Orange County cities voicing opposition to regional housing targets

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Orange County municipalities are opposing housing targets set by  regional board attempting to tackle housing shortage.

Laguna Beach passed a resolution opposing the expansion by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), while Irvine and Newport Beach gear up for similar votes.

“We believe the methodology was unfair and cities’ concerns were not taken into account when the final numbers were proposed,” Irvine mayor Christina Shea is quoted in the Voice of OC.

“Our City is nearly built-out and for the State and SCAG to require us to provide an additional 22,000-plus units isn’t feasible or reasonable.”

New targets were set by a regional board of elected officials across six counties as California deals with a housing shortage and increasing housing costs.

The Laguna Beach council resolution opposes the draft plan requiring the city to zone for 390 affordable housing units, up from the current 55 units. Council did not publicly discuss the issue before voting.

Costa Mesa’s resolution also protests the increase of their requirements, from 4,322 affordable units to 11,734. The vote passed 6-1, with Councilman Manuel Chavez dissenting.

Newport Beach voted against the new goals, which would have the city zone for 4,832 affordable housing units instead of 2,751 units and Irvine City Council will vote this week.

In August, state housing officials said more than 1.3 million new homes must be built by October 2029 in the region of the Southern California Association of Governments, which covers Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, and Imperial counties.

In November, SCAG’s board adopted its draft plan for how to distribute those new homes between the cities.

The draft plan decreases the share of new homes required in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, while increasing the share of new homes in Orange County cities from 8 percent to 13.6 percent.

Newport Beach officials sent a letter to the state housing department in December urging them to reject the draft regional housing needs assessment, claiming SCAG did not provide enough time for public review.

The letter asks the state to require SCAG to reopen its review of the plan. The Association of California Cities – Orange County also sent a letter in December requesting the same.

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