Calif. Government Code §65583.2
Amended by A.B. 2208
Effective date: January 1, 2018

A city or county preparing the housing element in its general plan needs to consider airspace above sites owned or leased by the city or county as land suitable for residential development. This includes sites which are:

  • zoned for residential use; or
  • zoned for nonresidential use and suitable for residential rezoning.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will provide guidance to cities and counties on how to properly survey and account for these types of sites.

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Editor’s note — This new law attempts to make headway on solving California’s urban low-cost housing shortage. However, the identification of these sites does not mean building up on them is actually required or, indeed, feasible. The end result may be the illusion of an increase in land suitable for residential development, but no actual up-building.

first tuesday has long advocated more permissive zoning to combat housing shortages. Municipal governments also need to loosen zoning requirements to encourage up-building on privately owned property.

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