Unfortunately, cases like this are emblematic of why California has a massive housing shortage. CaRLA exists because cities spuriously deny housing all the time. In aggregate, this is why we have a housing shortage, and housing delays like this are exacerbating home prices, housing instability, and contributing to the rise in homelessness. The hard work and intent of the legislature to make housing more affordable will only be realized if cities are held accountable.
Huntington Beach is the latest in our work to enforce the Housing Accountability Act and joins our victories in San Mateo, Los Altos, Sonoma, Dublin, Berkeley, and Lafayette. Thank you to all our donors and supporters who helped us last year when this case was appealed. We couldn’t have done this without you. Also thank you to Ken Stahl at Miller Starr Regalia and Alex Gourse and Lisa Ells at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP.
This is a reminder to cities across California–we’re watching, and now so are the Attorney General’s Office and the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
The developer began working with the city in 2017 and presented a modest four-story mixed-use building in 2018. Staff recommended approval of the project, but the Planning Commission directed staff to recommend denial of the project based on it being inconsistent with the “spirit” and “vision” of the city. On appeal, the city council denied the project based on concerns of potential illegal u-turns into the building. CaRLA filed suit in June 2020. The trial court upheld the council decision but reversed the ruling after the appellate ruling in CaRLA vs. San Mateo. The city then filed six appeals against the new judgment. We and our co-petitioners entered into settlement negotiations in early March 2022 and concluded in May 2022.
See our press release below