Housing Element (2015-2023)
The housing element is one of seven State-mandated elements of the City’s General Plan. Housing element law requires local governments to adequately plan to meet their existing and projected housing needs including their share of the regional housing need. On May 21, 2013, the City of Menlo Park adopted its Housing Element through the 2014 planning period and the State Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) certified the Housing Element on June 18, 2013.
Adopted Housing Element (2007-2014)
The next Housing Element cycle, for the planning period 2015-2023, is already upon us. Within each planning period, regional housing needs are identified for each jurisdiction in a process referred to as the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) that includes the State and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). The City of Menlo Park’s allocation for the 2015-2023 planning period is 655 dwelling units. The Housing Element also includes goals, policies and programs to help guide the City’s housing efforts through the planning period.
The Housing Element for the 2015-2023 planning period is required to be adopted by January 31, 2015. Local governments that adopt its Housing Element on time will not have to adopt another housing element for eight years, instead of every four years.
The Draft Housing Element and subsequent revisions are available for review.
Daft Housing Element (2014-2022) [46.6 MB]
Final Draft Housing Element (2015-2023) [49.8 MB]
Revisions to the Draft Housing Element (January 28, 2014)
Supplemental Revisions to the Draft Housing Element (February 11, 2014)
Housing Element Implementation
The City is also in the process of implementing programs identified in the current Housing Element. Under the proposal, the City is considering Zoning Ordinance Amendments related to the following:
- Emergency Shelter for the Homeless Overlay Zone: For compliance with Senate Bill 2, the City must rezone to allow an emergency shelter for the homeless in at least one zone without a conditional use permit or any discretionary process. The proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment would 1) create an overlay where emergency shelters, up to a maximum of 16 beds in totality throughout the City, would be a permitted use, and 2) establish written and objective performance standards as part of the overlay zone.
- Proposed Draft Emergency Shelter for the Homeless Ordinance
- Zone for Transitional and Supportive Housing and Residential Care Facilities: For compliance with Senate Bill 2, a City must demonstrate that transitional and supportive housing are permitted as a residential use and only subject to those restrictions that apply to other residential dwellings of the same type. Similarly, residential care facilities must also be treated as a residential use. The proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment would include modifications to the definition of “dwelling” to include transitional and supportive housing and residential care facilities.
- Proposed Draft Modifications for Transitional and Supportive Housing and Residential Care Facilities
- Procedures for Reasonable Accommodation: The proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment includes the establishment of procedures for seeking reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities to ensure equal access to housing.
- Proposed Draft Reasonable Accommodation Ordinance
- Secondary Dwelling Units and Accessory Buildings/Structures: The proposed amendment would include revisions to Chapter 16.79 (Secondary Dwelling Units) and Chapter 16.68 (Accessory Buildings and/or Structures), including modifications to address setbacks, wall height, plumbing fixtures. The approach would be two-pronged, including modifications to the existing secondary dwelling unit ordinance to allow for the conversion of legally permitted and constructed accessory buildings (meeting certain criteria) into secondary dwelling units while simultaneously amending the accessory building/structure language to more clearly distinguish how and where an accessory building or structure could be located. The amendment would also include a reduction in the minimum lot size eligible for a secondary dwelling unit without a use permit.
The Housing Element schedule is outlined in the process graphic.
Housing Element Steering Committee Meeting
The Housing Element Steering Committee will be conducting its fourth meeting on Thursday, February 27. The primary purpose of the meeting will be to provide guidance on and to discuss the Planning Commission’s feedback on the potential amendments to the secondary dwelling unit and accessory building/structure ordinances.
Upcoming Meeting Dates
Your attendance and input is welcomed and encouraged throughout the process. The Final Draft Housing Element and the Zoning Ordinance amendments to implement several Housing Element programs will soon be presented to the Housing Commission and Planning Commission, who are recommending bodies to the City Council. The City Council will then consider their recommendations and make a final action. The upcoming meetings will be held as part of the formal review process for the adoption of the Housing Element (2015-2023) and the Zoning Ordinance amendments.
Housing Commission Meeting
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
City Hall – Administration Building
Planning Commission Meeting
Monday, March 10, 2014
City Council Chambers
City Council Meetings
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 and April 29, 2014 (tentative)
City Council Chambers
The proposal requires the preparation of a Negative Declaration (ND) based upon the Initial Study prepared for the Project. The Initial Study identifies less than significant impacts for the following categories: Aesthetics, Agriculture and Forestry Resources, Air Quality, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Mineral Resources, Geology and Soils, Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Hydrology and Water Quality, Land Use and Planning, Noise, Population and Housing, Public Services, Recreation, Transportation/Traffic, and Utilities. The Initial Study for the proposal did not identify environmental impacts that are significant and unavoidable.
Copies of the Negative Declaration are also on file for review at the City Library and at the Community Development Department, Civic Center, 701 Laurel Street during business hours.
The review period for the Negative Declaration is from February 13, 2014 to March 14, 2014.
Written comments must be submitted to the Community Development Department no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, March 14, 2014. Comments may be submitted by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), letter (Community Development Department, 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park CA 94025), or fax (650-327-1653).
The Housing Element Update and implementation process will be guided by a Steering Committee comprised of the following:
- Peter Ohtaki, City Council
- Rich Cline, City Council
- Carolyn Clarke, Housing Commission
- Sally Cadigan, Housing Commission
- Katie Ferrick, Planning Commission
- Katherine Strehl, Planning Commission
A schedule of the meetings and the associated staff reports, presentations and summaries are located on the Steering Committee subpage.