2018 APA California Chapter Conference

Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina
1380 Harbor Island Drive
San Diego, CA 92101


Monday, October 8, 2018

1:15pm – 2:45pm


“One Year After California’s Housing Package…How is the World a Different Place?”


California passed a landmark housing package in 2017 including 15 game-changing laws with new funding and preservation authorities, new streamlining and zoning changes, and increased enforcement of state law. One year later, what is working? What is still percolating? California’s housing director, Ben Metcalf, explains the important opportunities for planning professionals in this post-package world to help provide one of the most basic human needs … a home.


Speakers:  Eric Phillips and Ben Metcalf, Director of HCD.


3:15pm – 4:45pm


Preparing Housing Elements Under New State Laws: Lessons Learned from Applying AB 1397 and AB 879”


Adopted as part of the Legislature’s 2017 Housing Package, AB 1379 and AB 879 require cities and counties to provide additional analysis when adopting a housing element and limit the designation of certain sites as suitable for lower-income housing, especially non-vacant sites. This panel will discuss the substantial changes regarding housing element analysis to help prepare planners for the next round of housing element updates that kicks off in 2021 by examining a case study of a recently-prepared housing element. The City of Encinitas is one of the first jurisdictions in California to prepare a housing element under AB 1379 and AB 879. Representatives who worked on the housing element will discuss the challenges and opportunities the new requirements presented during the planning process, and HCD staff will share their perspective on how the new laws influenced their review and assessment of the City’s analysis. The presentation will focus on recent changes in state housing element laws with respect to specific changes in statutory language and its effect on implementing housing elements going forward.


Speakers:  Barbara Kautz, Eric Phillips, Brenda Wisneski, and Paul McDougall


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

3:15pm – 4:45pm


Zen, the Housing Accountability Act, and the Art of Applying Objective Standards”


As the legislature and the courts turn their attention to limiting local agency discretion, planners may be left wondering what their options are when reviewing housing development applications. The Housing Accountability Act and SB 35 limit review to the application of objective standards, but this answer only raises more questions. This panel will focus on statutory interpretation and case law that provides guidance on what constitutes an ‘objective’ standard to help planners understand what tools are available to evaluate housing projects. Ultimately, a well-crafted set of objective standards can benefit cities and applicants by providing certainty throughout the development process, and incorporating such standards into a specific plan unlocks a range of CEQA streamlining options for future projects.  Accordingly, the panel will also discuss El Cerrito’s recently-approved Specific Plan, which uses form-based codes and objective standards to regulate development while stimulating growth through local streamlining mechanisms. The presentation will focus on recent changes in the Housing Accountability Act and the addition of SB 35 along with case law with respect to the application of ‘objective’ standards. 2017 amendments have increased legal risks to cities and counties associated with denying or conditioning housing development projects, and the panel will focus on legal information to help planners comply with the new requirements.


Speakers:  Barbara Kautz, Dolores Dalton, and Eric Phillips plus co-panelist from the City of El Cerrito.