CPA Asks County for Transparency and Public Participation for Housing Element Update


CPA has advocated for transparent community planning since its founding in 1960. CPA has followed the HEU process and Since the beginning, CPA has expressed concern to various county staff about the absence of full transparency and the lack of robust community engagement, starting with the proposed disproportionate allocation of housing units being recommended by staff to SBCAG for the resource-constrained South Coast.

While the state of California issues the overall number of units and approves the methodology, it is local government officials, members of SBCAG, who voted to support the lopsided allocation of 73% of the units to the resource-contrained South Coast.

As CPA noted in our July 2021 letter to SBCAG, the So. Coast could not handle approximately 5000 additional units unless it was done with complete disregard for the existing Community Plans and the Agriculture Conversion policies.”

CPA and the public are also baffled that the County staff spent over a year with consultants and property owners deciding which parcels to recommend for high densityupzoning, with no input from the public along the way. How and when was the decision made and approved to rely on rezones alone? Why is there no consideration for the number of ADUs, second units and commercial property rezones includedWhy chose to prepare a blanket Programmatic EIR to cover all these potentially huge projects.

Such closed door decision making flies in the face of the tradition of transparency that characterized decades of the County Long Range planning projects.

Now the public is being told that not meeting the February deadline means the State will give developers ‘by right’ ability to develop anywhere without environmental review.

These and other questions must be addressed publicly by the BOS as soon as possible. CPA requests a public hearing at the Supervisors level to get answers to the public’s many questions. CPA also requests that a record of all private meetings regarding specific rezones now shown on the HE maps, be provided.