Placer County takes housing plan to public
April 7, 2008
As Placer County looks to meet state housing requirements, officials are looking to see what the challenges are in the Tahoe Basin versus the western slope.County planners will be checking in with community members tonight to make sure theyre on the right track in addressing local housing issues and solutions, said Senior Planner Christopher Schmidt.Affordability is a much greater issue up in Tahoe, Schmidt said. We heard that loud and clear in our first workshops; that Tahoe has specific needs and specific constraints because of [the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency].The state’s housing element law mandates that every five years local governments plan to meet existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of the community. While cities and counties aren’t required to actually build, for example, apartment complexes, their zoning policies must adopt land-use plans that provide opportunities for, and do not constrain, such development.The challenge, however, is the Basins extra layer of bureaucracy in the form of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, a hurdle planners and the state dont have to clear anywhere else.The housing element takes a comprehensive look at the entire county. But to address Tahoes issues, which are often apples to western countys oranges, the draft document devotes an entire chapter discussing the constraints posed by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.The whole workforce housing issue is exaggerated up there in Tahoe, Schmidt said.While a total of 5,854 units were allocated to the unincorporated regions of Placer County for a seven-and-a-half year planning period, only 375 were assigned to the Tahoe Basin. Schmidt said that the Sacramento Area Council of Governments Regional Housing Needs Plan took into account TRPAs annual cap on residential building allocations. Placer County typically receives approximately 50 allocations each year.SACOG recognized that theres a limit on how much construction could take place in the Basin, Schmidt said. They treated Tahoe differently than the rest of the county.But the small number of units allotted to Tahoe has been unwelcome to some Tahoes residents, who say that the need for affordable housing was greater, Schmidt said.Overall, county planners have fit all of the called for 6,229 units for unincorporated Placer County into appropriately-zoned sites, Schmidt said. The units are determined by the SACOGs housing needs plan.And taking into consideration all of the countys projects, either approved or proposed, that have affordable housing and all of the vacant land suitable for development, Placer County has enough land to house an additional 27 percent of the units above what was originally determined, Schmidt said.But the Placer County Housing Element, which must be turned into the states Department of Housing and Community Development by June 30, 2008, must be vetted by the state before approval. And Placer County planners are not overconfident, Schmidt said.Were above now, he said. But [the state] could say, No, you cant count this and you cant count that.At tonights workshop, county planners will be asking the community to review the draft housing document, look over an inventory of local sites for potential housing development and provide input on future policies and programs to solve Tahoes housing issues.Were going to ask the public to kind of tell us what we should be doing, Schmidt said.
A workshop will be held tonight to give the public and other interested parties an opportunity to provide input and comments on the draft background report for the Placer County Housing Element update. It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the North Tahoe Conference Center in Kings Beach.
113 very-low income 113 low income 67 moderate income 82 above-moderate income
1,425 very-low income 1,065 low income 1,164 moderate income 2,200 above-moderate income