PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING
DECEMBER 5, 2006
1.0 CALL TO ORDER
The Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Highland was called to order at 6:05 p.m. by Chairman Haller at the Donahue Council Chambers, 27215 Base Line, Highland, California.
Present: Commissioners John Gamboa, Bob Moore, R. Paul Scott, Vice Chairman Randall Hamerly and Chairman Richard Haller
Staff Present:John Jaquess, Community Development Director
Lawrence A. Mainez, City Planner
Linda McKeough, Administrative Secretary
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chairman Haller.
2.0 COMMUNITY INPUT
There was none.
3.0 CONSENT CALENDAR
There were no items.
4.0 PUBLIC HEARINGS
There were no items.
5.1 Housing Element of the General Plan Annual Review (Final Planning Period: 2004 Calendar Year - July 2005.)
Chairman Haller introduced the item and called for Staff's presentation.
City Planner Mainez stated Economic Development Specialist Kim Stater was unable to attend tonight's meeting. He then gave the presentation from the Staff Report, which included the historical background, the Housing Element Update will tentatively commence in March, 2007, revising the housing needs assessment, as well as policies, the Housing Element will then tentatively be forwarded to the State prior to July, 2008. He then concluded his presentation and recommended the Commission forward the Report to the City Council for further review / approval.
Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had any questions of Staff.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the affordability of homes, the number of units that have Conditions of Approval, land use entitlements and approval of them, how the developer pays an "in-lieu" fee and a question was asked by a Commissioner about converting existing units into affordable units. Staff responded there are other items to be submitted by the RDA within the RDA area; tax increments with twenty percent (20%) set aside for housing programs; inclusionary housing fee, and; the cost of buying units yet to be determined.
Further discussion ensued regarding in- lieu fees; the feasibility of marketability for converted units; the City not having enough funds and rely on developers for the next thirty to forty (30 - 40) years and the City Council / RDA have some difficult choices ahead i.e. funding in the next few months. The State is mandating the City to update its Housing Element, the need to protect / enhance housing stock; the apartments are best suited for starting out and provide covenants and Economic Development Specialist Stater is better suited to answer the Commission's questions regarding funding. Staff added the set aside funds are to be budgeted for rehabilitation, Low and Very Low housing needs and the City Council ensures housing inventory will not deteriorate for the public, while new development is constructed. Staff added how the "in-lieu" fees were recently adopted a few months ago and are currently in effect. The Inclusionary Fee is $3,900.00 / per unit. Staff then gave the historical background of the Inclusionary Fee.
Comments made by the Commission were as follows: 1) concerns raised about the Inclusionary Fees and not having enough funds in the bank (RDA set aside); 2) the construction / development time frame; 3) applicant / developer is constructing quickly and the Commission wanted assurance they are not skipping steps (through the process), and; 4) how three prime sites were "shot down" with the City Council General Plan Study Session and appears the Council does not want High Density. Staff responded Staff would be able to supplement the Commission's concerns through the Housing Element Update in that there are opportunities for those concerns in the "next round". There is land available to meet the goals for Very Low or Low Income housing needs in the City and these will be challenging opportunities. Staff added this Report will then be forwarded to the California State Department of Housing and Community Development.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the Commission wants assurance; former Community Development Director Rick Hartmann had gone head to head with the County; difficult attempts for success when there is no activity (for Low or Very Low Income housing). Questions were asked regarding if this could be incorporated into the (City Council) Work Program. Staff responded there are only special projects listed in the Work Program not mandated ones. Comments were made by the Commission regarding the Update, there has to be renewable energy sources within the next five (5) years and reiterated how fifteen percent to twenty percent (15% - 20%) reduction in oil dependency has to be met in five (5) years, as promoted by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, for renewable energy and reiterated there is no monies in the fund.
Chairman Haller asked if anyone in the audience would like to speak on the item. Hearing none and there being no further questions of Staff, or comments, testimony or discussion amongst the Commissioners, Chairman Haller then stated he would entertain a Motion.
A motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Scott to recommend to the City Council "Receive and File" the General Plan Housing Element Annual Review Report.
Motion unanimously passed on a 5 - 0 vote.
Staff explained the items tentatively scheduled for the December 19, 2006, and January 2, 2007, Commission meetings.
There being no further business Chairman Haller declared the meeting adjourned at 6:25 p.m.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Linda McKeough, Rich Haller, Chairman
Administrative Secretary Planning Commission
City of Highland