Huntington Beach passes five housing measures

Huntington Beach passes five housing measures

A South Bay man accepted hundreds of offers from open houses. But the homes weren’t for sale, he was told, and his landlord simply wanted to offer him a property at a discount. The man’s response: “I wanted to find out who would be the least offensive person to work with.”

He ended up moving to Dallas.

Since then, he says, he’s been unable to find a condo that will work. He’s had multiple offers on units that are currently under construction and on others that are in the process of being built, but to no avail.

His landlord has repeatedly cited zoning laws that won’t approve his plan to build more than one unit within a building, so he is forced to move at least twice a week with only the clothes on his back.

“I can’t afford the rent that I have in mind,” he said. “The money I make is to pay for rent, and to move my daughter to school, but it’s still not enough to make ends meet.”

The question of what kinds of housing the City of Huntington Beach should and shouldn’t allow for its residents has gone from rhetorical to factual, with the passage of a half dozen ballot initiatives aimed at creating more housing choices and quality of life for all residents.

The City of Huntington Beach has already begun looking at whether to adopt the five measures, which include making it easier to build housing by allowing developers to apply for a variance from certain limitations on the number of units that can be built on residential property, and by providing incentives to expand city-mandated affordable housing.

The five measures were on the June 7 ballot, but city leaders decided to wait to act on them until after the November elections so the city could have the benefit of a more complete record on who voted for them.

Officials on the housing and planning commissions, which each made up two of the five legislative committees that researched, voted on the measures.

“I think it’s really important to recognize the impact this can have on our community,” said Huntington Beach Planning Commission Chairwoman Nancy DeClerc. “If we say the city has to act on these measures or we won’t, then we won’t see the benefit of the community.”

The measures were crafted in cooperation between city attorney John Clements and real estate experts at law school, Clements said.


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