THREAD: A Tale of Two States

(and executive branch preemption of municipal barriers to infill housing, like parking minimums)

Oregon's LCDC just crushed minimum parking requirements for small infill projects (duplex, triplex, 4plex). @California_HCD has not done same. Why not?

Statutory authority is pretty similar. Oregon: cities may not impose "unreasonable costs or delay" on development of "middle housing." CA: cities' housing plans must "remove constraints" to "housing for all income levels" "where appropriate & legally possible"

@California_HCD has issued weak guidelines about parking as a potential constraint, but nothing like Oregon's new regs.…

I read lots of CA housing plans & agency correspondence, found no evidence of state effort to crack down on parking minimums or other constraints,…. New state auditor report also finds HCD has failed to control constraints,….

Why is Oregon doing better? My best guess: LCDC has rulemaking authority, HCD for the most part does not. Plus, CA (inanely) requires nonbinding agency guidance that makes policy to go through very cumbersome rulemaking process.…

So it's legally tough for HCD to tell cities ex ante what it expects to see in terms of constraint removal. But w/o setting clear expectations up front, it's politically tough for HCD to reject a city's housing plan b/c it doesn't do enough to remove constraints.


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More from @CSElmendorf

14 Oct
THREAD: Was Oregon's heralded statewide 4plex bill just for show?

That's the upshot if recently proposed implementing regs are adopted in their current form. 1/9
The statute (HB 2001) requires cities with population > 25,000 to allow designated "middle housing" types "in areas zoned for residential use." 2/9
Cities must adopt a state-approved middle-housing zoning plan by specified date, or else apply default zoning rules issued by state agency. In principle, this solves problem of cities "allowing" 4plexes on paper but making them impossible to build in practice. 3/9
Read 9 tweets
25 Sep
THREAD: My rebuttal of a junk report from The Embarcadero Institute (who are they?!?) about projections of housing need in California. 1/17
The EI posits that the “math is wrong” in California's new regional housing targets, owing to adjustments triggered by SB 828, a bill enacted in 2018. /2 Image
EI contrasts “the SB 828 double count” with what it calls a “conventional economist approach,” under which housing need is equal to projected household growth plus a small vacancy adjustment. /3 Image
Read 17 tweets
27 Jun
Earlier this month, @California_HCD posted a little-noticed memo that massively increases the amount of "zoned capacity" for new housing that local governments must provide. This thread explains it. 1/n…
CA requires local govts periodically to adopt a state-approved plan, called a "housing element," to accommodate local share of regional housing need. A housing element must inventory developable sites and estimate their capacity. 2/
If aggregate site capacity is less than local govt's housing target, local gov't must rezone for greater density and allow by-right development of 20%-affordable projects (speedier permitting, fewer cumbersome conditions). /3
Read 13 tweets
1 Jan 19
CA housing folks: Why haven't builders exploited the state law exempting 20%-affordable projects from zoning / plan in cities that don't accommodate enough? @YIMBY_Law @hanlonbt @anniefryman @CAHousingPod @michaeldlane @ProfSchleich @RickHills2 @kookie13 @kimmaicutler 1/17
This thread explains relevant California law, then suggests possible answers and a legislative fix. 2/17
(And if anyone knows of examples / case studies on point, please share!) 3/17
Read 17 tweets

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