Blog Scotts Valley gets first notes from State on Housing Element

Oct. 12, 2023

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According to Santa Cruz YIMBY, the letter from the State underscores its argument that Scotts Valley hasn’t done enough to analyze and commit to reducing barriers to development.

“This includes but is not limited to: missing middle housing, small and large lot development, monitoring pipeline projects, justifying redevelopment of non-vacant sites, discrete timelines for goals, and affirmatively furthering fair housing,” said Ryan Meckel, the group’s leader.

He says it’s clear Scotts Valley has plenty of work on its plate in the days ahead to revise nearly every section of the critical planning document.

The pro-housing advocates have been skeptical that Scotts Valley will ultimately incentivize development in-practice at all, let alone at the levels of affordability the City is projecting.

“Currently, the only affordable housing proposed in the city is a result of their 15% inclusionary requirement—drastically below the 50% they forecast on nearly every rezoned parcel,” he said.

Meckel agreed with HCD that, at the moment, Scotts Valley has a problem with Census Tract 1—the lowest income area of the City (the only one that isn’t a Racially Concentrated Area of Affluence).

"They aren’t well positioned to fix this issue with their current site inventory and need to look at additional rezoning in Tracts 2 and 3 to more equitably distribute housing opportunities,” he said. “It is worth noting that the Town Center property falls within tract 1.”