Why is the City pursuing the establishment of Objective Design Standards?

The State of California has passed laws that limit the City’s review of certain qualifying residential projects to either a ministerial review process, meaning that if the project complies with all objective standards, it must be approved, or a limited discretionary process which limits the ability to disapprove a project. For example, SB 35 requires that projects with certain percentages of units affordable to very low-income, low-income, or moderate-income households be permitted through a ministerial process if the project complies with objective standards. Additionally, Senate Bill 330 limits the scope of review on some projects to only objective standards, and only allows for disapproval based on the finding that the project would have an adverse impact upon the public health or safety.  

The State is continuing to add new regulations to support affordable housing development, and the City anticipates that there may be additional projects that will qualify for ministerial review. 

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