Housing Element Update 2021-2029

Housing Element Pg Photo

Updated image Opens in new windowHousing Element Update 2021-2029

Community Input

The Housing Element Community survey was first opened from January 28-February 28, 2021 and the City received 194 responses, including two in Spanish.  Following the May 11, 2021 City Council/Planning Commission Housing Element Workshop, the survey was reopened again from July 1 – July 31, 2021.  We received an additional 119 responses, 4 of those were responses to the Spanish language survey.  The re-opening of the survey in July 2021 coincided with the draft Housing Element document public comment period. The link below provides an overview of all survey responses and a summary of the 151 responses received for the open-ended question seeking additional ideas about where housing could be added in the City and best methods to produce more affordable housing.
 
>> Click here to download a summary of the Community Survey Responses
>> Click here to view the Community Engagement Plan

Public review and comment

The draft Housing Element continues to be revised to address comments from the public and from the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and remains available for public review. Comments must be submitted, in writing, via email to: housingelement@tustinca.org.  Comments may also be submitted in writing to: City of Tustin | Attn: Housing Element Comments | 300 Centennial Way | Tustin | CA 92780.

Housing Element 2021-2029 Update drafts 

October 2021: MOST RECENT Draft Housing Element 2021-2029 Update:
>>Click here to download the high resolution document (large file size) - Clean Version
>> Click here to download the low resolution document (smaller file size)- Clean Version
>>Tracked Changes to Documents (hyperlinked chapters with revisions to September 2021 Draft)
      >> Section I - Introduction to Housing Element
      >> Section II - Summary of Issues
      >> Section IV - Housing Programs

September 2021: Draft Housing Element 2021-2029 Update:
>> Click here to download the high resolution document (large file size) - Clean Version
>> Click here to download the low resolution document (smaller file size)- Clean Version
>> Tracked Changes to Documents (hyperlinked chapters with revisions to June 2021 Draft)
      >> Appendix A - Review of Past Performance
      >> Appendix B - Housing Sites Inventory
      >> Appendix D - AFFH Analysis
      >> Section I - Introduction to Housing Element
      >> Section II - Summary of Issues
      >> Section IV - Housing Programs

June 2021: First Draft Housing Element 2021-2029 Update

Draft Housing Element Update TImeline  

October 5, 2021: Tentative public hearing before the City Council.
>> Click here to download the City Council Meeting Agenda and Staff Report

September 30, 2021: The ALUC staff has recommended that the Commission find the proposed City of Tustin 2021-2029 Housing Element Update Consistent with the Airport-Environs Land Use Plan for John Wayne Airport (AELUP for JWA).
>> Click here to download the ALUC report and participate in the meeting. 

September 14, 2021: Public hearing before the Planning Commission scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
>> Click here to download the Planning Commission Meeting Agenda and Staff Report
>> Click here to watch the Planning Commission meeting recording

September 7, 2021:(Amendment to Draft) City Council meeting to amend, based upon the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) review of the draft Housing Element related to preservation of at-risk units and accessory dwelling units (ADUs). The proposed revision further facilitates the equitable dispersion of housing units of various income levels throughout the City. Specifically, the revision redistributes 582 units (517 Preservation of At-risk units and 65 ADUs) to the Tustin Market Place and the Enderle Center. The two sites that have been added to the City’s Housing Element suitable sites inventory include Enderle Center and The Market Place, whereby additional housing units could be added.  These future units will accommodate a variety of income levels and some will be affordable.   Currently these sites do not allow for residential development. Within the next three (3) years, the City will be undertaking the public review process of creating overlay zones in both areas to allow for future residential development. The process will provide an opportunity for additional public input. There is no construction planned at this time and there are no applications pending to develop either location.  Any additional comments can be forwarded to housingelement@tustinca.org. No increase in the number of units at Tustin Legacy is proposed. The revision also includes adjustments to the distribution of units at various income levels (based on RHNA percentages) evenly and proportionately throughout the sites.
>> Click here to download the September 7, 2021, City Council Staff Report

August 27, 2021: HCD provided formal written comments on the draft Housing Element to the City of Tustin.
>> Click Here to download HCD’s Comment Letter

August 24, 2021 to September 23, 2021: Initial Study (IS) /Negative Declaration (ND) available for public review. An Initial Study has been prepared to analyze the potential for significant impacts on the environment resulting from implementation of the 2021-2029 Housing Element Update pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  The IS is a preliminary analysis prepared by the City of Tustin, in consultation with other jurisdictional agencies, to determine if a ND or an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is required for the project.   Based upon the analysis, the City has determined that the City’s Housing Element Update could not have a significant effect on the environment, and a ND will be prepared.  The Negative Declaration document, and its related analysis is available for public review and comment.  Click on the link below to view the document or a copy may be viewed at City Hall, Community Development Department by appointment only from August 24, 2021 to September 23, 2021, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Comments for the Negative Declaration must be submitted, in writing, via email to: housingelement@tustinca.org. Comments may also be submitted in writing to: City of Tustin, Attn: Housing Element Comments, 300 Centennial Way, Tustin, CA 92780.
>> Click here to download the Initial Study/Negative Declaration

August 24, 2021: (Amendment to Draft) The Initial Study (IS) for this Housing Element was prepared (described above).   The IS identifies two (2) sites added to the City’s Housing Element Sites Inventory, which are the Tustin portion of The Market Place located at Jamboree Road and the I-5 Freeway and Enderle Center located off of 17th Street.   Both of these sites have been identified as potential parcels where additional affordable residential units could be added once a zone change and amendment to the City’s General Plan is approved. The two sites that have been added to the City’s Housing Element suitable sites inventory include Enderle Center and The Market Place, whereby additional housing units could be added. These future units will accommodate a variety of income levels and some will be affordable.   Currently these sites do not allow for residential development. Within the next three (3) years, the City will be undertaking the public review process of creating overlay zones in both areas to allow for future residential development. The process will provide an opportunity for additional public input. There is no construction planned at this time and there are no applications pending to develop either location.  Any additional comments can be forwarded to housingelement@tustinca.org.  These sites are in addition to the sites already identified within the Tustin Legacy, Downtown Commercial Core and Red Hill Avenue Specific Plan areas. 

August 17, 2021: (Amendment to Draft) City Council meeting to discuss the inclusion of additional areas such as the Tustin Market Place and the Enderle Center that could potentially be developed with residential units. The redistribution of units throughout the City is intended to further facilitate the equitable dispersion of housing units of various income levels. Specifically, the revision reallocates just over half of the 1,461 “Additional” units previously allocated to Tustin Legacy, by redistributing those units to the Tustin Market Place and the Enderle Center. In addition, the units have been further distributed within Tustin Legacy to additional neighborhoods.
>> Click here to download the August 17, 2021 City Council staff report

August 12, 2021: City staff met with HCD by phone to discuss preliminary comments.  

June 30, 2021: The Housing Element Update draft document submitted to the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for an initial 60-day review period.

June 30, 2021 to July 30, 2021: (First Draft) 2021-2029 Housing Element Update available for public review and comment. Written comments may still be emailed to HousingElement@tustinca.org.
>> Click here to download the first Draft 2021-2029 Housing Element

May 11, 2021: Joint City Council and Planning Commission Housing Element Update Workshop
>> Click here to download the May 11, 2021 Staff Presentation

November 10, 2020: First public workshop held with the Planning Commission
>> Click here to download the November 10, 2020 Staff Report

Why should i provide input?

As part of the Housing Element Update, we are asking for the community to provide input regarding housing priorities. Participation from our residents and stakeholders is vital to ensure that our community’s values are identified and articulated in the Housing Element, and that the City’s approach provides the best fit for our community’s goals, values, and priorities.

what is a housing elEment?

The Housing Element is one of nine state-mandated elements of the City’s General Plan. The Housing Element identifies the City’s housing needs and conditions, and establishes goals, objectives and policies that form the basis of the City’s vision and strategy for enhancing and preserving the community’s character, and expanding housing opportunities for all Tustin community members. The element also contains in-depth analysis and evaluation of the City’s population, economics, household size, housing stock, housing programs, and regulations. 

State Law establishes that each city accommodate its fair share of affordable housing as an approach to distributing housing needs throughout the state. State Housing Element law also recognizes that in order for the private sector to address housing needs and demand, local governments must adopt land-use plans and implement regulations that provide opportunities for, and do not unduly constrain, housing development by the private sector. State housing laws regarding Housing Elements are found in the California Government Code Sections 65580-65589. Unlike the other mandatory general plan elements, the housing element is required to be updated every eight years. It is also subject to detailed statutory requirements and mandatory review and approval by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

According to State law, the Housing Element must:

  • Provide goals, policies, quantified objectives and scheduled programs to preserve, improve and develop housing;
  • Identify and analyze existing and projected housing needs for all economic segments of the community;
  • Identify adequate sites that are zoned and available within the 8-year housing cycle to meet the city’s fair share of regional housing needs at all income levels;
  • Be certified (approved) by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) as complying with state law; and,
  • Be internally consistent with other parts of the General Plan (and meeting this requirement is critical to having a legally adequate General Plan).

where can i watch informational videos to understand the purpose of the housing element?

"Housing for All" informational videos are provided below:

WHat are the benefits of updating a housing element?

The City of Tustin has started the process of updating the Housing Element of the City’s General Plan to ensure we are prepared to meet Tustin’s future housing needs. Your input will help the City develop a plan that best reflects the community’s needs, values, and priorities, related to housing. Under State law, every city and county is required to update its Housing Element to address specific requirements and submit the updated Housing Element to the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The Housing Element Update will build upon, and revise, as appropriate, the goals, policies and programs of the Housing Element, to ensure that the City can meet the housing needs of all Tustin residents from 2021 through 2029.

Maintaining a State-compliant Housing Element ensures that Tustin is eligible for critical state and federal funds that require a certified Housing Element by HCD. Jurisdictions that do not maintain a compliant Housing Element are at risk of significant repercussions, including:

  • Potential loss of local land use control;
  • Carryover of unaddressed allocations, increasing the total number of housing units that the City is responsible for accommodating;
  • Ineligibility for various State-administered funds, including infrastructure, parks, housing, and planning funds: and,
  • The City’s entire General Plan becomes vulnerable to legal challenge.

What is a regional housing needs allocation (rhna)?

The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) is mandated by State law to quantify the need for housing throughout the State. This informs the local planning process to address existing and future housing need resulting from projected state-wide growth in population, employment, and households. The Housing Element Update must address the housing needs identified by the RHNA prepared by SCAG for Tustin. 

As the Council of Governments (or regional planning agency), SCAG is responsible for overseeing the RHNA process for the Southern California region, which encompasses six counties (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura) and 191 cities in an area covering more than 38,000 square miles. SCAG is currently overseeing the 6th cycle RHNA for the 2021-2029 planning period. 

Tustin has a final RHNA allocation for 6,782 units to accommodate an estimated growth need at various income levels. The Housing Element must provide sites to accommodate this estimated growth at each income level. The final RHNA allocation for Tustin is as follows:

Updated RHNA Allocation Sept 2021

What is the RHNA for Tustin for 2021-2029 and how will the required units be distributed? 

The City’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) obligation for this planning period is 6,782 units and the units will be distributed throughout the City. The City must demonstrate in its Housing Element the ability to meet the assigned housing needs, through the provision of sites suitable for residential development. To meet the assigned housing needs, the Housing Element identifies candidate sites that may be suitable for residential development in the following areas:

    Ten (10) Downtown Commercial Core Specific Plan (DCCP) mixed-use sites;

    Four (4) Red Hill Avenue Specific Plan (RHASP) mixed-use sites;

    Four (4) Tustin Legacy Specific Plan (TLSP) mixed-use urban residential sites; 

    The Market Place; and

    The Enderle Center

The draft Housing Element will come before the Planning Commission for consideration on September 14, 2021, and tentatively on October 5, 2021, before the City Council. The Housing Element will specify how the housing units will be distributed proportionately among the identified areas (as referenced above) using RHNA mandated percentages initially as a basis and will be adjusted based upon the viability of the sites to accommodate lower income units.  This distribution strategy is consistent with RHNA requirements, which specifies that the City set aside 40% of the total allocation for Very-Low- and Low-income units (see RHNA income distribution table below).   

The following charts provide a summary of the unit breakdown for Tustin to meet the State mandated RHNA obligation. 

Adtl RHNA Table Sept 2021

Why are these sites recommended to meet the RHNA obligation?

HCD provides guidance in selecting sites to meet RHNA obligations.  In addition to identifying land suitable for residential development, HCD also requires the City to comply with AB 686 (Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Sites Requirement).  At the most basic level, this requirement suggests that sites zoned to accommodate housing for lower-income households must be located in areas with access to greater resources, amenities, and opportunity (i.e. areas that have adequate schools, jobs, community amenities and services, parks, grocery stores, active transportation, etc.).  Sites identified to meet the City’s RHNA allocation also cannot be located in a segregated concentrated area of poverty, but rather must be dispersed throughout the community.

In keeping with HCD Sites Inventory guidance, Staff studied other sites to determine their potential for meeting HCD site criteria.   The areas studied included: Pacific Center East, Jamboree Plaza industrial area, 17th Street Corridor and many other areas in the City.   Pacific Center East and Jamboree Plaza are not recommended for inclusion in the Housing Element because they are highly likely to be deemed non-compliant sites as they do not satisfy the HCD housing Sites Inventory criteria due to the fact that these areas are lacking resources such as schools, grocery stores, parks, community amenities and services, etc.  In addition, Pacific Center East and Jamboree Plaza consist of predominately light industrial and office uses which may pose land use compatibility issues for residential development.  Other areas were considered; however, due to the requirement that the City must re-zone the area within three (3) years of adoption, staff recommends Tustin Legacy for the following reasons: 

  • The City has control of the land which facilitates development opportunities,
  • The City has performed infrastructure studies and has identified that the Tustin Legacy area has the capacity to accommodate additional housing units,
  • The sites identified are vacant and the likelihood for housing development to occur at the sites is high, 
  • Tustin Legacy provides the resources, amenities, and opportunities identified in the HCD Sites Inventory guidance, and
  • Implementation of the Tustin Legacy Specific Plan is underway with residential units under construction.  

The draft Housing Element released in June 2021 was subsequently amended by the City Council at meetings that took place on August 17 and on September 7, 2021, in response to public comments.  Specifically, the revisions added and redistributed units to the Tustin Market Place and Enderle Center sites, with no increase in the number of units at Tustin Legacy area. These revisions also included adjustments to the distribution of units at various income levels (based on RHNA percentages) evenly and proportionately throughout the sites.

The creation of overlay zones and/or an amendment to Specific Plan(s) will be required in order to accommodate additional housing units to the meet the City RHNA allocation at the properties identified in the draft housing element “Sites Inventory”, and are therefore only considered candidate sites.  Additional evaluation and a separate environmental assessment will be completed concurrently with the adoption of an overlay/rezone and/or amendment to the City’s General Plan, and is required by State law to take place within three (3) years of the City’s adoption of the 2021-2029 Housing Element.  

It should be noted that notwithstanding the information above, the City Council can direct staff to initiate studies to identify housing development opportunities at areas outside of Tustin Legacy (i.e. Pacific Center East, Jamboree Plaza), independent from the Housing Element preparation process.   The rezoning of any areas of interest can be initiated at any time upon request.  An independent study is highly recommended, as those studies would require additional time, resources and extensive community and property owner input and outreach.  Undertaking such studies now would delay the City’s current Housing Element preparation and certification by HCD, which would result in the City not having a compliant Housing Element.  

How are special needs groups and homeless considered in the Housing Element?

Special needs groups required to be analyzed in the Housing Element include the elderly, persons with physical and developmental disabilities, persons experiencing homelessness, single parents, large households, and farmworkers.  Many of these special needs groups overlap.  For example, many farmworkers are migrant workers, and many elderly people have a self‐care limitation of some type. The City’s Draft Housing Element addresses Special Needs. 

Can the City incentivize the creation of accessory dwelling unit (ADU’s) by having pre-approved plans for applicants to use?

A number of State Assembly and Senate Bills were passed in 2019 and 2020 that promote and remove barriers that may inhibit the development of ADUs within communities.  These bills, as well as other significant legislation relating to ADUs creates a development environment that is likely to increase the number of ADUs developed.  SCAG is currently exploring the facilitation of grant funding to assist cities with creating permit ready ADU plans, should cities elect to implement such a program.  

Can the City look at opportunities for infill opportunities and address blight?

The City Housing Element will include a program which states that the City will evaluate the existing provisions in the Zoning Code for feasibility of providing additional regulatory relief (i.e., streamlined review, reduced and objective development standards, lot consolidation, and other methods deemed appropriate) to further encourage infill housing development. The City will identify and develop an inventory of potential infill sites utilizing the site analysis that City staff has conducted to date and it will be included in the Housing Element as an attachment. The City will seek to create partnerships with and provide informational material including a copy of the inventory and listing of City incentives and programs to housing developers.

Why should I provide input and how is the City expanding its Housing Element outreach efforts? 

As part of the Housing Element Update, we are asking for the community to provide input regarding housing priorities. Participation from our residents and stakeholders is vital to ensure that our community’s values are identified and articulated in the Housing Element, and that the City’s approach provides the best fit for our community’s goals, values, and priorities.

During the preparation of the update, City Staff have provided expansive public outreach via social media, City’s website, postcard mailings, etc. The City conducted two (2) online surveys which solicited comments from Tustin residents and community to gather feedback regarding various housing topics. The online Housing Element Community survey was first opened from January 28, 2021, through February 28, 2021, and the City received 194 responses, including two (2) in Spanish.  Following the May 11, 2021, City Council/Planning Commission Housing Element Workshop, the survey was reopened from July 1 – July 31, 2021.  City staff received an additional 119 responses, four (4) of those were responses to the Spanish language survey.  The re-opening of the survey in July 2021 coincided with the draft Housing Element document public comment period. For the release of the revised draft Housing Element document on September 14, 2021, further outreach efforts are being made through use of paid social media ads, e-mail blasts, mailings, and website updates. Please   Please review the City's Community Engagement Plan for further information on City efforts in engaging the community to participate in the Housing Element update process. 

HOW DO I GET INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS?

>> Participate in the online survey (A second release of the survey closed on July 30, 2021)
>> Sign up for e-mail updates by sending an e-mail to: housingelement@tustinca.org
>> Share your feedback via e-mail by sending an e-mail to: housingelement@tustinca.org
>> Participate in a future workshop or public meeting such as Planning Commission and City Council

Where can i find the current housing element?

The City Council adopted the current Housing Element in October 2013 for the planning period of 2014-2021. On November 6, 2013, the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) made a final determination that the City’s current Housing Element is in full compliance with State housing element law. The 2014-2021 Housing Element will remain active until the 2021-2029 update is adopted. The Housing Element Update adoption is anticipated to take place in October 2021.

Project timeline

HEU Simplified Timeline 11-30-2020>> Project Timeline (PDF)

Resources and Documents

>> City of Tustin - General Plan
>> City of Tustin - Land Use Element
>> Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG): Detailed information related to Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA)
>> Pre-Certified Local Housing Data for the City of Tustin - August 2020
>> California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)

Contact us

For more information or questions about the Housing Element Update process, please email us at housingelement@tustinca.org or call city staff, Erica H. Demkowicz, AICP, Senior Planner, at (714) 573-3127.