CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad Housing Commission voted on Dec. 14 to recommend increasing the minimum affordability requirements for new residential developments and rezoning city-owned land to help meet the city’s state-mandated affordable housing goals.
The commission’s approval sends the proposal to the City Council, which is set to review and consider the proposed changes on Jan. 30, 2024.
The city is addressing the gap between planned affordable housing and actual construction by setting higher minimum affordability requirements, ensuring that future development better aligns with affordable housing goals outlined in the city’s Housing Element.
For city-owned sites, the commission recommended at least 40% of all residential units be restricted to lower-income households, and 20% affordability requirements for non-city-owned sites.
If approved by the council, the proposal would expand upon the
The state requires jurisdictions to develop and maintain a housing plan, or Housing Element, within their General Plan to ensure the creation of affordable housing for various income levels. For Carlsbad, the state established the city’s housing target for the 6th cycle Regional Housing Needs Assessment at 3,873 total units — very-low income (1,311), low income (784), moderate income (749) and above-moderate income (1,029).
The city adopted its Housing Element in April 2021, aiming to address its RHNA goals by rezoning specific areas to accommodate projected population growth. The city’s rezone program commits to “rezone at least 108 acres by April 2024” to accommodate a shortfall of 1,397 lower-income housing units.
Since 2020, the city has identified 18 potential housing sites, three of which are city-owned parcels, that could be rezoned for higher density, including a 57-acre parking lot at The Shoppes at Carlsbad, a vacant lot at Crossings Golf Course and the Oak Yard, a 1.3-acre site that’s currently home to a city maintenance facility.
The commission’s recommendation doesn’t directly approve specific projects but amends planning documents to facilitate future housing development. Property development within the Coastal Zone would still require approval from the California Coastal Commission, potentially prolonging the implementation process.