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December 13, 2007

The City will be forming an 11 member committee to help prepare an updated Housing Element to the City’s General Plan.  The committee will include a balance of representatives from housing organizations, neighborhood and environmental groups, and real estate and business groups.  Applications are being accepted for this committee until January 14, 2008.  

The Housing Element is an important part of the City’s General Plan.  It will analyze existing and projected housing needs, and develop policies and programs to preserve, improve and develop housing.  This part of the General Plan must identify adequate sites for provision of “affordable housing”, analyze constraints to providing housing, and consider the needs of special groups, such as the disabled.  Provision of housing is closely linked to a healthy local economy. 

This commitment is for a limited term:  staff anticipates monthly Committee meetings over about a year’s time, starting in February, 2008; although it is possible there may be added subcommittee meetings.  This will include two community workshops to provide information and policy options to the community.  In addition, members will want to assist with and attend Planning Commission and City Council hearings during adoption.  To allow for an open committee process, meetings will be held in the evenings, on the fourth Wednesdays of the month, the time to be decided by Committee members.

The City Council is recruiting for all members.  Applicants are generally to be representatives of local groups with an interest in housing including housing groups, business, building and real estate groups, or city residents who have an expertise and interest in housing issues.   The Council is looking for persons who are solution-oriented and who will help take information back to the broader community.  Your interest is appreciated and encouraged! 

The Council’s charge to the Committee is:

“Through a manageable, open process, to be completed within one year, produce a Housing Element which meets State requirements for certification, that continues to fit with the City’s General Plan and which seeks to achieve/improve community knowledge and support for implementation of needed housing programs.”  

Applications may be obtained from the City Clerk’s Department, 955 School Street, Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or by downloading here .  The deadline to submit applications is 5:00 p.m., Monday, January 14, 2008 .  The Council is expected to appoint members in February. For additional information, contact the City Clerk Department at 257-9503.