Dublin Planning Commission considering new housing sites | Dublin News

DUBLIN – Faced with state-imposed housing requirements and the need to update the city’s housing element plan, the Dublin Planning Commission recently held a study session to address the need to enhance community awareness and public education as it strives to meet its regional allocation of housing needs. (RHNA).

During the March 8 session, the commission discussed three possible new housing sites for Dublin’s next 2023-2031 housing cycle: one at Alameda County surplus property north of Dublin-Pleasanton station BART, a second at the Hacienda Crossings mall, and a third on the SCS Development property north of I-580 between Tassajara Road and Brannigan Street.

All three sites will require either changes to the general plan of the city or rezoning to accommodate the proposed housing.

Commissioner Catheryn Grier noted that while opportunities to raise awareness for housing development certainly exist, reactions tend to be generally against new housing in Dublin.

“That’s what we see and it’s not always helpful on its own,” she continued. “I just wish there was a way to involve the community so they understand the constraints the city is under – the demands of the state.”

Commissioner Janine Thalblum echoed that sentiment and referenced the petition-driven repeal, approved March 1, of a plan for the East Ranch property that included two acres for a subdivision.

‘It’s a little ironic (and) disappointing (that) some of the comments were about the need for disabled accommodation and the council just canceled the plan which had the opportunity to do just that.’

RHNA, a California mandate that operates on an eight-year cycle, requires local governments to include in their overall plan a strategy to accommodate a specific number of housing units, broken down by level of affordability.

In May 2021, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), which is responsible for developing a methodology for allocating a portion of the RHNA to each local government in the Bay Area, awarded Dublin 1,085 very low, 625 low , 560 moderate and 1,449 income units above moderation, totaling 3,719 housing units and representing a 62% increase over the city’s previous cycle allocations.

Since then, Dublin, along with its neighboring towns in the Tri-Valley, have submitted letters to ABAG expressing concern that the sharp rise is that the new figures are exacerbating a pre-existing imbalance between jobs and housing at Dublin.

Dublin also filed an appeal in July 2021 “focusing on past performance and lack of suitable land, as well as properties where the city has no land use authority”, according to the commission staff report. ABAG, however, provisionally rejected the appeal in September 2021.

“I appreciate the city for pushing back or trying to push back those numbers,” Thalblum said. “But unfortunately on appeal they said no. Numbers are numbers.

After accounting for the projects already under construction, secondary housing and existing zoning, the City still has to provide a list of sites suitable for 644 low-rental housing units.

To meet RHNA standards, units need not be developed but need not be built. Although the commission did not vote on a final site selection, it favored splitting unit allocations across the three new sites and specifically calling out the SCS property, whose preferred plan was approved by the commission last month. of planning.

“I think it’s important to include and make sure SCS is mentioned in every way possible as having some responsibility and knowing what’s going on while they plan,” said commissioner Stephen Wright. “And that would include very low-income and low-income housing.”

The city is expected to make available the updated draft plan for the housing component on April 7, after which it will go through several rounds of review before adoption at the end of this year. The housing element update is to be completed and certified by January 2023 for the next housing cycle 2023-2031.