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    10.    
City Council Regular
Meeting Date: 03/24/2020  

SUBJECT:
ANNUAL REPORT ON GENERAL PLAN IMPLEMENTATION FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2019
RECOMMENDATION:
Staff recommends that the City Council receive and file the Annual Report on General Plan Implementation for Calendar Year 2019 and direct staff to file a copy of the report with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and the Department of Housing and Community Development.
BACKGROUND/ANALYSIS:
Government Code Section 65400(a)(2) requires the preparation of an annual report on the implementation of the General Plan, including the City’s progress in meeting its fair share of regional housing needs, for review by the legislative body. The Planning Commission, as the City’s planning authority, is asked to review and comment on the Annual Report, which covers the period from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019. Upon the Planning Commission’s recommendation, the Annual Report will be submitted to the City Council for its consideration as the legislative body responsible for administering the General Plan. Once accepted by the City Council, the report will be submitted to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). This report is due to HCD by April 1, 2020.
 
HCD establishes the specific format that the annual report must follow. For the 2019 annual report, HCD updated the format to include new requirements set by Chapter 366, Statutes of 2017 (SB 35, Weiner) and Chapter 374, Statutes of 2017 (AB 879, Grayson).  SB 35 requires the planning agency to include in its annual report specified information regarding units of net new housing, including rental housing and for-sale housing that have been issued a completed entitlement, building permit, or certificate of occupancy. The bill also requires HCD to post an annual report on its website. AB 879 requires that the planning agency also include in its annual report the number of housing development applications received in the prior year, units included in all development applications in the prior year, units approved and disapproved in the prior year, and a listing of sites rezoned to accommodate that portion of the city’s or county’s share of the regional housing need for each income level that could not be accommodated on specified sites.
 
In addition to HCD reporting requirements, the City of Chino Hills includes a report summarizing the status of the City’s compliance with each General Plan goal, policy and action item.
 
Planning Commission Review
 
The Annual Report on General Plan Implementation for Calendar Year 2019 (Annual Report) was presented to the Planning Commission (Commission) at a public meeting on March 3, 2020. The Commission, as the City’s planning authority, was asked to review the Annual Report and make a recommendation to the City Council regarding its acceptance. Staff provided a brief presentation highlighting notable information in the report regarding various accomplishments and projects, residential building permits issued, the amount of cases processed by the Code Enforcement Division, population and housing statistics update, and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs.
 
The Commission and staff discussed Table B of the Annual Report that  appears to indicate the City has not met its Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) obligations for low and very low income housing requirements. Staff explained that Chino Hills has indeed met its RHNA requirements. However, Table B is problematic because it requires cities to document not only on the residential units entitled and constructed, but also actual for sale and rental values the units. The rates at which residential units sell or rent for are set by the marketplace, not the City. Land values and subsequently residential property values in Chino Hills are high compared to other San Bernardino communities. Consequently, although Chino Hills has facilitated development of numerous high density multifamily projects in the past five years, the units sell or rent at levels above what a lower income household in the County can afford. Staff has added the following note to Table B to explain this position:
 
The City has satisfied its RHNA allocation through the zoning of sufficient sites to provide the required dwelling units within these income levels pursuant to the provisions in state law that deem certain projects to be affordable based on their density. In April 2018, the state confirmed that the City's Housing Element is in compliance with state law.
 
Staff indicated that they will be contacting HCD to discuss these concerns regarding Table B. The Commission recommended to the City Council the acceptance of the Annual Report by unanimous vote, 3-0 (Commissioners Hamamoto and Voigt were absent).
 
Communication with HCD
 
After the Planning Commission meeting, staff contacted HCD regarding the concerns pertaining to Table B of the Annual Element Progress Report. The HCD representative confirmed,  that based on the instructions and restrictions included in these reports, non-deed restricted units can only be reported in one of the affordable categories if the local agency documents that the housing cost or rental cost falls within the affordability range for low or very low income categories. The HCD representative stated that Table B is intended to provide a summary of building permits issued within the income categories and does not reflect a local agency’s efforts to provide adequate sites and densities. As a result, the representative acknowledged Table B may appear to give the impression that the City has not made progress towards meeting its lower income RHNA obligation even though Chino Hills has appropriately rezoned adequate sites to meet the allocation through default density. As a standardized reporting tool, the representative stated there is not an opportunity to modify the table itself to provide a more comprehensive view of the City’s Housing Element and RHNA compliance; however HCD will accept the explanatory note that staff has added to the Table.
 
ADMINISTRATION OF THE GENERAL PLAN
 
General Plan Status
 
State law requires that each city and county adopt a general plan that addresses seven mandated elements; additional topics may be included in the General Plan as optional elements. Adopted optional elements carry the same legal weight as the seven mandatory elements and must be consistent with all other elements. Amendments and comprehensive updates are adopted periodically to ensure that the General Plan remains current. Updates to General Plan elements are prepared based upon an analysis of evolving conditions and preferences and are intended to remain valid for at least five years. Amendments are typically smaller in scope, and involve changes to the text of the General Plan or to the General Plan Land Use Map. Amendments are typically initiated by a private (developer) application or by direction from the City Council. Changes to the General Plan require public hearings before the Planning Commission and the City Council.
 
Table 1 shows the status of the City’s General Plan elements during the 2019 calendar year, including both mandated and optional elements.

TABLE 1
General Plan Elements
Element Required or Optional Date of Adoption or Amendments Comment
Land Use Required Original adoption in 1994. Comprehensive Update adopted in February 2015.
The Municipal Code is a tool used to implement the goals and policies of the General Plan. During 2019, six (6) Municipal Code amendments were adopted to support the Land Use Element. These amendments updated the Municipal Code to address the following topics: temporary uses and structures on accessory lots; the conversion of the Gordon Ranch planned development to traditional zoning; an update to the Land Use Matrix (Appendix A); an update to the definitions of terms used in the Development Code; an update to the permitted projections into property setbacks; and updates to the Conditional Use Permit procedures and the establishment of Minor Use Permit and Zoning Clearance Review applications.
 
Individual development projects consistent with the General Plan Land Use Element were approved in 2019. The City approved three (3) Design Review applications, eight (8) Site Development Permits, two (2) Zoning Clearance Reviews, one (1) Wireless Zoning Clearance, one (1) Extension of Time, two (2) Site Plan Reviews or amendments thereto, six (6) Conditional Use Permits, and one (1) Wireless Minor Use Permit.

 
Housing Required 5th Cycle Housing Element Adopted in October 2013.
 





Seven (7) residential development projects, consistent with the Housing Element, were under construction during 2019.
 

The 5th Cycle Housing Element (for years 2014-2021) was adopted by City Council (October 2013) and certified by the State (December 2013). The City is currently working with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) on the 6th Cycle RHNA.


 
Circulation Required Original adoption in 1994. Comprehensive Update adopted February 2015.

Through a coordinated effort with regional agencies, the construction of two (2) sidewalk projects in the Los Serranos neighborhood were completed in 2019. Curb, gutter, sidewalk, access ramps, and streetlights were installed as part of the Lago Los Serranos project. Through a combination of public and private projects, fifty-seven (57) new and retrofitted accessible ramps were installed in various areas of the City, meeting the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.



 
The overall comprehensive General Plan Update was processed in 2014, which included the Circulation Element. City Council approved the update in February 2015.





 
Conservation Required Original adoption in 1994. Comprehensive Update adopted February 2015. As part of the Environmental Protection Program (English Creek/Channel Mitigation Project), approximately 20 non-native trees and other non-native vegetation were removed over an area of approximately 6.4 acres.

Approximately 35,133 square feet of turf was replaced with drought tolerant plants and drip irrigation at English Trail and the Skate Park, which decreases the water and fertilizer consumption for these areas. Six (6) additional landscape retrofit projects are underway.
 
The overall comprehensive General Plan Update was processed in 2014, which included the Conservation Element. City Council approved the update in February 2015.
 
Safety Required Original adoption in 1994. Comprehensive Update adopted February 2015.
The overall comprehensive General Plan Update was processed in 2014, which included the Safety Element. City Council approved the update in February 2015.
 
Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Required Original adoption in 1994. Comprehensive update in 2007.
 

The construction of the approximately six-acre Los Serranos Park was completed in the Los Serranos community and opened to the public in 2019.
 
The Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Element was comprehensively updated to reflect current community needs in 2007. The City is currently working on an update of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and when complete, it will be incorporated into an update of the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Element.

 
Noise Required Original adoption in 1994. Comprehensive Update adopted February 2015.
The City regularly requires noise studies for new development to ensure compliance with the City Noise Element and related Municipal Code.
 
The overall comprehensive General Plan Update was processed in 2014, which included the Noise Element. City Council approved in February 2015. The City is currently working on an update to the City’s Noise Element and related Municipal Code provisions.
 
Economic Development Optional Original adoption in 1994. Comprehensive Update adopted February 2015.
The overall comprehensive General Plan Update was processed in 2014, which included the Economic Development Element. City Council approved the update in February 2015. The City regularly works with developers and has an ongoing contract with JLL, a commercial brokerage firm, to facilitate implementation of Economic Development Element Policies.
 

The attached City of Chino Hills General Plan Reporting Matrix provides a comprehensive listing of the status of each element within the General Plan.
 
AMENDMENTS TO THE GENERAL PLAN
 
The City did not adopt any updates or amendments to the General Plan in 2019.
 
STATUS OF HOUSING ELEMENT IMPLEMENTATION
 
Government Code Section 65588 requires that each local government review its Housing Element as frequently as appropriate to evaluate all of the following:
  1. The appropriateness of the housing goals, objectives, and policies in contributing to the attainment of the state housing goal.
  2. The effectiveness of the Housing Element in attainment of the community’s housing goals and objectives.
  3. The progress of the city, county, or city and county in implementation of the housing element.
     
With adoption of SB 375, the housing element planning period has been synchronized to match the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). The Housing Element shall be revised as appropriate, but not less than every eight years, to reflect the results of this periodic review.
 
The City’s current Housing Element was adopted by City Council on October 25, 2013. The State reviewed the Housing Element and found it to be in full compliance with state housing element law in a letter dated December 10, 2013. On December 19, 2017, the state contacted the City to request additional information to confirm that the land use changes discussed in the October 2013 Housing Element were completed. These land use changes included the rezoning of the Avalon Bay (formerly Overton Moore) and Crossings (formerly Fairfield Ranch Turner) properties to Very High Density Residential. Staff submitted the requested information and, in a letter dated April 26, 2018, the state confirmed the City’s Housing Element’s compliance.
 
Regional Housing Needs Assessment
 
State law requires jurisdictions to provide for their share of regional housing needs. As part of the RHNA, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) determines the housing growth needs by income category for cities within its jurisdiction, which includes the City of Chino Hills. The City’s RHNA allocation for the 5th cycle planning period (Year 2014-2021) is 862 units, which is divided into income groups as follows:
  • Extremely low – 108 units
  • Very low – 109 units
  • Low – 148 units
  • Moderate – 164 units
  • Above Moderate – 333 units
The State also requires each jurisdiction to complete an Annual Element Progress Report for its Housing Element Implementation (See Attachment 1) along with the Annual Report on the General Plan. The Annual Element Progress Report focuses on the City’s progress in meeting its RHNA dwelling unit allocations for the planning period over the previous calendar year (January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019) as well as a progress report on the implementation of each Housing Element program.
 
Community Development Block Grant
 
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is a program provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The CDBG program is a flexible program that HUD provides on a formula basis to both "non-entitlement" and "entitlement" communities to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons. For entitlement communities (which, in part, includes metropolitan cities with populations of at least 50,000 people), HUD determines the amount of each CDBG by a statutory formula that uses several objective measures of community needs, including the extent of poverty, population, housing overcrowding, age of housing and population growth lag in relationship to other metropolitan areas.
 
Fiscal Year 2018-2019 marks the City’s sixteenth year as an “entitlement City” for receipt of the CDBG Program funds directly from HUD. Prior to becoming an “entitlement City” in 2003, the City was receiving CDBG funds only as a “participating community” or “subrecipient” of the San Bernardino County CDBG Program.

The City’s 2018-2019 allocation was $375,372. The funds were allocated for use in the following manner:
  1. Program Administration: $56,874; the amount expended was $21,080.17. An additional $18,200 was allocated and fully expended for the Inland Fair Housing Mediation Board, which provided services to 28 households. The remaining funds will be reallocated.
  2. Home Improvement Grant program: $43,575 was carried over from previous years; one (1) project was completed and $4,784.00 was expended. The program was put on hold while a contract was obtained for inspection services; the remaining funds will be carried over to the next fiscal year.
  3. Public Service Programs: $50,100 was allocated to the following agencies/organizations:
    1. Library Literacy Program (Chino Hills Library): $10,000; 75 people were assisted and $10,000 was expended;
    2. House of Ruth (a national service that works with local shelters to provide housing and support services to homeless women and children): $10,000; 9 people were served and $10,000 was expended;
    3. Tenant-Landlord Mediation Services (Inland Fair Housing Mediation Board): $10,000; 101 people were assisted and $10,000 was expended;
    4. Heart2Serve (housing, recovery, and employment services): $20,100; 18 people were assisted and $20,100 was expended;
  4. Los Serranos Infrastructure Improvements: $250,198 were allocated from this fiscal year’s funding and $199,176.88 was carried forward for projects funded in the prior year; the Lower Los Serranos Street Lights and Fairway Boulevard Pavement Rehabilitation projects were completed and $199,176.88 were expended, the remaining funds will be carried over to the next year.
Through these efforts, Chino Hills complies with State Housing Element requirements and provides adequate sites to meet the City’s current RHNA obligations.
 
 

POPULATION, HOUSING, AND PROJECT UPDATES
 
The City is through the life of the original General Plan that was adopted in 1994, which guided development until the Year 2014 (a 20-year time frame, which is a typical time frame for most cities’ General Plans). As previously mentioned, the City commenced an in-house comprehensive update of the entire General Plan to ensure internal consistency and compliance with state law, which was adopted by City Council on February 24, 2015. Table 2 summarizes the population, housing units, and vacancy rate trends from 2010 through 2019 as estimated and projected by the California Department of Finance (DOF).

Table 2: Population and Housing[1]
  Population # of Total Housing Units # of Total Households Vacant Units Vacancy Rate Persons Per Household
2000
Census[1]
66,787 20,414 20,039 375 1.84% 3.33
2010 Dept. of Finance 74,799 23,617 22,941 676 2.9% 3.25
2011 Dept. of Finance 75,087 23,645  22,968 677 2.9% 3.26
2012 Dept. of Finance 75,308 23,666  22,989 677 2.9% 3.27
2013 Dept. of Finance 75,780 23,689  23,013 676 2.9% 3.29
2014 Dept. of Finance 76,055 23,696  23,022 674 2.8% 3.30
2015 Dept. of Finance  
77,596
 
 
24,023
 
 23,342 681 2.8% 3.32
2016 Dept. of Finance 78,866 24,133 23,699 434 1.8% 3.32
2017 Dept. of Finance 80,676 24,581 24,057 527 2.1% 3.35
2018 Dept. of Finance 83,159 25,611 25,100 514 2.0% 3.31
2019 Dept. of Finance 84,364 25,834 25,003 832 3.2% 3.37
 
[1] U.S. Census Bureau - DP-1.  Profile of General Demographic Characteristics:  2000 Data Set: Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data Geographic Area: 91709 5-Digit ZCTA.

[1] State of California, Department of Finance, E-5 Population and Housing Estimates for Cities, Counties and the State — January 1, 2011-2019, with 2010 Benchmark. Sacramento, California, May 2019.
 

Population
 
Chino Hills has experienced steady growth since its incorporation in December 1991. The General Plan reported that in 1980 the City had a population of 12,889, and by 1993, two years after incorporation, the population had grown to 48,041 persons. Since that 1993 count, Chino Hills’ population had increased another 39 percent to 66,787 persons, according to the 2000 Census, and another 12 percent to 74,799 persons, according to the 2010 Census. Recent counts by the DOF estimate that as of January 2019, Chino Hills’ population reached 84,364, a 12.8 percent increase over the 2010 Census count. Today, as the City approaches build-out, the City’s population ranks 9th out of the 24 incorporated cities in San Bernardino County.
 
Housing Units
 
Per the above table, the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that there were a total of 20,414 housing units in 2000 and the DOF reported a total of 23,617 housing units in 2010. The DOF estimates that as of January 1, 2019, the City had 25,834 housing units, which is an increase of 9.4 percent (2,217 units) from the 2010 DOF report. Using the DOF estimates for January 1, 2019, the City’s current housing stock is comprised of 77.1% single-family, 20.5% multi-family and 2.4% mobile homes.
 
Persons per Household

In regards to persons per household, the 2019 DOF estimate is 3.37, compared to the 2010 DOF estimate of 3.25, and 2000 Census estimate of 3.33.
 
Building Permits Issued
 
The City issued building permits for 60 dwelling units in 2019. Of the 60 units, 26 units were single-family homes and 34 were multi-family units. The 26 permits issued for the construction of single-family homes were for the following projects: 6 permits issued for the Vila Borba project; 19 permits issued for the Hillcrest project; and 1 permit reissued for a custom home. All of the 34 permits for multi-family dwelling units were reissued permits for the Lago Los Serranos project; due to circumstances in the field, the previous permits from previous years had been cancelled and new permits were issued. Building permits were also issued for 58,589 square feet of commercial building area, including 4 permits for new buildings in The Rincon center (two medical office buildings, a Wendy’s restaurant, and the multi-tenant building housing Luchador Brewing Co.) and 1 permit for the Goddard School daycare facility.
ENVIRONMENTAL (CEQA) REVIEW:
This action of approving is not a project within the meaning of the California Environmental Quality Act (California Public Resources Code §§ 21000, et seq., “CEQA”) and CEQA Guidelines (Title 14 California Code of Regulations §§ 15000, et seq.) Section 15378 and is therefore exempt from CEQA. It will not result in any direct or indirect physical change in the environment because it is only a preliminary action required in order to study the proposed project.








 
FISCAL IMPACT:
There is no impact to the General Fund with this item.
REVIEWED BY OTHERS:
This item has been reviewed by the Community Services Director.
Attachments
Attachment 1 - Annual Element Progress Report
Attachment 2 - City of Chino Hills General Plan Reporting Matrix

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