Bonta, Newsom scrutinize another city's housing practices - La Cañada Flintridge joins Elk Grove, Huntington Beach

The city of Elk Grove has another member in the group of suburban California cities being scrutinized like amoebas under the microscope by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta for alleged unfair housing practices.

In joint announcements made this afternoon, Bonta and Newsom announced they have filed a request to intervene and a proposed writ of mandate in Cal. Housing Defense Fund (HCD) v. City of La Cañada Flintridge. 

In the filings, Attorney General Bonta and HCD seek the court's permission to intervene in the case to uphold California’s housing laws. Specifically, they seek the reversal of La Cañada Flintridge’s denial of a mixed-use affordable housing project. 

The disputed project would add 80 mixed-income residential dwelling units, 14 hotel units, and 7,791 square feet of office space to the upscale San Gabriel Valley community. Additionally, the state also seeks a declaratory judgment that the city did not have a compliant housing element in place between October 16, 2021, and November 17, 2023, the time period in which the project’s application was considered, and therefore required to process the project under the Housing Accountability Act’s (HAA) so-called “builder’s remedy.”

“Local governments must do their part to build housing and address our state’s housing crisis,” Bonta said. “The City of La Cañada Flintridge is legally required to process this affordable housing project under California’s builder’s remedy because they did not adopt a compliant housing element on time."

Elk Grove and Huntington Beach were both sued by the state for unfair housing practices. Although there has been some activity on the lawsuit filed against Elk Grove by the Oak Rose housing project, as it stands now, it does not appear there will be a settlement favorable to the city, and the state is continuing its pursuit of the city. 

Along with the lawsuits against Elk Grove and Huntington Beach, today's actions against La Cañada Flintridge indicate the state has a "take no prisoners" approach when dealing with communities they believe are skirting state housing laws.

“Since California strengthened its housing laws, cities have attempted, unsuccessfully, to skirt these rules,” Newsom said. “La Cañada Flintridge is another community making excuses rather than building their fair share of housing. La Cañada Flintridge will learn, as other communities have, that the status quo is no longer acceptable, and ultimately, they will be held accountable.”

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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

I wonder if their city also blew the opportunity to purchase the property when it was on the market; then tried to undo their decision to deny the project, but chickened out; and then awarded an open-ended 'blank check' contract to a law firm to help get them out of this mess?

Inquiring taxpayers want to know.

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