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 CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 21

Meeting Date: November 26, 2002

Subject/Title: Status Report on the Residential Growth Management Plan (RGMP) and 
Request for Time Extension for the Northwest Exemption Area. 

Submitted by: Community Development (M. Oshinsky/M.Leana)

Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager


RECOMMENDATION 
Pass a resolution extending the time period for which projects in the Northwest area are exempt from the RGMP to July 6, 2003, with a special exemption for the Rose Garden project that will last until January 6, 2004. 

PREVIOUS ACTION
Council passed Resolution 2326 on July 6, 2001 adopting the RGMP with an 18-month exemption for properties identified in the Northwest area. Unless modified by Council, that exemption expires on January 6, 2003. Council passed Resolution 2363 on September 18, 2001, eliminating the Planning Commission from formal Review of RGMP applications.

The RGMP/Housing Subcommittee reviewed the status of the RGMP program and the timing of infrastructure improvements in the northwest area and recommended that the exemption period for this area be extended to enable enough time for the projects on file to proceed through the planning process.

BACKGROUND
The RGMP was adopted in order to moderate the effects of rapid growth, and attempt to synchronize residential growth with infrastructure and municipal and public safety services. At the same time the Council recognized that, due to its proximity to the Highway 4 Bypass, the Northwest quadrant of the city was the key to job creation, increased retail sales taxes, improved economic benefits, and would provide the infrastructure needed to improve and protect the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens. Consequently, the Northwest area was given an 18-month exemption from the RGMP in order to allow enough time for property owners/developers to process their development plans through the planning process and enable their properties to be included in an assessment district so that bonds could be issued for the construction of the needed infrastructure in this area.

With the 18-month exemption time period set to expire in about six weeks, staff felt it was important to provide the Council with a status report on the progress of the RGMP, and determine if it desires to extend the exemption time period for this area of the city, or simply let it expire.

By examining the latest figures, the City Council's intent in adopting the RGMP is working; since its adoption in July, 2001, eleven projects in the Northwest exemption area, totaling 1587 units, have received discretionary approval. Another five projects also in the Northwest exemption area, totaling 1005 units, are currently being processed. The remainder of the residentially zoned land in the Northwest exemption area could generate another 744 units at mid-range build-out. Thus, the exemption provided to this area is working; it has stimulated the processing of nearly 2600 units in order to facilitate and pay for the needed infrastructure to spur commercial development in the Northwest area.

But in the remainder of the city, only four projects, totaling 325 units have received allocations since the adoption of the RGMP. As of today only one of those projects, totaling 53 units, has received discretionary approval. 

So the RGMP appears to be slowing the overall rate of future growth within the City, but the exemption for the Northwest area is stimulating the growth in that area which the Council desired. 

In discussions with the Engineering Department staff it was felt that the additional 1005 units within the Northwest exemption area that are currently being processed need to be included as part of the assessment district/bond sales. Consequently, staff is recommending that the exemption for the previously identified Northwest area be extended for an additional six months, until July 6, 2003, to enable these projects to get the necessary discretionary planning approvals.

Additionally, staff is recommending that the Pulte Rose Garden project be given a 1-year exemption, expiring on January 6, 2004, to enable this project to be resubmitted and proceed through the planning and environmental review process. This project, previously approved by the City, was shown to be paying more than its share of infrastructure costs, but due to outside factors must start over. Pulte Homes is willing to have the city rescind its prior approvals (design review and subdivision approval for 496 units) but doesn't want to get caught up in the RGMP process for which they were initially exempt. Because this project was previously approved by the City, and was felt to be a well designed project by both the Planning Commission and City Council, staff feels an additional exemption for a 1-year time period from the RGMP is justified for it. If the Council concurs, staff would return at the next available Planning Commission meeting with a request to rescind its action on the Rose Garden tentative subdivision map and design review. Pulte Homes would start over from the beginning on this particular project, except that it would be exempt from the RGMP if a complete tentative subdivision map and design review application is submitted prior to January 6, 2004. 

FISCAL IMPACT
If the northwest exemptions were not extended, with fewer lots in the assessment districts, the assessment per lot would be more and/or the amount of infrastructure improvements might have to be scaled back delaying the necessary improvements for economic development in this area of the city.


Attachments
Map of residential projects in the Northwest RGMP exemption area
Resolution 








RESOLUTION NO.

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2363 BY APPROVING AN EXTENSION OF TIME FOR THE EXEMPTION TO THE RESIDENTIAL GROWTH MANAGEMENT PROGRAM FOR PROPERTIES IN THE NORTHWEST AREA OF THE CITY AS PREVIOUSLY DEFINED.

WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Brentwood previously passed Resolution No. 2326, adopting a residential growth management program (RGMP), in order to moderate the effects of growth and synchronize residential growth with the necessary infrastructure and municipal public safety services; and 

WHEREAS, in recognizing the importance of the Northwest area as the key to major job creation, retail sales tax benefits, and major infrastructure improvements that would benefit the entire community, this area was given an 18-month exemption from the RGMP; and

WHEREAS, during this exemption period the City has processed and approved eleven projects, totaling 1,587 dwelling units, in the Northwest area; and 

WHEREAS, the city is currently processing an additional five projects, totaling 1005 dwelling units, in the Northwest area which will not have completed the planning process prior to the expiration of the 18-month exemption period on January 6, 2003; and

WHEREAS, infrastructure improvements in the Northwest area have begun and additional dwelling units are needed to be included in assessment districts currently being drawn up so that bonds are sold to insure the completion of the needed infrastructure in the Northwest area; and

WHEREAS, without the continuation of the exemption in the Northwest area the application of the RGMP would conflict with and hinder the provision of the necessary infrastructure in this area; and 

WHEREAS, Pulte Homes' Rose Garden project was previously approved by the City, and due to factors beyond its control is forced to start the planning process over; and 

WHEREAS, the continuation of this exemption does not constitute a project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood, hereby finds and determines as follows: 

Section 1. The foregoing recitals and staff report statements are found and determined to be true and correct.

Section 2. The City council adopts the Revised RGMP Exemptions as indicated below: (revisions are reflected by strike-out and italics)

Exemptions:

The following are exempt from the Allocation Process, and will not be subtracted from the total dwelling unit allocation available, unless otherwise indicated:

1. Affordable housing units. 
2. Projects that have an approved Tentative or Final Map, Building Permit or other City entitlement, development agreement, are in the Garin Ranch Specific Plan area south of Chestnut Street, or have an application which has been deemed complete by the City, prior to the date of adoption of the RGMP. 
3. Replacement housing on a one for one basis (i.e., one unit replaced for each legally existing unit destroyed or demolished) or modifications to existing properties that do not increase the number of dwelling units. These units will NOT be deducted from the annual Allocation Schedule because no new units are being created. 
4. Residential care facilities with units that are non-self-sufficient units; that is, they do not include kitchen facilities (if a project includes both self-sufficient and non-self-sufficient units, only the latter are exempt. Non-self-sufficient residential care units will NOT be deducted from the Annual Allocation Schedule because they are similar to a convalescent home and are not considered to be a dwelling unit). 
5. If a residential development receives an Annual Allocation and all other City entitlements to develop, and that development, pursuant to California Government Code Section 65915 is subject to the State mandate that the City provide the developer a density bonus, the bonus units over and above the permitted mid-range density will NOT be deducted from the Annual Allocation Schedule. 
6. Projects in the Northwest area, as shown in the map attached to this RGMP, and subject to approval of a tentative map within 18 months of adoption of this RGMP by July 6, 2003. 
7. The Pulte Homes’ Rose Garden project, subject to approval of a tentative map by January 6, 2004.

PASSED AND ACCEPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at its regular meeting of November 26, 2002 by the following vote:


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