Antioch Council approve Housing Element Updates, plan for required 3,016 more housing units on split votes

Source: City of Antioch

By Allen D. Payton

During their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, the Antioch City Council approved for 2023-2031 resolutions and ordinances related to the 663-page 6th Cycle Housing Element Update. They include the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), Amendments to the East Lone Tree Specific Plan and the Multi-Family Residential Objective Design Standards. Antioch 2023-31 Housing Element Update Sections 1-8    Antioch 2023-31 Housing Element Update Adppendix A    Antioch 2023-31 Housing Element Update Adppendix B  Antioch 2023-31 Housing Element Update Adppendices C-F

The RHNA is a requirement of state housing law and is a process that determines projected and existing housing need for all jurisdictions (city or unincorporated county) in California. The latest plan requires the city to approve a total of 3,016 new housing units in four categories from 2023 to 2031. They include 792 Very Low-Income Units, 456 Low-Income Units, 493 Moderate-Income Units and 1,275 Above Moderate-Income Units. However, the city’s plans already include more than enough of each type of units for a total of 4,881 units of 62% more than required. Those include housing units already approved and in the “pipeline”, projected Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) which are small housing units on the property of existing residences, sometimes referred to as “in-law units”; pending units and future multi-family development.

City of Antioch 2023-31 RNHA Units – Required & Planned. Source: City of Antioch

“This is a pretty important element of the city. We do this every eight years,” Thorpe explained.

“This is a state required policy, addressing housing, specifically…where we want to see housing,” Planning Manager Ann Hersch said. “There is no development being proposed at this time. This is a change on paper. It’s really policy changes at this time.”

“The first time…it was more equitable in how they dispersed the housing development in the Bay Area,” Thorpe said. “While other cities like San Mateo fought it and got all the businesses, we were stuck with all the housing and the problems. So, this is an important policy that for the first time is equitable throughout the Bay Area.”

“Just because we rezone something it doesn’t mean there’s going to be housing on it,” he continued. “It depends on the property owner. There are certain shopping plazas in Antioch that will be rezoned to accommodate housing. We are changing those rules to accommodate state law. Their process will be more streamlined than others do.”

“Those are the kinds of changes that we may implement, today. Some of it we just can’t get around,” Thorpe added.

Most of the residents who spoke during public comments on the item live in the Viera Avenue neighborhood off E. 18th Street who are concerned about increasing density and adding more housing in their part of town, which has been more rural, and not wanting the nearby vineyards from being developed.

East Lone Tree Specific Plan Employment & Commercial Phase map. Source: City of Antioch

Adopt East Lone Tree Specific Plan Amendments

Formerly known as Future Urban Area #2 or FUA-2 and adopted as the East Lone Tree Specific Plan area by the city council in 1996, consists of approximately 200 acres of land at Laurel Road and Highway 4, set aside for employment and commercial development. It includes the housing on the west side of Highway 4 north of Lone Tree Way and the Slatten Ranch Shopping Center. The council approved amendments to the plan for the employment and commercial phase on the north and east side of the freeway. In that portion of the plan, Slatten Ranch Road will be extended from J.C. Penney and from the Antioch BART Station to Laurel Road.  East Lone Tree Specific Plan ACC012423

Council Discussion

Regarding “Community engagement. Did we do enough of it?” Wilson asked.

“We had two public workshops. We also had planning commission meetings and the council meeting in June. We also had an online survey up.,” Hersch responded.

“Did we do these community meetings at different times?” Wilson pressed further.

“Those were both Wednesday evenings. There were also Spanish-language workshops,” Hersch said.

“We have to do better with this outreach,” Wilson said. “If I lived in a neighborhood and I saw my house highlighted I’d be a little freaked out, too.”

“How are we supporting special needs, now and propose supporting them in the future,” Wilson asked.

“Housing is shared between the Community Development Department. But the administration of programs will be handled in the new Public Safety and Community Services Department,” Community Development Director Forrest Ebbs explained.

All Six Resolutions Approved on 4-1 Votes

Ogorchock then moved approval of the six resolutions, and the council voted on each of them separately. They all passed on 4-1 votes with Barbanica voting against.

“The rezoning creates opportunities for residential development,” Ebbs explained about the property in the Viera Avenue neighborhood.

“What’s happening today is because of state law,” Thorpe added.

Following the meeting Barbanica was asked why he voted against each of the housing element update resolutions.

“Overall, this was going to pass, and I assumed that going into this,” he said. “I’m not anti-development. But I’m for smart development. When you take some of these people in the Viera Avenue area who didn’t want to be inside the city. Now, in the next housing update they’re looking at having their property rezoned, and facing potential development around their land, someone needs to listen to these folks.”


the attachments to this post:

East Lone Tree Specific Plan Employment & Commercial Phase map ACC012423

East Lone Tree Specific Plan ACC012423

City of Antioch 2023-31 RNHA Units

Antioch 2023-31 Housing Element Update Adppendix B

Antioch 2023-31 Housing Element Update Adppendix A

Antioch 2023-31 Housing Element Update Adppendices C-F

Antioch 2023-31 Housing Element Update Sections 1-8

City of Antioch 2023-31 Housing Element Update graphic

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