Rocklin Housing Element Update Discussed at Special Meeting
Focus on Strategies to Support Affordable Projects
The City of Rocklin (along with cities across the state) is in the process of completing mandatory updates to its housing and safety planning documents. Part of the updated housing element will include identifying sites and creating the needed zoning for developers to build affordable housing.
On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Rocklin held a public workshop focused on discussing potential programs, tools, and strategies that can help set the table for private firms to build affordable projects.
City Council, staff, and the public discussed ways housing could be built faster, cheaper, and funded more easily through various potential City policies. Options outlined included expedited permitting, parking requirement reductions, affordable housing impact fees, and many more. A complete list is included in the table at the end of this article.
Although City Council did not take any action in the special meeting, some potential strategies were generally supported, while others were discouraged. Councilmembers expressed interest in:
- Expedited permit processing
- Fee deferrals
- Pre-approved plans
- Development and use of objective design standards
- Negotiated development agreements with incentives for affordable units
- Encouraging product mixes in new single-family neighborhoods
- Promoting development of Accessory Dwelling Units
- Using available housing funds to buy affordability covenants in existing projects
- Public or private land donations
Councilmembers generally did not support strategies to encourage affordable units, including:
- An inclusionary housing ordinance
- Tax abatement
- A sales tax measure
- Conversion of existing hotels
- Complete elimination of design review
The ideas, preferences, and concerns expressed by Councilmembers and the public will be considered by City planning staff as the housing element document is prepared for final review over the next few months.