We just finished up our review of South Pasadena’s latest housing element draft and sent our feedback to HCD and local policymakers. Unfortunately, the city continues to ignore the spirit and letter of state law; so we are encouraging HCD to refuse certification. You can find the full letter here or keep reading for key takeaways.

  • The housing element still includes a number of unrealistic sites, like an active grocery store and a steep hillside, as development opportunities for low-income housing.
  • The housing element does not account for likelihood of redevelopment, instead assuming every site will be redeveloped at 95% of the allowed density within the next 8 years. It also doesn’t include a sufficient “no net loss” buffer.
  • ADU projections are overly optimistic. The state allows cities to average their numbers for the past 3 years and project that annual production number into the future, which would yield 76 ADUs. They are projecting 320.
  • There are no meaningful commitments to deal with government constraints to housing production, like parking minimums, height limits, and other development standards that might make new housing hard to build.
  • Tenant protections are neglected as part of the plan.
  • Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing programs are limited to symbolic actions like removing racially restrictive covenants from property deeds, rather than any meaningful action to promote affordable housing development.

Read the full letter:

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Update: this post’s headline has been edited to remove a grammar error.