BIAOC ADVOCACY EFFORTS

 

City of Anaheim

OCT 2019

The BIAOC was in attendance at a recent Anaheim Planning Commission meeting where the Serrano Center development was being heard.  This 58-unit project offered significant playground space, a reduction in traffic for the area, attainable and affordable housing in Anaheim Hills, and looked to revitalize a struggling shopping center.  The staff supported, heavily studied project seemingly earned commission support during the hearing, but an angry, uncontrollable crowd swayed the appointed body to deny the project 7-0.  We now more than ever need the industry to show up and support projects at local civic meetings.  If you are interested in learning more about how you can help create more housing – CLICK HERE.

City of Brea

OCT 2019

In October the City of Brea joined a concerning list of jurisdictions that are looking to misappropriate developer funds.  As you are aware, Inclusionary Zoning is a burdensome policy that forces developers to shoulder the city’s affordable housing obligations.  Some cities allow in-lieu fees to be paid to meet this exaction with the implicit promise that these funds will be used for the development of future, below-market housing units.  A number of jurisdictions in Orange County have considered abandoning the use of these funds for housing and instead using this pot of money to finance homeless shelters.  While there is no denying Orange County is in the midst of a homeless crisis, so too do we suffer a housing crisis. 

 

The City received comments and did not adopt a policy to use their Inclusionary Zoning funds on shelter expenses.  A final decision on this matter is yet to be reached so the BIA remains vigilant in monitoring all jurisdictions to ensure the development community is not scapegoated with further burdensome fee structures that continue to exacerbate the housing crisis.

City of Costa Mesa

OCT 2019

Earlier this month, the City of Costa Mesa held a study session to review the impact the proposed RHNA allocation might have within their jurisdiction.  Regrettably, the conversation quickly devolved into a discussion of Inclusionary Zoning and shifting the burden of housing production onto the backs of those on the front lines of solving the housing crisis.  Keep in mind that Costa Mesa also has Measure Y, which requires a citywide vote to approve any significant housing project.  Burdens like these ensure production will never be able to reach the targets set by the State and meet the demand of the residents of this community. 

City of Huntington Beach

OCT 2019

BIA/OC is excited to report a victory for the Magnolia Tank Farm Project in Huntington Beach.  The past several newsletters have outlined the details of this project and we are happy to share that the project passed the Planning Commission on a 5-2 vote.  It now moves to the City Council where YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED.  Mark your calendars for December 16th and stay tuned for additional details!

City of Santa Ana

OCT 2019

If you are a regular attendee of our Urban Infill Committee then you will be familiar with the Toll Brothers project in Santa Ana at the First American site.  BIA/OC is excited to announce, that after multiple study sessions and meetings, the project received unanimous approval from the planning commission!  For more information on this great victory for Santa Ana and housing opportunity, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

BIAOC on Regional Housing Needs Assessment

OCT 2019

The hot topic of the month proved to be RHNA once again.  We have covered this on-going saga in prior updates but last month we reported that the State assigned the Southern California region a target of 1.34 million units by 2028.  As mentioned, SCAG objected to this number and reports that the number would drop as low as 800,00 circulated. 

 

The State/HCD quickly squelched those rumors and responded with a final determination.  The SCAG region will be accountable for over 1.34 million homes during RHNA’s 6th cycle.  This now shifts the conversation to how those 1.34 million units will be distributed throughout the region.  Stay tuned as additional developments to this narrative are expected soon. 

 

For more information or if you have any questions on this process, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

BIAOC EO, Steve LaMotte Participates in HopeNow Housing Roundtable Seminar

SEPT 2019

Steve LaMotte participated in a HopeNow Housing Roundtable seminar this month, with Guest Speaker, Congresswomen Katie Porter.  The discussion focused on housing supply in OC and what we as community leaders can do to help increase much needed and attainable units.  Steve touched on the political and policy hurdles faced by builders locally, and offered suggestions to help increase supply.  Additionally, he discussed the Governor’s plan to add 3.5 Million units by 2025, or 500, 000 each year.  But cautioned that this has never been done before in California’s history.

City of Huntington Beach

SEPT 2019

BIA/OC attended multiple study sessions at the Huntington Beach Planning Commission in support of an exciting project known as the Magnolia Tank Farm.  This project, by Shopoff Realty, seeks to create a new home community just blocks from the beach that will be amenity rich windfall to the surrounding community.  Nevertheless, it seems all projects come with significant NIMBY opposition these days.  For more information on the project itself, please click here.

 

Tank Farm goes before the Planning Commission on October 22nd and needs your support!  If you live or work in Huntington Beach, please consider attending the hearing or sending a letter.  For more information on either option, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Irvine Unified School District

SEPT 2019

Irvine Unified School District is again considering authorizing the collection of Level 2 School Impact fees from all residential development within their jurisdiction.  The proposed fee is $4.76 per square foot which is actually a two-cent reduction from the existing fee level.  The deeper cause for concern is the potentiality of Level 3 Fees.  A deal was recently struck in Sacramento on AB 48 which authorized a $15billion bond for school construction.  This should avoid any ability for school districts to charge Level 3.  If this had not been the case, Irvine Unified would be seeking an impact fee at $9.52 per square foot.  Luckily that will not be the case.   

City of Yorba Linda

SEPT 2019

This month the City of Yorba Linda approved the first fee increase in over fifteen years.  The city worked closely with the BIA to limit any fee adjustments to user fees only and ensured that the proposed increases would be phased into implementation over a multi-year process with multiple opportunities for council to revisit the matter if housing is harmed.  Staff and their consultants did an excellent job researching the impact of the fees and presenting on the actual cost burden this creates for homes.  For more information or if you are considering a project in Yorba Linda, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

BIAOC on Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA)

SEPT 2019

As previously reported, HCD assigned the SCAG region a RHNA allocation of 1.34 million units for the October 2021-October 2029 planning period.  This has caused significant consternation amongst jurisdictions across our region as the reality of this number starts to set in.  The next step in the RHNA process is to determine an allocation methodology for fairly dispersing those 1.34 million units among the cities of Southern California. 

 

BIA/SC, along with many of our development partners joined forces and recently released a letter on the methodologies under consideration.  In short, all three proposed approaches share the same flaw that ultimately will challenge housing production in the next decade.  To read our letter and to get a deeper understanding on the issue, please click here.  For more information or if you have any questions on this process, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Sacramento Recap

SEPT 2019

The legislative year has come to an end and now a litany of legislation has landed on the Governor’s desk.  Perhaps the most significant measure for homebuilders is SB 330, which will prohibit cities from downzoning, imposing housing moratoriums or creating subjective design standards until 2025.  This measure will also streamline the approval process, expand the Housing Accountability Act and further lock development standards in place so that builders can have predicable results when filing an application with a city.  On the other end of the spectrum is SB 520 which will dramatically increase the number of multi-family projects subject to prevailing wage requirements.  Both bills are yet to be approved by the Governor so stay tuned for further updates as the outcome of the 2019 legislative year solidifies.  

September Government Affaris Committee

SEPT 2019

The Government Affairs Committee had another successful meeting in September where we heard from Brent Stoll of Rose Equities on their One Metro West project in the city of Costa Mesa.  What makes this project particularly unique is that it will trigger the onerous requirements of Measure Y.  Measure Y is a no-growth initiative passed by the city not long ago, requiring a citywide vote to approve any housing project of significance.  The insights shared by Stoll were fascinating and outlined an excited and needed project for Costa Mesa.  For more information on this, or to join our committee, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

City of Anaheim Update

AUG 2019

BIA/OC was in Anaheim this month to speak at Planning Commission on the extreme costs that high parking standards inflict on housing.  While the city is striving to create more affordable housing options, it is also investigating increases to parking requirements that will further push housing attainment out of reach for those most in need.  For more information on the latest developments in Anaheim, please contact Adam Wood awood@biaoc.com.

Fullerton Rent Control

AUG 2019

BIA/OC stood with our allies in the Housing Industry to combat the growing call for Rent Control at the local level.  In this iteration, the city of Fullerton was considering a Rent Control measure that stemmed from the Rancho La Paz Mobile Home Park.  As you may recall, this is the same community that crosses the border into Anaheim and created calls for Rent Control earlier this year.  By working with our coalition partners, BIA/OC was able to convey the damage and risks created via rent control and we are happy to report that Fullerton opted to pursue alternative means and will not be adopting any rent control measures. 

BIAOC on RHNA

AUG 2019

BIA/OC is continuing to work with the Association of California Cities – Orange County Chapter on drafting a white paper that outlines tangible housing solutions for our region.  Several additional meetings have occurred, and the working group recently met with Chapman professor Joel Kotkin to discuss housing challenges in our region.  BIA/OC is hopeful that this group will author strong, Orange County focused measures to address the crushing need we have in the region for additional housing.   

City of Westminster Update

AUG 2019

BIA/OC again stood with our allies in the Housing Industry to combat rent control.  Similar to Fullerton, the City of Westminster considered rent control policies that would harm housing production within the city.  BIA/OC is pleased to announce that, just like Fullerton, the City of Westminster chose to go in a different direction and will not be pursuing the damaging approach of rent control.  In other developments, Westminster also amended their Park Development Impact Fee.  The city is ultimately lowering the fee on single family development by thousands of dollars a door, but establishing new impacts for multi-family construction.  For more information on this, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

City of Yorba Linda Update

AUG 2019

The City of Yorba Linda is considering a fee increase in September that will impact all user fees, across the board.  The city has not updated these fees in over fifteen years so the increase stands to be significant.  BIA/OC has worked with the city on a proposal to phase any increase and to thoroughly vet the impacts such increases can have on housing and affordability.  If you are considering a project in Yorba Linda, please reach out to Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

BIAOC on RHNA

JULY 2019

In July, the Government Affairs Committee heard from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) on the 6th Cycle of the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) currently underway.  On August 22nd, SCAG held a public hearing at Irvine City Hall to further expand on the briefing provided to the Government Affairs Committee and outline three alternative methods for the distribution of housing in the coming years.  For more information on the three alternatives you can see additional information from SCAG here. 

 

While allocation is important, the biggest story of the month in regards to RHNA was the total housing production number assigned by Housing and Community Development (HCD) at the State level.  HCD has announced that for the SCAG Region (all Southern California except San Diego) over 1.3 million homes are required over the next decade.  This is a staggering number, considering the SCAG region had requested a little over 400,000 as a target. 

 

Significant changes to how cities do business will be required to achieve this ambitious goal.  BIA/OC is at the forefront of working with local jurisdictions as additional information is released regarding implementation of HCD’s requirements.  For more information please contact Adam Wood at 

awood@biaoc.com.

City of Anaheim Update

JULY 2019

BIA/OC remains deeply engaged on Anaheim issues.  This month we saw the city’s Housing Working Group make progress on measures the city could take to increase unit production and ultimately do more to address the region’s housing crisis.  A report from that committee is expected to be released soon.  If you are considering a project in Anaheim, or have recently completed one, please reach out to Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com to share what you would like the city to consider as it moves forward on this issue. 

 

Conversely, BIA/OC also attended a working group meeting where the City of Anaheim is considering an increase to existing parking requirements.  A little over a year ago, the city drastically increased parking for all development within the Platinum Triangle and is now seeking to increase citywide standards.  This will add significant costs to housing development and further challenge affordability.  Again, if you are considering a project in Anaheim, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com for more information.

Elections in 2019

JULY 2019

The 2019 political landscape has been surprisingly turbulent.  Considered an “off” election year, 2019 has seen multiple recall attempts launched that are bringing increased instability to councils around the county.  In Santa Ana, several members of the council are under threat of recall and one seat remains unfilled due to a recent resignation.  The election to fill the empty seat will take place in November and the status of the recalls remains unclear.  In Westminster, rumors of recall persist with all members of the council being targeted.  In Orange, an open seat was to be filled in November but a lawsuit regarding forced district elections is now preventing that election from occurring.  This means Orange will remain one council member short until 2020.  The electoral field is constantly changing in our region so for the latest information, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

City of Huntington Beach Update

JULY 2019

The City of Huntington Beach Planning Commission held an initial study session for the Magnolia Tank Farm project.  The Tank Farm was the topic of a recent BIA/OC Urban Infill Committee meeting so it is exciting to see this project start to move forward in the hearing process.  For more information, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

City of Irvine Update

JULY 2019

BIA/OC is working with the City of Irvine on a proposal to adjust fees for traffic improvements that will attach to development within the Irvine Business Complex.  BIA/OC worked diligently to control fee increases a little over a year ago, in relation to IBC Traffic Impact Fees but a new proposal has been brought forth that is receiving close scrutiny.  If you are considering any projects within the IBC or would like additional information on the latest in Irvine, please contact Steven LaMotte at SLamotte@biaoc.com.

BIAOC July Government Affairs Committee

JULY 2019

This month BIA/OC’s Government Affairs Committee held an incredibly important meeting with representatives from the Southern California Association of Governments to speak on the looming Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) that is underway.  A wealth of knowledge was shared but in short, Housing and Community Development at the state level is working with regional bodies to assign projected housing demand.  By the end of summer these numbers will be shared, and massive new requirements will be placed on local governments.  To understand how this will impact the homebuilding community, or to join this committee’s mailing list, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Anaheim Update

JUNE 2019

It was another busy month in Anaheim.  BIA/OC was back at the dais, hopefully for the last time, to stop a Rent Control measure brought before the Council.  This time the proposal was to limit rent increases where prior attempts were specifically directed towards mobile homes.  Regardless of scope, all arguments remain the same, rent control harms communities where implemented. 

 

As such, BIA/OC is happy to report that this iteration of rent control was defeated 5-2 and will hopefully end that conversation in the city. 

 

In other Anaheim news, the Budget was approved this month with only minor adjustments on user fees and no adjustments to DIFs.  As you may recall, last year there was a discussion to double some DIFs within the city that the BIA stopped.  Everyone was happy to see no similar proposals return this year. 

 

For more information on the latest in Anaheim, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Fee Updates

JUNE 2019

As previously reported, many cities around the county are updating their fee structures as part of the annual budget process.  This past month, the City of Costa Mesa adjusted the balance of their Planning Fees for the first time since 2008 and on July 8th, the City of Cypress is scheduled to increase a number of their fees.  If you are considering a new project and have questions about specific jurisdiction, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Housing Working Group

JUNE 2019

BIA/OC will be working with the Association of California Cities – Orange County Chapter to draft a white paper and create tangible housing solutions for our region.  With increasing pressure coming out of Sacramento for state-level solutions, BIA/OC is partnering with this organization of local elected officials to find solutions to increase our local supply of housing in a manner consistent with Orange County governance. 

Huntington Beach Update

JUNE 2019

The City Manager of Huntington Beach recently retired and the Assistant City Manager moved over to the lead role at the City of Costa Mesa.  This left an opening in HB’s top office that was recently filled, on an interim basis, by former Newport Beach City Manager, Dave Kiff.  Kiff will provide a stead hand for the city as a recruitment for new leadership takes place.  For more information on this pivotal time for HB, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Inclusionary Zoning

JUNE 2019

It seems every month there will be updates provided on new inclusionary zoning threats around the county.  This month, Santa Ana has scheduled the first round of meetings on revising their Housing Opportunity Ordinance which created hurdles to development for a number of our members.  We are also continuing to hear rumors that several other major cities are looking to implement new policies by end of year.  Inclusionary Zoning undercuts market forces and ultimately leads to a reduced supply of housing.  As such BIA/OC remains vigilant on tracking cities considering this regrettable approach. 

Washington DC

JUNE 2019

This past month BIA/OC joined BIA/SC on their advocacy and outreach trip to Washing DC where our members met with key stakeholders, elected officials and even Dr. Ben Carson of Housing and Urban Development.  The Building Industry Legal Defense Foundation also joined the trip to meet with the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss Brownfields and Vapor Mitigation regulations in California that are complicating the production of Infill housing.  Incredible progress was made on this outreach trip, on all fronts.  For more information on what was achieved, contact Adam Wood atawood@biaoc.com.

Urban Infill Seminar - Unlocking Urban Infill

JUNE 2019

In June, BIA/OC Urban Infill Committee hosting an incredible event at Irvine City Hall titled, “Unlocking Urban Infill,” where we heard from JZMK, Brookfield Residential, Kellenberg Studio and Shopoff Realty Investments on what it takes to get projects built.  The depth of knowledge and the real world examples shared with the audience offered an inside look at the development community’s challenges with Infill projects and how those challenges can be overcome.  For more information or to join this committee’s mailing list, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Anaheim Update

MAY 2019

After seeing the Rent Control debate resolved at the dais, BIA/OC was hopeful that the City of Anaheim could move on to productive housing policy conversations. Regrettably, a comprehensive Rent Control measure has now been proposed for all types of rental properties. BIA/OC will continue to monitor the situation and will continue to stand steadfast against policies that harm housing production.

 

In other Anaheim news, Campaign Finance Reform has been proposed for discussion. Last year a Sunshine Ordinance was passed in the city, so it will be interesting to see what proposals are brought forth in this additional measure. One rumored approach will be to prevent voting on any issues related to anyone who has ever donated to a council campaign. This can quickly run afoul of constitutional protections so again, BIA/OC will continue to see how this proposal develops.

For more information, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Elections of 2019

MAY 2019

On Tuesday, May 28th, Mike Carroll joined the Irvine City Council as a result of his successful application for appointment. With this addition, the City of Irvine saved nearly one-million dollars that would have been expended on a special election to fill the vacancy created as a result of Don Wagner’s successful ascension to the County Board of Supervisors.

 

In other electoral happenings, BIA/OC regrets to share the news of the passing of San Clemente Mayor Steven Swartz. With his untimely passing, the City of San Clemente is now looking to hold a special election in November. With San Clemente’s election announcement, they join Santa Ana and the City of Orange in holding important elections this fall.

Fee Updates

MAY 2019

As previously reported, Irvine, Lake Forest and Mission Viejo have all recently adjusted their fee structures. BIA/OC is monitoring Costa Mesa and the City of Cypress for updates that are expected to advance in June. If you are considering a project in any of these jurisdictions, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Inclusionary Zoning

MAY 2019

BIA/OC stands in strong opposition to policies that will harm housing production. At the forefront of policies on this list, you will find Inclusionary Zoning. BIA/OC is happy to announce that it advocated against the initial attempt in the City of Huntington Beach to radically expand Inclusionary Zoning to pay for homeless shelters. Nevertheless, the battle there is not over. BIA/OC is also monitoring the City of Santa Ana, who is rumored to be revising their Inclusionary Zoning policy. Many builders have shared their frustration with the policies in these cities and the chilling effect it has on development. BIA/OC will remain engaged on both fronts to encourage reforms that actually produce housing.

Sacramento

MAY 2019

Sacramento has reached half-time in its legislative year. The House of Origin deadline is this Friday which means if any bill is to become law this year, it must have moved from the Assembly to the Senate or vice-versa. Any bill failing to complete its journey through one house of the legislature will be put on hold until January 2020.

 

The most famous bill falling victim to the deadlines of Sacramento is SB 50. This bill would increase Transit-Oriented Development and would have, by-right, allowed four-plex construction in Single Family Zones across the state. While this bill can no longer advance in 2019, it will likely see new life in 2020. The loss of this bill does not represent the end of the housing conversation in 2019, however. Many important and dangerous bills remain. Our friends at CBIA continue to track the best and worst via their Housing Killer/Creators website, which can be found here. For more information, contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

May BIAOC Government Affairs Meeting

MAY 2019

BIA/OC Government Affairs Committee was privileged to be joined this month by Orange County Taxpayer Association CEO Carolyn Cavecche and CBIA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Michael Gunning. Our friends at CBIA ran through the May revision of the state budget as well as the housing creator/killer list while Carolyn Cavecche outlined the perils facing Prop 13 and homeowners. A treasure trove of information was shared with those in attendance. For more information or to join our mailing list, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

County Assessor

APRIL 2019

BIA/OC’s is excited to announce a major victory for homeownership.  To learn more, click HERE.

Anaheim Update

APRIL 2019

BIA/OC is happy to report the end of the rent control discussion in Anaheim.  Initially called for in response to rent increases at a local mobile home park, the agenda item explored the idea of bringing rent control measures to the city, specifically applying them in the mobile home park realm.  Regardless of where rent control is applied, the same market distortions apply.  Studies have consistently shown that rent control limits production and causes an aggregate deleterious impact to communities. 

 

It is important to remain vigilant as many cities are considering ideas that will further harm housing production in Orange County.  

 

For more information, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Elections of 2019

APRIL 2019

The successful ascension of Don Wagner to the County Board of Supervisors has created an opening on the Irvine City Council that continues to receive a good deal of attention.  The debate hinges on the council’s ability to appoint versus the calling of a special election that would occur in November.  BIA/OC will continue to monitor the situation as it continues to evolve. 

Fee Increases

APRIL 2019

BIA/OC continues to monitor efforts underway in several cities to update/increase development fees.  As previously reported, Irvine is considering an up to 20% increase, Mission Viejo is seeking more modest adjustments and Lake Forest is in the midst of releasing their proposal.  If you are considering projects in any of these jurisdictions, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com for more information.

City of Irvine

APRIL 2019

The City of Irvine has embarked on the detailed and very important process of updating their General Plan.  Through numerous outreach meetings, the BIA/OC, along with many other stakeholders, have been asked to provide feedback on where and what to Build as the City looks to the future.  BIA Member’s valuable expertise is crucial during this process, so if you would like to submit comments, please contact Steve LaMotte at SLaMotte@biaoc.com.

City of Newport Beach

APRIL 2019

On April 9th, BIA/OC was in the City of Newport Beach to fight against added regulations on development.  Under consideration was a city policy that would limit construction to three years or less without required additional hearings.  While few builders would ever expect the construction phase of a project to extend to the three-year mark, an understanding was reached with the council to better reflect the economic realities of larger developments.  The BIA remains vigilant on preventing any unnecessary regulations relating to the industry and will always be a voice in streamlining home creation.  BIA/OC thanks Newport Beach staff and council for their diligence in crafting a solution to benefit all parties.

Sacramento

APRIL 2019

Sacramento is at the peak of its policy busy-season with bills advancing and dying nearly every day.  Hundreds of housing bills are under consideration with a dizzying number of updates around each.  To help make sense of it all, our friends at CBIA created the Housing Killer/Creators list to identify the worst of the worst and the best of the best.  Updated regularly, tune in here to follow the most important bills in Sacramento.   

 

From these compelling lists, the legislation grabbing the most headlines is undoubtedly SB 50.  While the bill is complex, in short, it removes many restrictions on housing anywhere within a ½ mile of train stations and ¼ mile of bus stops.  While this was unsuccessfully attempted last year in SB 35, SB 50, in contrast, has already passed the Senate Housing and the Government/Finance Committees.  The Speaker of the Assembly and the Governor have also signaled early acceptance.  A tectonic shift in housing policy appears to be on the horizon.  For more information on this please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.   

April BIAOC Government Affairs Committee 

APRIL 2019

BIA/OC Government Affairs Committee was fortunate to be joined this month by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris speaking on the latest and greatest out of Sacramento.  Her insights were extremely helpful in getting a better understanding of the Capitol, as well as her personal views as she enters the busy season of her freshman term.  For more information or to join our Government Affairs mailing list, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com

County Assessor

MAR 2019

BIA/OC’s work with the County Assessor continues.  As previously reported, a recent change in operations has caused concern regarding the processing of parcel segregation requests.  We are very optimistic that a solution will soon be announced.  For more information on this rapidly evolving issue, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Anaheim Update

MAR 2019

On March 19th, the Anaheim City Council held a discussion on the cost of renting.  Officially put on the agenda as a “Study of Rents,” the council received a report showing that while rents continue to rise in the city, they are projected to soon stabilize and have remained within the scope of regional averages. 

 

Nevertheless, there is more work to be done.  Councilman Trevor O’Neil was successful in creating a working group to further study ways the city can increase production of all housing types and will be joined in that effort by Councilwoman Lucille Kring and Councilman Steven Faessel. 

 

On a more concerning note, Councilman Jose Moreno called for a Rent Freeze and ‘Just Cause Eviction’ langue to be reviewed at the next meeting.  Such policies have a record of discouraging housing production, so the BIA will remain vigilant as the April hearing approaches.   

 

For more information, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Elections of 2019

MAR 2019

As has been widely reported, Mayor Don Wagner of Irvine was successful in his campaign for the Third Supervisorial seat, formerly held by District-Attorney Todd Spitzer.  Supervisor-elect Wagner is expected to be sworn in to his new office on March 27th and will thereby trigger the need for a new member on the Irvine City Council.  Per recent rule clarifications, Mayor Pro Tem Christina Shea is expected to be elevated to the role of Mayor and thus a new city council member will need to be appointed or elected. 

 

In other electoral news, an opening on the Stanton City Council was announced and a decision was made in Santa Ana.  The recently vacated Ward 4 seat in Santa Ana, previously held by Roman Reyna, was subject to intense scrutiny at a special council hearing on March 22nd.  After lengthy interviews of potential candidates for appointment, the council opted to hold a special election to fill the seat.  At this same hearing, the Council appointed a new city manager, Kristine Ridge.  A familiar name, Ridge currently serves as the city manager of Laguna Niguel and is the former Assistant City Manager of Anaheim.  Santa Ana is a city to watch.

Fee Increases

MAR 2019

A central role of the BIA is to monitor fee increases around the County as increasing the cost of housing presents a significant burden on production.  In Orange County, we are currently monitoring a potential update in Irvine, expected to be to the council in June.  We are also monitoring potential updates in Rancho Santa Margarita and Cypress.  If you are considering projects in any of these jurisdictions, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com for more information.

Sacramento

MAR 2019

With the bill introduction deadline behind us, Legislators in Sacramento have submitted 2,576 new bills for consideration with just over 200 targeting housing policy!  This has created a virtual tsunami of policy work for our team at CBIA as new language is inserted daily and the landscape continues to shift in the halls of the Capitol.  As has been tradition, CBIA will soon be releasing their annual list of Housing Creator and Housing Killer legislation.  Stay tuned for further updates as Sacramento looks to redefine housing policy in California.

March BIAOC Government Affairs Committee

MAR 2019

Another excellent Government Affairs Committee meeting took place March 20th where the Committee heard from Councilman Sergio Contreras and Assistant City Manager Chet Simmons of Westminster on development opportunity at the Westminster Mall.  This freeway accessible swath of land is being reviewed for a number of potential uses and the Councilman wants to hear from YOU on what your company envisions for a highest and best use.  This is an incredible opportunity! For more information, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com

OC Supervisor Special Election

FEB 2019

As previously reported, the Special Election to fill the Orange County Board of Supervisor’s District 3 seat will take place on March 12th.  Mail-in ballots have already been distributed and the campaign has entered the home stretch.  Three candidates remain at the forefront of this election, Mayor Don Wagner of Irvine, former Councilwoman Kris Murray of Anaheim and former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.  This is a winner-take-all race, so a single vote could potentially determine the outcome. 

 

BIA/OC is continuing to monitor this election and meet with the leading candidates as the election draws near.  A full recap of this election will be included in the March newsletter so stay tuned!

County Assessor

FEB 2019

BIA/OC’s work with the County Assessor continues.  As previously reported, a recent change in operations occurred causing concern.  The processing of parcel segregation requests could potentially be delayed in relation to the current approach.  For more information on this rapidly evolving issue, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

City of La Harba Update

FEB 2019

A decision was reached in the on-going La Habra situation.  A great deal of time in January and February was dedicated to addressing the NIMBY efforts to erode private property rights and stop development of new single-family homes on a golf course property.  A NIMBY campaign qualified a no-growth initiative and attempted to force the city council into adopting the language as an ordinance, exposing the city to litigation and denying approximately 89% of La Habra citizens from having a voice on the matter.  Through hard work and determined effort, the Council was provided enough information to understand the need to hold an election on this matter and considering the current disinformation circulating in the community, schedule that election for 2020 so the facts of the matter may come to light. 

 

For more information, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Santa Ana Project - The Addington

FEB 2019

A decision, of sorts, was reached on The Addington project in Santa Ana.  As reported and presented to our Urban Infill Committee, The Addington was slated to be a 496-unit project located across from the Discovery Cube near the 5 freeway.  This project was important to the community as it would provide much needed housing opportunity near job centers and would bring new life to the areas around the Main Place Mall. 

 

Despite the importance of the project as designed, Council elected to send this project back to the Planning Commission for further review and amendment.  This came after two council hearings were held on the project, both stretching late into the night.  At both council meetings, hundreds upon hundreds of individuals turned out to protest the construction of housing in their community and further demonstrated the challenges facing the development community in Orange County.  BIA/OC will continue to monitor this project and all those like it to ensure fair hearings are held and that much needed housing stock is added to all communities in the region. 

 

For more information please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

February BIAOC Government Affairs Committee

FEB 2019

BIA/OC’s Government Affairs Committee held another great meeting in February where we heard from newly elected Mayor-Pro-Tem Dan Bane of San Clemente.  Many development challenges exist in South County and significant infrastructure projects are under consideration.  The Mayor-Pro-Tem shared his views on the future of San Clemente and the region in general. 

 

Each month the BIA hears from influential members of the community in a format that allows direct access to decision makers.  If you are interested in joining these meetings, offered as a free benefit of membership, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

BIAOC in Sarcamento

FEB 2019

BIA/OC traveled to Sacramento this month to participate in the CBIA Winter Governance and Government Affairs meetings. In depth updates on housing policy and CEQA reform dominated the discussion with a tone of hope coming out of the Capitol. Serious reforms are necessary to hit the housing production levels identified by the Governor and BIA/OC is excited to have a seat at the table in shaping the reforms necessary to keep our members building.

To that end, BIA/OC staff was joined by Orange County Assemblyman Tyler Diep and BIA/OC Board Member Alan B to discuss the latest developments across the state. California has a massive housing shortage and this year stands to be the start of resolving this growing crisis.

 

For more information on the latest from Sacramento, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

OC Supervisor Special Election

JAN 2019

The field is set and so is the date for the Special Election to fill the Orange County Board of Supervisor’s District 3 seat.  The election will take place on March 12th and the field of candidates finalized on January 28th with seven names submitted for consideration.  As previously reported, three strong candidates have entered the race and will be dominating the campaign.  First, the Mayor of Irvine, Don Wagner.  Second, he is joined by fellow Republican and former Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray.  The third top name in the race is former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.  BIA/OC will be closely monitoring for updates as this election unfolds.  With a short window and a winner-take-all race, this promises to be an important moment for County governance.   

 

Recently the Orange County Public Affairs Association partnered with the OC Forum to host a debate between these three candidates.  This event was filmed and can be viewed in its entirety here. 

County Assessor

JAN 2019

A recent change in operations occurred at the County Assessor’s office that has caused concern amongst the development community.  The processing of parcel segregation requests has altered in a fashion that will complicate any close of escrows taking place between January 1st and June 30th. 

 

If this change has impacted you or for more information, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

City of La Habra Update

JAN 2019

BIA/OC remains engaged on the evolving situation in La Habra where NIMBY pressure is trying to stop the development of Rancho La Habra at the Westridge Golf Course.  As previously reported, beautiful homes and ample park space are proposed for a failing golf course location, yet area NIMBYs have organized to oppose this addition to their community.  A petition was circulated and a no-growth initiative qualified.  The council was presented with three options at their February 4th council meeting: 1) Adopt the petition language as an ordinance, 2) Call a special election to place the petition language before the voters of La Habra, 3) Put the petition language before La Habra voters at the next regularly scheduled election taking place in 2020. 

 

Despite significant legal risks, attempts were made to adopt as an Ordinance and call a special election at a cost of over $200,000 to area residents.  Due to a Council absence, all motions deadlocked 2-2.  The council will again consider what action to take at their February 19th hearing. 

 

For more information, please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Orange County Special Elections & Appointments

JAN 2019

With the November 2018 elections still fresh on everyone’s minds, a surprising number of elections have cropped up for 2019.  Typically, an “off-year,” Orange County has seen a shuffling of elected officials that has opened seats across the county.  Beyond the afore mentioned County election, the City of Fullerton recently adverted a special election by appointing former Councilwoman Jan Florey to the dais.  The City of Orange has scheduled an election for November of 2019 to fill a council seat and if Mayor Don Wagner ascends to a position at the county, there could be a special election in Irvine as well.  Information is evolving quickly on these matters so for more information please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Santa Ana Project - The Addington

JAN 2019

The City of Santa Ana considered a 496-unit project known as The Addington, located across from the Discovery Cube near the 5 freeway.  This project provides much needed housing opportunity near job centers and brings new life to the area surrounding Main Place Mall.  Despite the many benefits, literally hundreds of residents lined up to speak against this important project at the Santa Ana Council meeting on February 5th.  BIA/OC attended, along with the local YIMBY organization and many supportive Santa Ana residents to stand against a motivated NIMBY effort to kill the project.  Comments were so voluminous, the hearing was suspended at midnight and continued to February 19th.  BIA/OC will be back to provide support at the next hearing. 

 

For more information please contact Adam Wood at awood@biaoc.com.

Meeting the New Council

JAN 2019

BIA/OC’s Government Affairs Committee kicked off the new year with an exciting opportunity for our members to meet some of Orange County’s newest elected officials.  In a new format, ample networking time was allowed for members to meet the officials and then a formal presentation kicked off, allowing each council member to speak for a few moments as to why they ran and what they hope to accomplish for their city.  It was a great gathering that provided special insight to opportunities ahead in 2019. 

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