County Housing Initiatives Package

Constraints and Opportunities Analysis for Residential Development (Constraints and Opportunities Mapping)

Description:

The Constraints and Opportunities Analysis identifies potential areas that may be rezoned residential uses. County Staff is collaborating with a Stakeholder Group, which includes representatives from the Home Builders Association, Economic Vitality Corporation, and the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce. The map identifies prime locations to accommodate a significant number of new housing units while considering the cost, environmental, or policy constraints that could render a development project infeasible.

Status:

Draft report developed for Board direction in the summer of 2018.

Estimated Completion Date:

Summer 2019. The timeframe may be extended depending on the final scope.

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance

Description:

Phase I (Complete)
On July 18th, 2017, the County of San Luis Obispo enacted two amendments to the existing ordinance (Residential - Secondary Dwellings, Section 22.30.470 and Secondary Dwelling Units, Section 23.08.169), removing road surfacing requirements and owner occupancy requirements to remove barriers to the creation of ADUs.

Phase II (Ongoing)
The Board of Supervisors has directed staff to develop an Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance to further incentivize and streamline development. County staff will review existing restrictions and limitations on secondary dwellings throughout the unincorporated areas of the County, with the goal of drafting a new or revised ordinance for ADUs.

Status:

The Department is working with the ADU Technical Advisory Committee to develop an ordinance framework that will be presented for Board of Supervisors consideration in summer of 2018.

Estimated Completion Date:

Summer 2019, assuming no EIR will be required.

Farmworker Housing Ordinance

Description:

Staff is considering amendments to Title 22 to both incentivize development of farmworker housing and remove impediments to building for both on- and off-site agricultural operations. Farmworkers generally have special housing needs due to their limited income and the seasonal nature of their employment. The chronic under supply of housing that is affordable and suitable for locally employed farmworkers has economic, social, and environmental impacts. Staff formed a Farmworker Housing Ordinance Stakeholder Group, including representatives from the Farm Bureau, Growers-Shippers Association, Paso Wine Country Alliance, Cattleman’s Association, and labor contractors, to provide guidance and assist in the development of the Farmworker Housing Ordinance. 

Status:

The Department is working with the Farmworker Housing Ordinance Stakeholder Group to develop an ordinance framework that will be presented for Board of Supervisors consideration in summer of 2018.

Estimated Completion Date:

Summer 2019, assuming no EIR will be required.

Matrix for Ministerial vs. Discretionary Projects

Description:

The Board directed staff to develop a matrix describing the various types of projects that are eligible for either ministerial or discretionary approval. Ministerial projects do not require a public hearing, neighborhood notification, or environmental review under CEQA. This can result in a substantial time and cost savings and improve the predictability of the approval process, which helps developers to obtain financing. 

Status:

The matrix is complete and available here.

Estimated Completion Date:

Complete

Reduce, Waive, and Defer Fees for Affordable Housing

Description:

Under direction from the Board of Supervisors, staff is working to update the fee structure to increase flexibility for builders, incentivize construction of smaller units, scale fees to unit size, and the provide a timeline for when fees must be paid. On September 26, 2017, staff brought several fee related options to the Board of Supervisors.

Status:

In the summer of 2018, the Board of Supervisors will consider an ordinance to allow deferral of public facility fees from permit issuance to final occupancy. The Board will also consider a resolution at that time to allow the Planning Director to waive permit fees for affordable housing projects. At a later date, timed with routine updates to the public facility fee program, the Board of Supervisors will evaluate options to reduce, waive, or defer public facility fees for affordable housing projects.

Estimated Completion Date:

Summer 2019.

First-time Homebuyer Program

Description:

Staff has structured a First-time Homebuyer Program funded through program income that provides down payment assistance loans for the purchase of “sweat equity” housing units. The program is structured around sweat equity units because they are sold at below-market rate prices and non-profit developers typically assist buyers with the loan application process, thereby allowing the County to make more loans with the limited amount of program income available, and reducing the County’s administration costs. If additional funds become available, the County may consider expanding the program. 

Status:

Complete.

Estimated Completion Date:

Complete.

Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA)

Description:

The Board directed staff to consider options for conducting additional education and/or outreach in an effort to expand awareness of these programs for which the County is a member. Each year the County receives an allocation of about $1,700,000 in private activity bonds from the California Debt Allocation Committee (CDAC). Like most counties in the State, the County allocates these funds to GSFA for the Mortgage Credit Certificates program for first-time homebuyers. Staff has determined that, given the significant administrative costs and technical knowledge required to implement such a program, it is more cost effective to continue allocating the County’s share of private activity bonds to GSFA.

Status:

Complete.

Estimated Completion Date:

Complete. The Department assigns share of private activity bonds to GSFA.