On a unanimous vote, the Yorba Linda City Council directed staff to rely on a resident-driven series of recommendations to advance the City’s 2023-2029 Housing Element. The recommendations were detailed in a report (PDF) produced by the Yorba Linda Housing Policy Resident Working Group, an assembly of 17 residents from across Yorba Linda who collaborated over six evening meetings to learn about and discuss the development of a new approach to the City’s Housing Element.

“Yorba Linda residents are passionate about protecting our lifestyle and community features, and their passion for this project yielded an insightful report and important recommendations. While the City continues its legal efforts to retain local control on housing matters, we are also advancing plans to adopt a Housing Element that will ensure we retain local zoning control and not cede that authority to the State of California,” said Mayor Gene Hernandez. “The City will be connecting with our community to talk about this new Housing Element and the pathway forward to retain local control in Yorba Linda.”

The resident-driven working group made several key findings:

  1. Retaining local control with a November 2024 ballot vote is important;
  2. The City should pursue a November 2024 ballot measure to adopt zoning changes, and residents should seriously weigh the consequences if that ballot measure fails;
  3. The City should deploy more tools to connect with residents on the need for adopting a Housing Element and perform the education necessary to ensure the public is informed on this complex subject. This may include engaging additional consulting resources to supplement the City’s outreach efforts for this acute need;
  4. A resident survey on housing issues could better inform the City’s engagement efforts and should be pursued;
  5. The City should leverage Savi Ranch (to a reasonable extent) to create a new residential and mixed-use Downtown-like space for Yorba Linda; and
  6. That the City should generally view mixed-use development as a positive and make it available where it is appropriate throughout higher density sites in the City.

The Working Group also made a series of recommendations to balance out housing sites across the city while protecting open spaces and creating a new downtown experience in Savi Ranch. Details on the sites and recommendations are outlined in both the report and the presentation (PDF) that was delivered at the July 18, 2023 City Council Meeting.

City Staff will begin a new phase of public engagement on the revised Housing Element that will last through October 2023, when the City anticipates sending a revised Housing Element to the State of California, Housing and Community Development Agency to ensure the plan meets State housing requirements. Stay tuned for more information.