SB 2 Planning Grant
SB 2 Planning Grants Program - Housing
On December 30, 2019, the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) awarded Senate Bill 2 (SB 2) Planning Grants Program
funds totaling $310,000 to the County Public Works and Planning Department for the preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans that streamline housing approvals and accelerate housing production. On February 21, 2020, the Standard Agreement was received from HCD and executed by the Director, allowing work to commence on the project.
SB 2 is part of a 15-bill housing package created in 2017 to address the State's affordable housing shortage and high housing costs. Specifically, the legislation established a permanent source of revenue intended to increase the affordable housing stock in California and directed HCD to establish a one-time program that provides financial and technical assistance to local governments to update planning documents and land use ordinances.
The scope of work will include preparing, adopting, and implementing plans and procedural improvements that streamline housing approvals and accelerate housing production, including amendments to the County's General Plan and Zoning Ordinance, development of pre-approved architectural plans for dwelling units, community outreach, environmental review, and revised internal procedures.
- Accelerate housing production;
- Streamline the approval of housing development affordable to owner and renter households at all income levels; Facilitate housing affordability, particularly for lower- and moderate-income households; and
- Promote development consistent with the State Planning Priorities (Government Code Section 65041.1)
- Update the Fresno County General Plan to implement sustainable communities strategy (aligning housing and transportation), policies to encourage the development of affordable housing and accessory dwelling units, allowing more housing product choices to be built in more locations; encourage housing in infill areas with available services and infrastructure; density bonuses; single-room occupancy; and explore development of a non-discretionary approval process for certain housing projects, including by-right development;
- Update the Fresno County Zoning Ordinance to allow housing in the C-4 (Central Trading) Zone District, increase allowable housing density in multi-family (R-P, R-2, R-2-A, R-3, C-P) Zone Districts, maximize by-right approvals, update standards for accessory dwelling units; allow farmworker housing in the R-R and R-A Zone Districts; develop a single-room occupancy standard; and explore housing overlay zones and removal of owner-occupancy requirements;
- Complete the environmental analysis of the General Plan and Zoning Ordinance amendments to eliminate the need for project-specific review for certain housing projects;
- Design and develop pre-approved architectural plans for three affordable dwelling units (accessory, two, and three bedroom); and
- Update and improve internal policies and procedures that expedite local planning and permitting, including expedited processing for certain housing projects, shorten review timeline, and develop an outreach program.
As part of the grant work program, County staff will schedule meetings and invite the community and stakeholders to share information about how the County can better address the state's housing shortage and high housing costs through amendments to the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, and housing approval process.
Marianne Mollring, Senior Planner
Public Works and Planning
2220 Tulare Street, Sixth Floor
Fresno, CA 93721
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