Housing Element Update
What is the Housing Element?
The Housing Element is one of eight State-required components of every city’s General Plan, and a city’s primary planning document to address its housing needs for the future. California state law requires that in order for the private market to adequately address housing needs, local governments must adopt plans that provide opportunities for, and do not unduly constrain, housing development, and demonstrate how the City’s share of regional growth will be accommodated in the planning period that the Housing Element addresses.
As Westlake Village continues to grow in population, we need to plan for future residential development by updating the City’s housing policies and designating space by 2021 to accommodate the City’s share of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation of 142 new housing units for the 2021-2029 planning period. This includes designating sites for market rate housing and housing that is affordable to very low, low, and moderate incomes. The City does not have to build housing units, but the City must provide appropriate zoning on sites that offer real development potential and fair process and fees. With the City’s recently adopted North Business Park Specific Plan, which rezoned several properties to allow for mixed use and residential development, the City will be able to reach its targets for available housing sites during this planning period.
The Housing Element sets goals, policies, and programs that are implemented after the plan is adopted to achieve this objective. The Housing Element must remain consistent with the other elements of the General Plan, which was last updated in 2019.
Why Update the Housing Element?
The Housing Element must be updated every eight years and certified by the State, and this update will address the period from 2021 to 2029. The current Westlake Village Housing Element addresses the City’s housing needs for the period from 2013 to 2021, and provides a baseline for this update. This update gives us the opportunity to evaluate the current goals, policies, and programs, and determine the revisions needed to improve the effectiveness of the City’s housing plan and meet new State requirements that have become effective since the last update.
It is important to note that if we do not update our Housing Element or fall significantly behind on our housing targets, the City could be deemed out of compliance and risk losing important sources of funding currently provided by the State. In addition, by proactively planning for new housing and identifying potential sites where new housing development should occur, Westlake Village maintains local control to regulate housing development in a manner consistent with our local character and quality of life. The outcome of successfully planning for housing is to provide for housing choice and viable neighborhoods, where the attainment of a decent home and suitable living environment for every member of our community is possible.
We Want to Hear from You!
Public input is important to help the City develop a plan that best meets our community’s needs and priorities when it comes to providing housing for all members of our community. There will be multiple opportunities to participate throughout the update process.