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SB 2 Planning Grants Program Notice of Funding Availability

April 3, 2019

SB 2 Planning Grants Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for approximately $123 million.

 

The Planning Grants Program provides one-time, over-the-counter grants to local governments to update a variety of planning documents and processes that streamline housing approvals and accelerate housing production.

 

Over-the-counter applications will be accepted for an eight-month period ending on November 30, 2019.

 

This funding will cover the cost of;

(1) Updates to general plans, community plans, specific plans, local planning related to implementation of sustainable communities’ strategies, or local coastal plans; (2) Updates to zoning ordinances;

(3) Environmental analyses that eliminate the need for project-specific review;

(4) Local process improvements that improve and expedite local planning;

(5) A smaller geography with a significant impact on housing production including an overlay district, project level specific plan, or development standards modifications proposed for significant areas of a locality, such as corridors, downtown or priority growth areas;

(6) The creation or enhancement of a housing sustainability district pursuant to AB 73 (Chapter 371, Statutes of 2017);

(7) Workforce housing opportunity zone pursuant to SB 540 (Chapter 369, Statutes of 2017);

(8) Zoning for by-right supportive housing, pursuant to Government Code section 65651 (Chapter 753, Statutes of 2018);

(9) Zoning incentives for housing for persons with special needs, including persons with developmental disabilities;

(10) Rezoning to meet requirements pursuant to Government Code Section 65583.2(c) and other rezoning efforts to facilitate supply and affordability;

(11) Rezoning for multifamily housing in high resource areas (according to Tax Credit Allocation Committee/Housing Community Development Opportunity Area Maps);

(12) Pre-approved architectural and site plans;

(13) Regional housing trust fund plans;

(14) SB 2 funding plans;

(15) Infrastructure financing plans;

(16) Environmental hazard assessments; data collection on permit tracking; feasibility studies, site analysis, or other background studies that are ancillary and part of a proposed activity with a nexus to accelerating housing production; and

(17) Other planning activities demonstrating a nexus to accelerating housing production.

 

Threshold Requirements

In accordance with Article II, Section 201 of the Guidelines, all applicants must meet the following threshold requirements:

(1) Housing element compliance: The applicant must have a housing element that has been adopted by the jurisdiction’s governing body by the date the applicant submits the application package, and is subsequently determined to be in substantial compliance with state housing element law pursuant to Gov. Code Section 65585 by the time of award. A jurisdiction’s current housing element compliance status can be obtained by referencing the Department’s website at http://www.hcd.ca.gov/community-development/housing-element/index.shtml or emailing the Department at sb2planninggrant@hcd.ca.gov. For more information on housing element requirements, please contact Paul McDougall at paul.mcdougall@hcd.ca.gov. Pursuant to Section 201(a)(2) of the Guidelines, applicants not meeting housing element requirements may be considered to meet this threshold requirement at the discretion of the Department on a case by case basis by applying factors such as significant progress in meeting housing element requirements (e.g., a draft found to meet statute, rezoning near completion), proposing activities to meet housing element requirements (e.g., rezoning to accommodate housing needs pursuant to Gov. Code Section 65583(c)(1)) and adoption of a compliant element prior to the award of funds.

 

(2) Annual Progress Report (APR) on the housing element: The applicant must submit the APR to the Department, as required by Gov. Code section 65400, for the current or prior year by the date the applicant submits the application package.

 

(3) Nexus to accelerating housing production: The applicant must propose and document plans or processes that accelerate housing production. The application must demonstrate a significant positive effect on accelerating housing production through timing, cost, approval certainty, entitlement streamlining, feasibility, infrastructure capacity, or impact on housing supply and affordability. An application not utilizing Priority Policy Areas must include an explanation and documentation of the nexus plans or processes impact on accelerating housing production based on a reasonable and verifiable methodology and must utilize the Department’s form (see Attachment 2 in the Application). A verifiable methodology may include a statement of support from a non-profit or for-profit developer that is active in the locality. Applicants proposing Priority Policy Areas do not require a nexus demonstration and are automatically deemed to accelerate housing production without any documentation. Pursuant to Section 102(q) of the Guidelines, Priority Policy Areas means any of the following: CA HCD Notice of Funding Availability 6 SB 2 Planning Grants NOFA Year-1

(a) Rezone to Permit By-right: Rezoning for significant additional housing capacity without, or lesser, discretionary review, or establishing zoning to permit residential development by-right, particularly multifamily, without discretionary action pursuant to Government Code Section 65583.2(h) and (i).

(b) Objective Design and Development Standards: Developing objective design standards or pre-approved site and architectural plans that facilitate non-discretionary permitting.

(c) Specific Plans or Form based Codes Coupled with CEQA Streamlining: Designating and rezoning for additional housing capacity or preparing specific plans or form codes that include zoning and development standards and planlevel environmental analysis that can be used to streamline future housing projects and facilitate affordability.

(d) Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) or Other Low-Cost Building Strategies: Encouraging ADUs and other low-cost building types through actions above state law such as, outreach, fee waivers, pre-approved plans, website zoning clearance assistance, and other homeowner tools or finance tools. Also, establishing other approaches to intensify existing lower density residential areas and “missing model” typologies to encourage significantly more residential development (e.g., duplexes, triplexes) in lower density residential areas.

(e) Expedited Processing: Speeding up approvals and permit processing, including instituting programs that streamline or consolidate the review process or create a separate process for expedited review of housing projects.

(f) Housing Related Infrastructure Financing and Fee Reduction Strategies: Develop and implement approaches to local, regional or sub-regional housing related infrastructure financing. Create plans and programs to finance and increase infrastructure with accompanying enhanced housing capacity, such as enhanced infrastructure financing districts. Fee reduction and rationalization approaches, such as reassessing fees to adhere to best practices in reducing costs, deferrals, sliding scales or proportionate impacts fees (e.g., ADUs, transit oriented, and infill development, special needs housing), or fee transparency measures including publically available fee calculators. Note: HCD will be rolling out best practice toolkits and technical assistance in these topic areas over the course of 2019. Note: If the applicant is proposing only Priority Policy Areas ((PPA), as defined in section VIII, subsection (3) of the NOFA), do not fill out Attachment 2. However, if the applicant is proposing to fund PPAs AND other activities that are not considered PPAs, the application must demonstrate how these other activities have a nexus to accelerating housing production by filling out Attachment 2 of the application.

 

(4) State Planning and Other Planning Priorities: Applicants must demonstrate that the locality is consistent with State Planning or Other Planning Priorities. CA HCD Notice of Funding Availability 7 SB 2 Planning Grants NOFA Year-1 Consistency may be demonstrated through activities (not necessarily proposed for SB 2 funding) that were completed within the last five years. Applicants must selfcertify utilizing the Department’s form (see Attachment 1 in the Application).

 

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