Huntington Beach

Council backs legal fights about housing

HUNTINGTON BEACH is now involved in two legal battles with the State of California related to affordable housing and land use (Shutterstock).

Huntington Beach will double down on its battle against Sacramento’s efforts to require cities to provide more affordable housing.

At Monday’s meeting of the City Council, the council voted 7-0 in closed session to defend the city and the council against a suit filed by the California Department of Housing and Community Development alleging that Surf City’s housing plan doesn’t comply with state law that mandates a certain amount of new construction be devoted to being “affordable to the city’s residents across all income levels.”

In another action, the council voted 6-1 to pursue a lawsuit – actually filed on Feb. 1 – challenging the mandate for compliance with the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, also known as RHNA.

When cities update the housing element of their general plan, they are required under state Senate Bill 166 to make certain that it meets a quota of housing for “lower and moderate-income households.”

Supporters of SB 166 claim it will help ease the statewide housing crisis by encouraging higher-density home construction, while opponents argue it’s an overreach by the state government that interferes with local agencies’ authority over land use and planning.

A strategic planning session of the council is planned for Thursday morning at the Central Library; the next regular session is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 19.



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