Gov. Newsom takes shot at NIMBYs with Huntington Beach lawsuit

The suit says the city has failed to set aside enough land for housing

Jan.January 28, 2019 11:30 AM
Governor Gavin Newsom and Huntington Beach (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

California’s new governor has fired off a lawsuit against a defiant Southern California city, proving he is wasting no time in his ambitious goal to build 500,000 new homes per year.

Less than a month into office, Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed the state to sue Huntington Beach for failing to comply with state requirements that demand the city sets aside enough land for low-income housing, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The wealthy Orange County city dramatically lowered its new housing stock in 2015 when officials amended a 2010 specific plan to cap the number of new units at 4,500, up from 2,100. The amendment also placed stricter requirements on density.

In a written statement, Michael Gates, Huntington Beach City Attorney, said the city has been “complying with all applicable state housing and zoning laws.” He also said the lawsuit is “timed poorly” because it comes at a time when the city has been working with an affordable-housing advocacy group to settle the disputes.

The median home value in Huntington Beach, home to 200,000 people, is more than $834,000, according to Zillow. More than half of its residents spend at least 30 percent of their income on housing.

This also isn’t the first time the city gets into hot waters with the state government. In 2015 and 2018, the California Department of Housing and Community Development issued letters requesting that it comply with state housing laws.

The lawsuit reflects the state’s first under the new AB72 law, which gives it more power to punish cities which break housing laws. It’s also the first manifestation of Gov. Newsom’s proposed “Marshall Plan” for affordable housing. [LAT]Natalie Hoberman

Related Articles

Welton Jordan of EAH Housing, and the block in South Park where the nonprofit development organization wants to build a 64-unit complex (Credit: Google Maps)

Two affordable housing projects will add 120 units to transformed South Park

14518-14526 Erwin Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Developer wants 71-unit complex to rise in Van Nuys Opportunity Zone

Tenancy in common arrangementsare growing in gentrifying Eastside neighborhoods like Silver Lake, Echo Park and Glassell Park (Credit: iStock)

LA landlords pitch controversial ownership arrangement as rent law kicks in

Monica Rodriguez orchestrated the nixing of a residential project set for the Verdugo Hills Golf Course (Credit: Google Maps, Wikipedia)

The threat of fire doomed this Tujunga resi project. Now the developer will sue

(Credit: Courtesy Santa Fe Art Colony Tenants Association via Los Angeles Magazine and iStock)

Developer sued by DTLA artist collective over rent-restricted building

Adam Shekhter and the 1415 5th Street project

WS Communities boosts affordable housing plans in Santa Monica

AIDS Healthcare Foundation Executive Director Michael Weinstein with a rendering of Crossroads of the World

Judge clears way for Harridge’s Crossroads megaproject

From left: Council President Herb Wesson, a rendering of District Square project, and developer Arman Gabay

City of LA nixes 600-unit Gabay resi project on appeal