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It’s official.

Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter.  Gosh.  Is he hip or what?  He even posted on Calitics.

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It took place yesterday.  If I’d known about it I would have plugged it.  Basically, the California Housing and Community Development Department held a presentation which drew just over a hundred participants.  I think they might have gotten more participation if they’d provided more notice and held it while the comment period for the housing element was still open.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt to let the Planning Department know what you think even if it doesn’t become part of the record.

Interesting line from the article:

The state officials’ offering of a rather lengthy PowerPoint presentation was derailed more than a few times to answer audience questions — inquiries that often belied the diverse vision for the county’s housing element.

“Diverse vision.”  That’s a nice way of putting it.

Heraldo has a guest post on the forum from a poster named “Mixed Use” who presented a controlled growth view of the proceeding.  Thus far the discussion is actually fairly productive.  Assuming the facts are accurate, this passage is particularly alarming to me.

In the past 5 years, 17% of houses built in the unincorporated areas of the county were built on ag lands. An average of 3,000-4,000 acres of ag lands have been converted to residential uses each year since 1964.  Without major revisions to these policies in the new General Plan Update, another 74,000 acres of agricultural lands could be converted in the next 20 years. And the developer/realtor lobbying groups would be happy to HELP make Cutten, Humboldt Hill, and Loleta look just like McKinleyville.

I don’t know if CPR had any representation at the meeting, but I wonder if someone has stepped up to the plate to suggest that GPU policy statements could emphasize different priorities for different areas, where the term “sprawl” might have different meaning.  I don’t see any references to any discussion of affordable housing or the inclusionary zoning issue.  Also, the political scientist in me wants to see how the more diverse CPR interfaces with organizations like HELP.  But this wasn’t really a forum anyway, but rather an “informational meeting” about the state’s expectations for the housing element.

The HCD provided the address to their web page discussing the essential “building blocks” to any housing plan.  I don’t have time to explore it right now, but I’ll look it over and comment later.

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