Elk Grove officials were notified today of a lawsuit filed by the State of California against the City over its July 2022 determination that the Oak Rose Apartments, a 67-unit supportive housing project proposed in Elk Grove’s historic district, was not eligible for streamlined approval.
“The City of Elk Grove is not a bad actor,” said Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen. “Elk Grove has a strong track record for supporting affordable housing projects and continues to engage in good faith discussions with the Oak Rose Apartments applicant in hopes of reaching a mutually agreeable solution. In the interest of collaboration, the City has kept the Attorney General’s Office informed of the status of those discussions. The City welcomes and invites further dialogue with the Attorney General’s Office in hopes of reaching a resolution that is beneficial to all impacted parties, particularly the City’s low-income households and persons experiencing homelessness."
In February 2022, the State Department of Housing and Community Development certified Elk Grove’s 2021-2029 Housing Element which identified more than 30 sites within the city that could assist with meeting Elk Grove’s share of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation, or RHNA. The City has been actively encouraging developers to build projects that could fulfill the RHNA at these locations. The site identified by the developer for the Oak Rose Project was not included as part of the RHNA designated sites.
“It is important to remember that the City did not disapprove the Oak Rose Project itself,” said Mayor Singh-Allen. “Rather, the City found that the Project was not eligible for ministerial streamlined approval under Senate Bill 35 because the Project did not comply with all of the City’s objective development standards. Specifically, the Project did not comply with the City’s restriction of residential units on the ground floor in the City’s Old Town Special Planning Area. The other project referenced by the Attorney General underwent a different, and more traditional review process, under which the City retains greater approval discretion."
More than 1,100 new affordable housing units, including permanent supportive housing units, are currently in some form of development in Elk Grove. In February, the City joined developers for the groundbreaking of Poppy Grove Apartments, a 387-unit affordable housing project. Since January 2021, the City of Elk Grove has committed more than $13.4 million in loans for affordable housing projects. Just last week, the City issued a Request for Proposals for the development of 7.5 acres, over two sites, for additional affordable housing units and will commit $9 million in local funding towards the projects.
“Elk Grove is doing its part to support affordable housing in the region and remains open to working with the state, the developers of the Oak Rose project, and other developers to increase the housing supply and offer a full range of housing options for everyone,” said Mayor Singh-Allen.
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Deputy City Manager