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Santa Maria Votes on H-2A Housing Ordinance

April 23, 2019
workforce development
advisory
CSC Logo.jpg

Last Tuesday the Santa Maria City Council discussed two options for housing of employees in residential neighborhoods:

Option A - That employee housing of 7 or more are a Conditional Use and would require a discretionary Zoning Administrator hearing process in R-1 and R-2 zoned neighborhoods. This is a discretionary process and would require notification of neighbors within a 300-foot radius of the property, as required by state law. The Conditional Use Permit (CUP) would take a minimum of 3 months, potentially more as it is able to be appealed (at an unknown cost). It also includes a sunset of the R-1 housing use after 18 months.

Option B - That employee housing of 7-10 people per unit receive a ministerial permit (i.e., over the counter type permit) and housing for 11 or more employees would go through a Zoning Administrator CUP process as outlined on Option A. This would apply to both R-1 and R-2 zoned neighborhoods and there is no sunset.

There was strong representation from the agricultural community at the Council meeting and a lot of effort went into the process. CSC met with stakeholders and Council Members prior to the Council meeting. Our letter was on the record in support of Option B. CSC did not endorse notifications of neighbors and is concerned about potential hate crimes.

Two amendments were introduced by Council members before their vote. Ultimately, the Council voted for a Zoning Administrator CUP for homes in R-1 with 7 or more employees. Council also directed staff to return with language for displacement compensation should any existing tenants be displaced as a result of their home being purchased for employee housing. It was a 4-1 vote in favor of the motion. The first reading of the proposed language is expected to be read at the next City Council meeting.

For more information contact: Laura Brown at lbrown@calstrawberry.org.

Follow this link for more information: https://link.calstrawberry.com/smvh2aho

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