Objective Development Standards
In response to California’s housing crisis, several state laws (e.g., Gov. Code §65589.5, Housing Accountability Act) have recently been amended or enacted with the intent to stimulate housing production by streamlining permit processes and making it difficult for communities to deny or reduce the density of housing projects that meet objective General Plan and zoning requirements. The new and amended legislation affects development, long range planning, and decision-making in Campbell and requires the City to change the way it processes housing development applications.
Housing development projects are reviewed for consistency with the General Plan, various area plans, and the Campbell Municipal Code. Each of these documents contains a variety of design guidelines and development standards, and may include goals or a purpose/vision statement. Many of the City’s design guidelines and development standards will need to be amended to ensure that they are ‘objective’ and enforceable. Objective standards do not involve discretion or subjective judgment and can be referenced to an external and uniform benchmark or criterion. The primary goal for this project is to create applicable objective design and development standards that will help to streamline approval processes and provide more certainty to applicants, decision makers, residents, and the general public.
The City seeks to establish objective development standards for applicable housing development projects. Transforming guidelines and subjective criteria into objective standards will require an in-depth review of each of select area plans, as well as a portion of the Campbell Municipal Code (e.g., Zoning Ordinance). This task will require cross-references between various area plans and the Municipal Code to ensure that the new standards would be enforceable. This task may also result in the creation of a new chapter in the Campbell Municipal Code (specific to new housing projects). Given the diverse expectations of the community, significant public outreach efforts will also be required, likely resulting in a series of community meetings and workshops.
City staff has performed a preliminary review of relevant planning documents and has separated their findings into a short-term approach and a long-term approach to amending the City’s policy documents to be more objective. This preliminary research will be provided to the selected consultant. Furthermore, and based on this initial research, staff is concurrently working on a short-term (interim) approach, which includes developing objective standards for the City’s Planned Development Ordinance and various area plans. However this initial research and interim amendments will need to be refined by the consultant.
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