The Carlsbad City Council held a workshop Jan. 21 on changes in state housing laws created in response to what has been described as a statewide housing crisis. The laws generally take discretion away from cities when it comes to approving new housing, with the goal of making it easier, quicker and less expensive for projects to get built.
Watch the video of the workshop for information on how the new housing laws are expected to impact Carlsbad.
Every eight years, based on demographic trends and other factors, the state allocates a certain number of housing units to each region. For the San Diego region SANDAG, an association of local governments, decides how to divvy up the units among the cities and unincorporated county areas.
Based on its draft allocation, SANDAG estimates Carlsbad will be required to find locations for approximately 3,900 new units. The plan to determine this and other housing matters, known formally as a Housing Element, will need to be adopted by the City Council and submitted to the state for final approval in early 2021. Among the issues to be determined during the update is how this state requirement affects the voter approved growth management plan in Carlsbad, which limits the total number of housing units in each of the city’s four ZIP codes, which are delineated by the intersection of El Camino Real and Palomar Airport Road. Housing caps have been challenged in court in recent years.
Other issues to be considered include where available land exists that could be utilized to accommodate the new housing units as well as issues like homelessness and senior housing.
City Council recently appointed members to a new Housing Element Advisory Committee that will help the city update its plan for how to accommodate new housing required by the state. The advisory committee held its first meeting on Jan. 16 and will continue to meet on a monthly basis. Committee meetings will be publicly noticed and open to the public, and the public will be encouraged to provide input through online surveys and other channels.