City of Pleasanton
City of Pleasanton EIR
State Housing Element Law (Government Code Chapter 1143, Article 10.6, §§ 65580 and 65589) dictates that each city and county in California evaluate local housing needs. As part of the Housing Element (HE), entities are required to prepare a realistic set of policies and programs to fulfill those needs in conjunction with the local government’s long-range General Plan. Jurisdictions within the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) region completed HE updates for the 2023–2031 planning period.
The City of Pleasanton partnered with FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS) to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for their 2023-2031 (6th) Cycle Housing Element Update. Based on a preliminary evaluation of the capacity of existing sites zoned for residential development, the City acknowledged a need to identify additional locations for future rezoning to allow for residential use, including sites suitable for both lower-income and market-rate housing to address the shortfall between the RHNA and the existing capacity. The HE Update also includes several programs intended to improve the quality of the housing inventory, conserve existing neighborhoods, increase housing affordability, and remove potential governmental and non-governmental housing constraints for lower-income households and persons with special needs.
In consultation with FCS, the City determined a Programmatic EIR was the best option to effectively analyze potential impacts, mitigation measures, and alternatives to anticipated land use and zoning changes in a comprehensive manner. The use of a Programmatic EIR can simplify or eliminate the need for later environmental review, as anticipated in CEQA Guidelines Section 15168. A Programmatic EIR allows for a broad analysis of “the whole of the action,” which is required under CEQA Statute Section 21065, but does not require the review of project-specific details where they are unavailable; thereby avoiding piecemealing or segmenting.
FCS provided an expedited review of and efficiently responded to public comments, which ensured the City met California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) requirements for HE approval by Jan. 31, 2023. In a six-hour public hearing, the City approved the HE Update and certified the Programmatic EIR on Jan. 26, 2023. The City then submitted its adopted HE to HCD for review and has incorporated minor revisions, which were resubmitted to HCD on March 30, 2023.
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