Fullerton settles with state to produce compliant housing element

Agreement gives OC city until Nov. 5 to adopt plan for home construction

Fullerton settles with state over its housing element
California Department of Housing & Community Development's Gustavo Velasquez (Unknown US Government photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons, Getty)

The City of Fullerton has made peace with California over its housing plan.

Fullerton’s City Council reached a settlement with the state to update its so-called housing element and adopt a blueprint in accordance with state requirements, Director Gustavo Velasquez of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, said in an announcement. 

“The City of Fullerton is more than two years late in adapting a compliant housing element,” Velasquez said in a statement. “But this agreement lays out a clear path to compliance with milestones, as well as consequences if they fail to meet those commitments.”

Fullerton will adopt a plan to allow for the development of about 13,200 housing units by 2029. About 5,200 of the units will be reserved for low- or very low-income residents. 

The settlement will include a promise for Fullerton to adopt a compliant housing element by Nov. 5. It must also modernize its zoning code by Dec. 29, so it can meet its housing element’s targets. 

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The settlement also stipulates that that city will agree to comply with the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing statute. It requires local governments to take serious actions to surmount long patterns of segregation. 

The settlement also notes that if Fullerton fails to follow through with the settlement, it may be forced to pay financial penalties. It also might lose authority to approve or deny some kinds of development. 

The recent settlement also resolves a suit brought by the nonprofit Californians for Homeownership, which is backed by the California Association of Realtors. Californians for Homeownership filed a separate lawsuit against the City of Fullerton over its failure to develop a state-approved housing element.

According to a report on the HCD Housing Element and Review Compliance website, 304 California cities, or about 82 percent,  are in compliance with state housing element rules. About 18 percent are out of compliance.

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