Housing shortages and development news in Huntington Beach.
Over the next few decades, the city of Huntington Beach is projected to build fewer than 5,000 housing units. This low number is an issue as Orange County struggles with a housing deficit of over 58,000 units, which is expected to increase to about 115,000 by 2045. But why is Huntington Beach dragging its feet when it comes to creating affordable housing for residents? Your commercial realty advisors report.
Creating affordable housing has been an ongoing struggle for many cities in Orange County. Developers must battle with zoning laws, the requirements set by the California Environmental Quality Act, and pushback by residents. For instance, Huntington Beach’s Planning Commission recently denied a plan to build 48 residential units at the corner of Beach Boulevard and Ellis Avenue. The denial came as many residents voiced their concern that high-density housing developments would ruin the charming beach-town feel of the city. In January of this year, the state of California sued Huntington Beach for the city’s failure to accommodate a growing population.
Huntington Beach has a history of refusing new housing developments. In 2015, the City Council amended the Beach and Edinger Corridors Specific Plan. The amendments lowered the cap on residential development from 4,500 units to 2,100 and imposed stricter height and setback requirements for new buildings. These changes also meant that the city could no longer meet state housing and zoning requirements for low-income housing.
Experts warn that the scarcity of affordable housing is pushing out middle-class residents such as teachers, nurses, and firefighters. However, Mayor Erik Peterson explains, “None of us are saying ‘Don’t build,’ but make sure whatever you’re building makes Huntington better.” He also argues that Huntington Beach does have affordable housing and believes that the free market should dictate the demand for new housing developments. Finally, Peterson denies the idea that the lack of housing is pushing out important residents such as firefighters, explaining that many police officers and other city employees live within the city.
This is what your commercial realty advisors have to report on Huntington Beach’s refusal to build more affordable housing units. Interested in staying up to date with the latest real estate news? If so, then contact the experts at California Commercial Realty Advisors, Inc. Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your real estate needs today.