The Newport Beach City Council adopted the General Plan 6th Cycle Housing Element (Housing Element) in September 2022 covering the planning period from 2021-2029. As required by state law, the Housing Element was certified by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in October 2022. The adopted and certified Housing Element includes a housing planning strategy for the City to meet its Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation of 4,845 new housing units with varying affordability levels between 2021 and 2029. To comply with state law, the City must now implement the planning strategy by:
(1) updating the General Plan Land Use Element; and
(2) providing appropriate zoning that will allow for the housing opportunity sites identified in the Housing Element to be redeveloped with housing units.
This implementation must be made effective no later February 2025. As a note, the City must plan for and provide zoning for these units; however, the City is not mandating that properties be redeveloped with housing nor is the City required to construct housing.
The City and its consultant team are preparing an environmental impact report (EIR) for the land use changes to allow housing units. The draft of this document is expected to be released late November 2023.
Currently, the City is seeking public input on the draft Land Use Element revisions, the draft Housing Opportunity Overlay Zoning Districts, and the draft Objective Design Standards, as described in more detail in the sections below.
The City invites the community to provide comments and feedback on these documents. To ensure a timely review and ability to maintain the schedule, the City requests your comments and feedback by Friday, September 29, 2023. You may submit all written comments to GPUpdate@newportbeachca.gov.
The City will also be hosting an in-person study session with the Planning Commission on September 21, 2023, where all community members are invited and encouraged to provide input.
Land Use Element Update for Housing Element Implementation Only
The first step in the Housing Element implementation is to revise the necessary goals and/or policies within the City’s Land Use Element to support housing production in the focus areas identified by the Housing Element. City staff has been working in collaboration with the City-Council-appointed General Plan Update Steering Committee and the General Plan Advisory Committee to create draft revisions to the Land Use Element. Please click here for a draft version of a policy matrix that shows the existing and proposed revised Land Use Element goals and/or policies.
Housing Opportunity Overlay Zoning Districts
To implement the Land Use Element's policy changes, the City must zone identified properties to allow housing development as an opportunity and to establish appropriate development standards. Please click here for a draft version of the Overlay Zoning Districts.
Objective Design Standards
Under new state housing laws, the City is prevented from enforcing subjective development standards and is required to permit certain housing development projects meeting minimum affordability criteria by right. Therefore, it is important to create a set of objective design standards that provide certainty of compliance for housing developers while fostering good design and maintaining the character of Newport Beach. For example, the City is not allowed to include subjective standards in this document, such as requirements for “quality architecture” or “compatible colors and window treatments.” Please click here for a draft version of the Objective Design Standards.