Housing Element Update
Welcome to the City of Saratoga’s Housing Element Update homepage. Its purpose to keep the community informed on information regarding the update of the City’s Housing Element for the 2014-2022 planning period. Residents and other interested parties are encouraged to learn about the Housing Element and participate in the update process.

August 20, 2014 City Council Meeting
Conceptually approve and authorize staff to submit the draft 2015-2023 draft Housing element to the State Department of Housing and Community Development for review.
Redline Revisions

What is a Housing Element?
The Housing Element is one of seven State-mandated elements of the City’s General Plan. A Housing Element is required to contain policies and programs that encourage housing development for a variety of income levels. In addition, a city’s zoning land use densities are required to accommodate the projected housing need established by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for each region.

Why update the Housing Element?
Every seven to eight years, HCD releases housing need projections for each region in California. This projection is called the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) takes the RHNA for the San Francisco Bay Area region and assigns housing need allocations to each local jurisdiction in the Bay Area. The last Housing Element update was for the 2007-2014 planning period.

The current Housing Element update period is 2014-2022. The State determined the housing need for the Bay Area region within the next eight years to be 187,990 new housing units. ABAG determined that Saratoga’s share of this need is 439 units.

RHNA Appeal
In February 2013, the City filed an appeal with ABAG objecting the City’s RHNA numbers. The basis for the appeal was that the City of Saratoga has a limited employer base with no meaningful opportunities for future job increases as Saratoga is built out. Secondly, the Valley Transportation Authority provides very limited public transit service in the City. The areas identified for growth in the Saratoga would not have easy access to available transit centers. Lastly, significantly increasing the number of housing units in outlying areas away from jobs and transit is not consistent with greenhouse gas reduction strategies contained in State law. ABAG considered the City’s appeal in April 2013 and elected not to reduce the City’s RHNA. ABAG adopted the final RHNA allocation one month later.

2014-2022 RHNA
The adopted 2014-2022 RHNA for the City of Saratoga is 439 units, and is distributed among the following income categories:

Income Categories (% County Median Income)   Number of Units
 Very Low              (31-50%)          147
 Low                      (51-80%)           95
 Moderate              (81-120%)          104
 Above Moderate    (120%)           93
 Total Units          439

State law does not require local jurisdictions to build new housing. Rather, the City must provide adequate housing sites zoned at various densities to accommodate housing types for the different income levels shown above.

The deadline for the State to approve the City’s Housing Element is January 31, 2015.

Housing Element Documents:
California Housing Element Litigation History
2007-2014 City of Saratoga Housing Element
HCD and ABAG RHNA Methodologies

Community Workshops:
February 25, 2014
Workshop Presentation
Meeting Notes

March 11, 2014
Meeting Notes
RHNA Countdown & Potential Sites

June 24, 2014 - Presentation of Draft Housing Element
Draft Housing Element 2015 - 2023
Initial Study and Negative Declaration - Public review period June 23, 2014 - July 22, 2014

Planning Commission Meetings:
January 21, 2014 Study Session
Staff Report
Attachment 1: Annual Element Progress Report
Attachment 2: 2007-2014 City of Saratoga Housing Element 

March 25, 2014 Study Session
Housing Element Strategies
RHNA Countdown
Meeting Notes

For More Information:
Residents with questions or comments about the Housing Element update should send an email to housing@saratoga.ca.us.