The Housing Element Update is a pivotal opportunity to address housing issues and plans for increasing housing production in the City of Visalia. Throughout the Update process, the City and its consultants (Housing Element Team), will work with the public and community stakeholders to evaluate housing issues, constraints, and opportunities and create policies and programs to ensure Visalia is positioned to meet its housing needs.
The success of this planning effort will depend on input from the community to fully identify the city’s needs and expectations for this update. There will be many opportunities to participate in this update process as the project progresses. This website will be your primary source for information related to the project, including project documents, scheduling, and upcoming meetings and community engagement opportunities.
Thank you for joining us on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, for the second workshop on the Housing Element. The virtual workshop was held to discuss vacant and underutilized sites with potential for housing development, as well as sites appropriate for affordable housing. The workshop included a presentation summarizing State requirements and current vacant residential sites in the city, followed by opportunities for public input.
On Wednesday, October 26, 2022, the City held the first workshop on the Housing & General Plan Updates. The virtual workshop included an introductory presentation, live poll, and an opportunity for the public to provide input on housing needs, issues, and opportunities in Visalia.
For those unable to attend the event, we have included video of the event and an online survey below.
Community Workshop #1 Video Recording | Click Here
The meeting starts at the 3 minute mark.
In addition to the Housing Element Update, the City will also be updating the Safety Element preparing a new Environmental Justice Element to align with the updated Housing Element.
In August 2022, the City of Visalia kicked off the update to the City's Housing Element.
On September 19, 2022, the Housing Element Team conducted its first study session with City Council and the Planning Commission.
The Housing Element Update for Visalia includes multiple phases, beginning with community engagement, updating the Housing Element, and drafting the necessary CEQA documentation.
Ongoing throughout the Project
There will be several opportunities throughout the Housing Element Update process for community members and stakeholders to provide input and feedback.
Currently in Progress
This lays the foundation for the Housing Element Update, including developing tools to be used throughout the update, meeting with the Planning Commission and City Council, creating a project schedule, and initiating the community engagement program.
Phase 1 Meetings and Engagement Opportunities:
September 2022 - January 2023
The Housing Element Team will review available resources including the current general plan and EIR, relevant specific plans, and various codes, standards, and policies maintained by the City's Community Development Department. A Sites Inventory will be developed that shows available sites for future housing development.
At this phase the Housing Element Team will also begin engaging community members and stakeholders to seek input on housing issues and economic, social, and geographic housing needs.
Phase 2 Meetings and Engagement Opportunities:
December 2022 - March 2023
The Housing Element Team will begin drafting the Administrative Review Draft of the 6th Cycle Housing Element that outlines the goals, policies, and programs to be included in the Update. The Draft will include an Existing Housing Needs Analysis, opportunities and constraints for housing, and address fair housing issues.
The draft will be sent to City staff for feedback.
Phase 3 Meetings and Engagement Opportunities:
April 2022 - May 2023
The Draft Housing Element Update will be released for public review. The public will be able to submit comments on the draft Housing Element Update for a 30-day comment period. The Housing Element Team will review and incorporate public comments into a revised Housing Element Update prior to taking it to the Planning Commission.
Phase 4 Meetings and Engagement Opportunities:
July 2023 - September 2023
The Housing Element Team will revise the Public Review Draft Housing Element Update based on direction from the Planning Commission and City Council and prepare the draft to be delivered to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for review.
HCD has 90 days to review the Draft Housing Element Update and provide comments to the Housing Element Team. The Housing Element Team will make any necessary changes to the Draft Housing Element Update and work closely with HCD to get conditional approval prior to the Planning Commission and City Council hearings.
Phase 5 Meetings and Engagement Opportunities:
There are no meetings or engagement opportunities during this phase.
November 2022 - August 2023
The Housing Element Team will update background information, associated maps, and regulatory context for the following topics: soil, seismic, and other geologic hazards; flood hazards; fire hazards; hazardous materials and waste; aircraft hazards; and emergency response. The Safety Element will also be updated to discuss how it aligns with other General Plan elements, including the updated Housing Element.
The Safety Element Update will include a Vulnerability Assessment and a Safety Element Policy Memorandum. The Draft Safety Element Update will be available for public review.
Phase 6 Meetings and Engagement Opportunities:
January 2023 - August 2023
The Housing Element Team will prepare an Administrative Draft and Public Review Draft of the new Environmental Justice Element. The Environmental Justice Element will include the goals, policies, and implementation programs in the following areas to promote healthy, diverse, and equitable communities: racial and social justice, environmental justice, and civic engagement in the public decision-making process.
The Draft Environmental Justice Element will be available for public review.
Phase 7 Meetings and Engagement Opportunities:
September 2023 - October 2023
The Housing Element Team will prepare the appropriate environmental documentation for the Housing Element Update in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This will be an Addendum to supplement the General Plan EIR with new or updated analysis as appropriate.
October 2023 - December 2023
The Housing Element Team will respond to HCD comments and incorporate those responses into the Public Hearing Draft Housing Element.
The Housing Element Team will also prepare Public Hearing Draft Safety and Environmental Justice Elements, and facilitate adoption of the Final Housing, Safety, and Environmental Justice Elements from the Planning Commission and City Council.
Once adopted, the Final Housing Element will be submitted to HCD for the final 60-day certification period.
Phase 9 Meetings and Engagement Opportunities:
Provide your email address to stay up to date on meetings and key milestones. The Housing Element Team will send out timely emails throughout the process regarding upcoming events, workshops, meetings, and project documents.
Click the orange "Join eMail List" tab on the right edge of the screen to sign up.
Brandon Smith, Principal Planner
City of Visalia Planning Department
315 E. Acequia Avenue
Visalia, CA 93291