California has reached a settlement with the City of Coronado for violating the state’s Housing Element Law, resulting in an update to its housing plan in April 2024 to allow the construction of 912 new housing units for residents. California at all income levels
Governor Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta, and Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Director Gustavo Velasquez announced today a lawsuit against the City of Coronado for failing to plan for new housing as required by law. to alleviate California’s ongoing housing crisis.
As a result of the settlement, Coronado will allow the construction of 912 new housing units.
“Every city and county in the state is responsible for building their fair share of housing. The state is doing more than ever to accelerate construction, and we will continue to work with communities to build more housing faster so that Californians can be supported. Governor Gavin Newsom
Under the state’s Affordable Housing Act, each city and county in California must periodically update its housing plan to meet its Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), the municipality’s fair share of regional and statewide housing needs. RHNA is an important tool for building housing for moderate, low, and very low-income Californians, including those harmed by historic redlining and disinvestment.
“The Los Angeles Times says Coronado ‘may be the biggest violator of California’s affordable housing law.’ Today’s settlement ends that distinction,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “The City of Coronado wisely chose to partner with us and address its housing challenges. There is no question that this moment has been long overdue. I want to thank the current Coronado City Council for finally doing the right thing. The housing crisis we face in California is huge, and the only way we can solve it is if every local government follows the law and builds its fair share of housing. Today should serve as a valuable lesson to counties and cities across the state: no matter what your situation, state leaders are ready and able to help you deliver homes for all of you. resident If we can do it in Coronado, an island city where a military base and a port sit on more than half of it, we can do it elsewhere.
The City of Coronado is required to update its housing plan by April 15, 2021, to plan for 912 new housing units. Instead, Coronado challenged the law itself and adopted a housing plan that did not meet the RHNA target.
“All California communities must take seriously their responsibility to facilitate housing development at all income levels through the housing element process, and HCD is here to help,” said Gustavo Velasquez, Director of the California Department of Housing & Community Development. “But if local jurisdictions miss their deadlines on the housing element, HCD must enforce the law and hold them accountable. We are pleased to see the City of Coronado committed to bringing their housing element into compliance with the Housing Element Act. HCD will continue to work with the city and monitor them to ensure compliance and hold them to the commitments they made in this settlement.
The California Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected Coronado’s challenge to its RHNA last year. Upon HCD’s referral to the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) for enforcement, Coronado negotiated in good faith with HCD and CA DOJ to ensure that the city adopts a plan by April 16, 2024, to allow the creation of 912 housing units.
“This agreement provides the City of Coronado with the certainty and support of the state necessary to achieve an affordable housing element,” said Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey. “Battled with an RHNA allocation significantly larger than previous cycles, the combined creativity of the city and state was brought to bear for this viable solution. With a shared goal of creating a meaningful and achievable plan to achieve compliance, we found the resolution of a year-long challenge.
Under the settlement:
The City of Coronado will adopt a compliant housing element no later than April 16, 2024.
Coronado must modernize the zoning code and local coastal plan by May 7, 2024, to meet the housing targets outlined in its compliant housing element.
The HCD agreed that the 374 planned housing units at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado could be credited to the 912-unit RHNA in the City of Coronado, based on the Navy’s current plan.
The City of Coronado has agreed to comply with the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing statute (AFFH). AFFH requires local governments to take meaningful actions that overcome patterns of discrimination and develop inclusive communities, free from barriers that prevent access to opportunities based on protected characteristics.
The City of Coronado recognizes that, until such time as it adopts a substantial compliant housing element, it does not deny housing projects based on zoning or general plan inconsistencies.
If the City of Coronado fails to comply with the settlement, it may lose its authority to approve or deny certain types of development. In addition, monetary penalties will be imposed if Coronado remains in noncompliance 12 months after the effective date of the default judgment.