The Goleta City Council unanimously adopted the City’s 2023-2031 Housing Element at its January 17, 2023 City Council meeting. As a result, the City will submit its Housing Element to the State for review in advance of the February 15, 2023 statutory deadline. The adopted Housing Element addresses comments received from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and provides zoned residential capacity that meets the City’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) for the 6th Housing Cycle (2023-2031).
Goleta’s Housing Element establishes City policies and programs for maintaining and improving existing housing and plans for sufficient residential capacity to meet the City’s share of the regional housing need, both overall and by affordability level. The adopted Housing Element plans for a total residential capacity of 2,614 housing units. Goleta’s mandated RHNA is 1,837 units.
Meeting the State’s housing mandate requires the City to identify housing sites adequate to accommodate the City’s share of regional housing need. The City is not required to build housing on these sites itself. Rather, the Housing Element planning process paves the way for private builders to develop housing projects on the sites identified. Any housing proposed on these sites must satisfy important criteria and considerations, such as environmental factors and adequate water supply.
The adopted Housing Element strives to preserve and protect Goleta’s unique community character as much as possible. A major focus of the plan is on underutilized sites within the urban area. The plan relies on sites already zoned for residential uses and none of the sites identified for potential housing is on land currently zoned for agriculture.
City of Goleta’s Mayor Paula Perotte said, “A big thank you to City staff for crafting this updated plan and meeting the State’s mandate. I am hopeful that over time we can address local needs for increased availability and affordability of housing for residents.”
City of Goleta’s Planning and Environmental Review Director Peter Imhof said, “We are very happy to be on track with our Housing Element update for the 6th housing cycle, which meets all State requirements and does its part to accommodate Goleta’s share of the region’s housing need.”
State law requires each jurisdiction in Santa Barbara County to prepare a comprehensive update to its respective Housing Element of the General Plan for the 2023-2031 period. It is important that a City’s Housing Element comply with State law to enhance eligibility for grant funds and to support local land use authority.
The City originally submitted its Draft Housing Element 2023-2031 to the State in the summer of 2022. HCD requested more information to be included in the document and the City’s Planning and Environmental Review Department revised the document to provide the requested information. The Planning Commission reviewed the draft Housing Element on December 12, 2022 and recommended City Council adoption.
Changes to the revised draft being submitted to the State include:
- Furthering fair housing opportunities.
- Strengthening programs addressing the needs of extremely low-income (ELI) households and persons with special housing needs.
- Revising the inventory of housing sites, which led to an increase in the overall estimated capacity of housing units Goleta can accommodate from 2,065 to 2,614.
- Analysis of the special needs population, which includes the elderly, persons with disabilities, large families with five or more members, female-headed households, farmworkers and the homeless, and resources to address those housing needs.
The City’s adopted Housing Element now goes to the State for review. For more information on the City’s Housing Element Update project, go to https://cityofgoleta.org/HousingElement. If you have any questions about the project, please email City staff at HousingElement@cityofgoleta.org.