PLC Enforces Judgment In Favor Of Affordable Housing In Huntington Beach

Los Angeles County Superior Court orders City to immediately comply with order voiding
Amendment that blocked development of affordable housing in the Beach-Edinger Corridor

Orange County, CA — On April 15, 2016, the Los Angeles County Superior Court agreed with
two formerly homeless veterans and the non-profit Kennedy Commission, represented by the
Public Law Center (PLC), the California Affordable Housing Law Project, and Jones Day, that
the City of Huntington Beach must “immediately comply with the judgment and writ of mandate
and to cease enforcing, administering or implementing the [Beach Edinger Corridor Specific
Plan Amendment] (BECSP Amendment).”

“Although this Superior Court decision on the BECSP Amendment is a win for affordable
housing in Huntington Beach, our work to ensure veterans and other vulnerable individuals can
continue to call Orange County home will continue in earnest,” said PLC staff attorney Sarah
Gregory. “This year-long effort to force the city to simply comply with state law and its own
Housing Element, the ‘Constitution’ for development, reminds all of us that we must remain
vigilant and be prepared to fight efforts to block affordable housing.”

The City of Huntington Beach had refused to comply with previous court orders, continued to
enforce the BECSP Amendment, and appealed a January 20, 2016 judgment in favor of the
Kennedy Commission, Jason Puleo, and William Adams (the Petitioners). The Huntington Beach
City Council adopted the BECSP Amendment on May 4, 2015, despite months of efforts by the
Kennedy Commission and the two displaced veterans, who had been forced to leave Huntington
Beach due to the lack of affordable housing in the city.

Petitioners sought to force Huntington Beach to implement its state-approved General Plan
Housing Element, which was approved by the California Department of Housing and
Community Development in 2013. The General Plan Housing Element–referred to as the
“Constitution” for all planning and development within the city–allowed for the development of
high-density low-cost housing by-right along the city’s Beach-Edinger commercial corridor in
order to accommodate the city’s housing needs for low-income residents. The voided
amendment had blocked low-cost housing by imposing a development cap, burdensome parking,
setback, height, and use restrictions, and costly and time-consuming discretionary permit
requirements.

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2016-07-09T01:51:37+00:00