Calimesa held its second housing element discussion within a week, this one via Zoom where members of the public could join the discussion. About 15 community members attended the meeting, conducted by housing element consultant Dave Barquest and Planning Manager Kelly Lucia on Wednesday, Nov. 17 Earlier in the week at the Calimesa City Council meeting, a joint workshop was held between the city council and the planning commission. Associate Planner Selenne Sevilla, who also attended the Zoom meeting, said the draft housing element that was discussed at both will now be submitted to the state for compliance review before the end of the year. The state has 60 days to review and provide feedback. Then, early next year, the draft housing element will come back to the planning commission and city council for consideration. After the state makes its comments, city staff, council and planning commission will discuss community concerns, Sevilla said. Those who attended the Zoom meeting were asked to respond to questions, such as where in Calimesa did they think high-density housing should be located or what housing concerns did they have. Every eight-year cycle, cities must update their housing element. Under the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) process, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) directs how many homes each city and county needs to keep up with growth. For this cycle, SCAG allocated 2,017 residential units for Calimesa to develop in four categories based on Riverside County’s median income of $77,500 for a family of four, according to the 2021 HUD Area Medium Income (AMI) for Riverside County. As was discussed at the joint session on Nov. 15, Calimesa must show it has addressed housing needs in four income categories over the next eight years. However, the city is not obligated to help develop any of the housing. “What we need to do is provide the zoning at the densities that would allow folks at those income categories to be able to avail themselves to that housing,” Lucia said at the joint workshop. Those categories and the residential units are: Very low-income ($38,750 maximum income) units 495; low-income ($39,525-$62,000) units 275; moderate ($62,775-$93,000) units 379; and above-moderate (more than $93,000) 868. An overlay zone, in-fill properties and accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, were brought up during the joint workshop as ways to meet the state requirements. “You are not limited to just vacant sites,” Barquest said at the joint workshop. “You can use in-fill properties or industrial or commercial that is ripe for redevelopment. Or, you have a single-family site that could be turned into a multi-family site. Those are what we call in-fill opportunities.” For more information, visit cityofcalimesa.net.

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