What is the RHNA?
The State of California, as part of the State Housing Law, sets a targeted number of housing units that each regional council of governments in California must plan for. This targeted housing number known as the Regional Housing Needs Allocation, or RHNA, is updated every 8 years and is further divided amongst individual cities and counties by the regional council of governments. RHNA is a representation of future housing needs for all income levels in a jurisdiction (city or unincorporated county) and is a requirement of California State Housing Law. Every jurisdiction must plan for its RHNA allocation in its Housing Element of its General Plan.
How will the RHNA impact the City of La Canada Flintridge?
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is the organization tasked with developing a RHNA allocation plan for the Southern California region. SCAG is the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization (MPO), which represents six counties and 191 cities, including the City of La Canada Flintridge.
It is important to recognize that the RHNA is a targeted housing number – Cities and counties do not have to build this number of units, but rather they are required by the state to plan for them and demonstrate that under the current land use and development standards, there is capacity to accommodate for this number of housing units. However, if a jurisdiction fails to demonstrate that they can accommodate their RHNA, it can result in the loss of local control and important funding resources.
For the RHNA cycle planning period of October 2021 through October 2029, the Southern California region received an allocation of 1.3 million units. That means that the State is requiring cities within Southern California to demonstrate that they can plan for and have the capacity to build up to 1.3 million new housing units over the next 8 years. For this 6th Cycle of the RHNA, La Canada Flintridge has received an allocation of 612 new housing units.
Sites Inventory (Second Draft) – Public Review – July 20-29, 2022
The City of La Cañada Flintridge is primarily built out. However, state Housing Element law requires the City to identify sites that could accommodate La Cañada Flintridge’s future housing needs in accordance with the 6th Cycle Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). The Sites Inventory list includes vacant and underutilized properties in the City. The City’s strategy is to identify remaining vacant properties and underutilized sites, primarily focusing along the Foothill Boulevard corridor, with one site located on Oak Grove Drive.
Based on comments received on the first draft, the revised Sites Inventory in the second draft removed single-family homes, except in three cases with the agreement of the owners. This was based on the fact that there is no established trend of single-family homes transitioning to multi-family homes. The revised Sites Inventory takes a tiered approach along the City’s single commercial/transit corridor with areas of higher density (25-30 du/ac) and areas of lower density (12-15 du/ac) where appropriate.
The public comment period on the Sites Inventory closed on July 29, 2022. However, further comments to the Housing Element can be made in person when the item is discussed at the Planning Commission meeting on August 25, 2022 and/or the special City Council meeting (tentatively scheduled for September 12, 2022).