that Section 17.11.040 was revised to specify the zones “that permit employee housing, supportive housing, and transitional housing uses” and the section was also revised to update what zones will allow emergency shelters and small residential care facility uses.
The Housing Element basically provides a blueprint for the city’s growth patterns and other revisions included adding a chapter to establish emergency shelter standards, revising a chapter to bring the city into consistency with state law regarding density bonus requirements and revising a section that removes constraints in regards to multifamily housing, affordable housing and small residential projects.
On staff recommendation, one section was revised “to allow the housing trust fund to be used for homebuyer assistance” to very low and low income households.
Also, a chapter was added that will establish “reasonable accommodation procedures” for disabled persons.
“The proposed Zoning Ordinance amendments implement various State laws, including sections of the Health and Safety Code and Government Code, and implement Housing Element requirements related to accommodating a variety of housing types, removing constraints to the development of housing, and ensuring fair housing,” Romo wrote in her staff report to the council.