Huntington Beach

Time-out in housing tussle

THE HUNTiNGTON BEACH City Council deadlocked Tuesday over a new housing document (Shutterstock).

The City of Huntington Beach’s ongoing tussle with the State of California over housing took a time-out this week.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the council, it was decided to table until the April 4 meeting a decision on whether to accept the state-mandated housing element update revision.

Three of the four conservative members of the council voted against the element update, but fell short of a majority when Councilmember Casey McKeon announced he would recuse himself from voting because of a potential conflict of interest. A 3-3 tie is nevertheless not the majority needed for passage.

At issue is the city’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment, which calls for Huntington Beach to zone for – but not necessarily build – 13,338 new homes over the next 10-year period as a way of alleviating the state’s housing shortage.

The council did vote 5-2 (with Councilmembers Gracey Van Der Mark and Pat Burns opposed) to continue to accept and process applications and permits for accessory dwelling units and SB 9 (allowing lot splits in single family zones), a reversal of an early decision to refuse to accept new applications.

All this happens against a backdrop of lawsuits by the city against the state, and the state against the city over housing requirements imposed by the California legislature.

The next meeting of the council is set for Tuesday, April 4.

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