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STREAMLINING THE PLANNING APPROVAL OF INFILL HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS: MINISTERIAL APPROVAL (STATE OF CALIFORNIA AND CITY OF SACRAMENTO PERMITS) 

 

On May 28, 2019, City Council adopted a Resolution (2019-0206) directing staff to implement the Housing Streamlining Menu of Options. The Housing Streamlining Menu of Options is a list of over 50 potential actions the City’s Planning Division, other City departments, and partner agencies can initiate to streamline approval and production of housing. The administrative approval of housing projects was identified as one of these potential actions. Administrative review is a non-discretionary process and therefore is not subject to public hearings or the California Environmental Quality Act. If a project is consistent with adopted policies and standards, it is approved.

Chapter 366, Statutes of 2017 (SB 35, Wiener), which became effective on January 1, 2018, was part of a 15-bill housing package aimed at addressing the state’s housing shortage and high housing costs. Specifically, it requires the availability of a streamlined administrative approval process for certain housing developments in localities that have not made adequate progress towards their Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), as required by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Ninety-five percent of California jurisdictions including Sacramento are not currently meeting their prorated RHNA and are therefore subject to SB 35 streamlining.

As identified in the Housing Streamlining Menu of Options, the Community Development Department proposes to streamline the planning approval process of housing development projects with two or more housing units beyond the requirements of SB 35.

Please see here for a comparison between the State of California mandatory permit process and the proposed City of Sacramento permit option.

Applicants of infill housing projects will effectively have three options for housing development projects:

  • City of Sacramento discretionary review process (existing)
  • SB 35 administrative review process (required by the State of California)
  • City of Sacramento administrative review process (proposed)

There are several anticipated benefits to enacting an administrative approval process for housing projects, including:

  • Expediting the planning approval process to less than 90 days for most multi-unit housing projects, thereby reducing the turnaround time significantly;
  • Providing more certainty and clarity on the planning approval process to housing developers, thereby reducing development risk; and
  • Delivering tangible savings to the cost of housing projects by eliminating the costs and time for environmental review which can be up to several hundred thousand dollars and decreasing carrying costs (i.e. mortgage payments on the land, preconstruction loans) by reducing the length of the planning process. 

Stakeholder and Community Outreach:

Outreach Materials:

 

Stakeholder and Community Meetings:

  • October 11, 2019                     House Sacramento
  • November 5, 2019                   American Institute of Architects Central Valley
  • November 21, 2019                 City of Sacramento Internal Housing Working Group
  • February 25, 2020                   City of Sacramento Internal Housing Working Group
  • April 7, 2020                            City of Sacramento Housing Policy Working Group
  • April 8, 2020                            Community Outreach Webinar

Environmental Document:

 

Draft Ordinance:

 

Schedule and Next Steps:

The proposed permit process will be presented and discussed at the following public meetings.*  If you are unable to attend one of these meetings but would like more information, please contact the Planning staff listed below. If you are unable to attend a public meeting or wish to view a previous meeting, then click here. You may also submit comments electronically.

  • October 10, 2019                       Planning and Design Commission (review & comment)
  • October 16, 2019                       Preservation Commission (review & comment)
  • November 5, 2019                     Law and Legislation Committee (review & comment)
  • June 11, 2020                            Planning and Design Commission (public hearing)
  • June 16, 2020                            Law and Legislation Committee (public hearing)
  • July 21, 2020                            City Council (pass for publication - PFP)
  • July 28, 2020                             City Council (final public hearing)

 

*All public hearing dates are subject to change, so it is recommended that you confirm the date prior to attending. 

 

Ryan Dodge, Associate Planner

RDodge@cityofsacramento.org

916-808-8044