Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Housing Element?
State law requires each city to adopt a comprehensive, long-term General Plan for its physical development. General Plans include several “elements” that address various topics. The Housing Element is a series of policies that shape the future of housing in Santa Paula. These policies will maintain and improve the existing housing stock and expand housing opportunities for families of all economic levels and persons with special needs such as disabilities.
What is included in a Housing Element?
Why is it necessary to update the Housing Element now, given the current COVID-19 crisis?
State law requires that cities and counties to update their Housing Element every eight years. These Housing Element planning periods are sometimes referred to as “cycles” and often do not coincide with overall General Plan update cycles, which typically happen every 20 years.
Santa Paula's current Housing Element was last updated in 2013, and thus must be updated again in 2021. Failure to do so could result in the City losing funding for many federal, state, and regional affordable housing programs.
Cities and counties are facing unprecedented challenges in adapting the normal public participation processes involved in an update to to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, state legislators have not extended the current Housing Element cycle, though the situation continues to evolve.
Where can I go for more information about Housing Elements?
How can I stay informed on the progress of the Housing Element update process?
Click the button below to join the Housing Element Update Mailing List:
What is a General Plan?
The General Plan is the fundamental policy document of the City of Santa Paula, providing the framework for managing the city's physical and economic resources now and in the future. A general plan acts as the "constitution" for making rational decisions regarding a city's long-term physical development. The general plan expresses the community's development goals and incorporates public policies relative to the distribution of future public and private land uses. California law requires that each city adopt a general plan for the physical development of the city and any land outside its boundaries which bears relation to its planning. Typically, a general plan is designed to address the issues facing the city for the next 20 to 25 years.
The general plan includes "topical elements," of which seven are mandatory. The state-mandated elements are: Land Use, Circulation, Housing, Conservation, Open Space, Noise, and Safety. Each of these mandatory elements is required to be included in the general plan; however, state law allows two or more of them to be consolidated as long as the required issue areas are addressed. Santa Paula’s current General Plan includes the following elements:
The Housing Element was last updated in 2013 and, by design, was not included in the General Plan update process completed in 2020. The next Housing Element update must occur in 2021, pursuant to state law.
Why was it necessary to update the General Plan, and what was accomplished?
Prior to 2020, Santa Paula’s General Plan was last updated on a comprehensive basis in 1998, and the City saw a great deal of change over those two-plus decades. Updating the General Plan was a two-year process which clarified, articulated and integrated the City’s intentions and policies with the rights and expectations of the community; including residents, property owners, and businesses.
The adopted 2040 General Plan will be used as a blueprint for:
Where can I go for more information about General Plans?