Avenue 6E Investments, LLC v. City of Yuma, 2016 WL 1169080 (9th Cir.), involved the denial of a rezoning, notwithstanding the recommendation of approval by both the professional planning staff and the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission. Plaintiff developers brought these proceedings under both the Equal Protection Clause and the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), alleging the denial was both intentional and also disproportionally deprived Hispanic residents of housing opportunities and perpetuated segregation. The subject denial was the first in three years and 76 rezoning applications.
On April 14, the Oregon House voted to approve House Bill 2564, which would remove the preemption on local government adoption of inclusionary zoning as a tool to advance affordable housing. Oregon and Texas are the only states that currently maintain such a prohibition and most other states allow this issue to be resolved at the local level. If the ban were lifted, local governments could require that some percentage of units in a development be sold as affordable units to low income buyers as part of any new housing development. No more than 30 percent of the housing units created by a new project could be offered at below-market rates, and local government must provide builders with one or more additional incentives such as additional density, waiver of permit fees or expedited permit review to do so.
There are some who argue that repealing of the ban on inclusionary zoning is somehow incompatible with our State planning system. Nothing could be further from the truth. Goal 10 (Housing) requires that:
Buildable lands for residential use shall be inventoried and plans shall encourage the availability of adequate numbers of needed housing units at price ranges and rent levels which are commensurate with the financial capabilities of Oregon households and allow for flexibility of housing location, type and density.
To assure that this objective is realized, the legislature has imposed an obligation on most local governments to plan and provide for “needed housing,” namely housing types:
* * * determined to meet the need shown for housing within an urban growth boundary at particular price ranges and rent levels…
Needed housing includes attached and detached single-family housing and multiple family housing for both owner and renter occupancy; government assisted housing; mobile home or manufactured dwelling parks; manufactured homes on individual lots planned and zoned for single-family residential use that are in addition to lots within designated manufactured dwelling subdivisions; and housing for farmworkers.
We regularly update clients about changes in real estate law and on industry trends. This includes briefing clients on legislative proposals in the federal tax, housing and other legal areas affecting their businesses. Staying current enables you to anticipate and prevent legal problems as well as capitalize on new developments.