Housing Element Update 2021-2029 - 6th Cycle
The General Plan Housing Element is required pursuant to California Government Code Section 65580 et seq., and works to provide housing for all of Inyo County’s residents. Housing Element law is one of the most complicated of the General Plan Elements and it must be approved by the State. The County’s Housing Element was first adopted in 1992 and updated in 2001, 2003, 2009, 2014 and most recently in 2022.
Beginning in 2020 staff began the 2021-2029 Housing Element Update when the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) sent the County its Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). This is the number of housing units, by income categories, that the County must plan for. The RHNA requires a total of 205 new units to be planned for consisting of 46 very low-income units, 40 low-income units, 39 moderate-income units and 80 above-moderate income units.
Tribal jurisdictions, Stakeholders, and community members were invited to a series of consultations and meetings regarding the Housing Element. A Public Review Draft with changes to the existing Housing Element based on staff analysis and stakeholder/community input was posted for review and comment and then sent to HCD in April 2021.
HCD sent a list of findings in June of 2021 outlining changes that would need to be made for the Housing Element to be in compliance. County and HCD staff met and reviewed these required updates. County staff prepared a Draft Housing Element based on HCD's findings that was then evaluated under the California Environmental Quality as a Negative Declaration of Environemtal Impact. The CEQA document was posted for a 30-day review and comment period (June 18, 2021 - July 18, 2021). The Draft was then presented to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation on August 11, 2021, and to the Board of Supervisors on August 17, 2021 for approval. The Draft was then sent to HCD for review.
On November 16, 2021 HCD sent the County another letter of findings outlining additional, substantial, changes that would need to be made for the Housing Element Update to be in compliance with State Housing Law. Staff worked for close to a year on these changes, which included that two of the RHNA sites identified in the Housing Element would undergo General Plan and Zoning designation changes to support higher density housing (these were to be completed by April 2023).
The Draft Revised Housing Element was posted on the County website and was presented to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors at workshops to collect public input in June 2022. It was then presented to the Board of Supervisors for re-approval, on August 17, 2022 and then subsequently sent to HCD for certification. On August 30, 2022 the County received a letter from HCD certifying that the County's 6th Cycle Housing Element Update was in full compliance with State Housing Law.
The adoption of the Housing Element by the County included that the County would follow through with the policy actions set forth in it. In May of 2023, staff brought forward the General Plan and Zoning reclassification proposals for the RHNA site parcels identified in the Housing Element. These proposed reclassifications were not adopted by the Board. This put the County's Housing Element in jeopardy of no longer being in compliance.
County staff contacted HCD staff to find out how to prevent this from happening. HCD staff advised that the County find replacement RHNA site parcels. Staff has done this and sent the information with a Draft Revision to the adopted Housing Element. HCD approved the revision, and the Housing Element is now in the process of being re-adopted with the new RHNA sites update.
You can find the updated Draft Revised Housing Element below. Please send any comments you may have to:
PO Drawer L, Independence, CA 93526