From the 12.12.12 edition
By Daniel Mintz
Press Staff Writer
The target of multiple lawsuits and a trigger of public discontent, the county’s Housing Element has final achieved an elusive goal – a final approval from the state.
The element is a five-year housing plan that demonstrates to the state how local housing needs will be met. Its approval has followed a twisted path that has included legal challenges and state de-certification.
A multifamily rezoning program that mostly focuses on McKinleyville and Cutten has been controversial and subject to state requests for revisions. Overdue and approved by supervisors in a series of down-to-the-wire hearings, the element and its rezoning plan was shipped off to the state as the county was accused of violating environmental review laws and grossly mis-stating the amount of land available for residential development.
A Dec. 5 county press release announced what planning officials have long pursued: a state finding that the five-year plan is in “full compliance with state housing element law.”
The press release quotes from a letter to the county from Glen Campora, the assistant deputy director of the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development, which informs that “the county now meets specific requirements for several state funding programs designed to reward local governments for compliance with state housing element law.”
Board of Supervisors Chairman Virginia Bass is quoted in the release and she notes the county’s struggles in the approval process.
“Obviously, we are pleased with the State’s determination,” she said. “The county has gone through significant challenges to meet the requirements of state law. We certainly have more work to do, but I am excited to focus on the challenge of actually getting housing constructed.”