City Council, Planning Commission Marathon Meeting Scheduled to Continue June 28

The joint meeting between the City Council and the Planning Commission on June 23, 2021 ran for more than seven hours, heard almost two hundred comments from the community, and concluded by giving direction to staff on how to prepare for the next part of the agenda to carry over to Monday June 28 at 3 pm.

With only two agenda items; first a “discussion of single family zoning and exclusionary practices”  and second, “a discussion on R-1 zoning and land use maps.” Planning Commissioner Dana Sayles noted that the order should have been inverted. “Why are we not discussing single family zoning when the decision on proceeding …would be part of the next agenda item?” 

Mayor Alex Fisch accepted her point, but but continued on item A-1 as a discussion of “affordable overlay.” 

With the massive number of comments, speakers were held to one minute each. Through the evening, the majority of comments held to two points – no one was against affordable housing, most felt that the elimination of single family zoning was not the way to achieve that goal. More than a hundred of the comments were from local homeowners, many of whom cited their houses as ‘the American Dream’ and implored the council not to change the designated zoning. 

Long past midnight, when the council took their turn to discuss, city staff was directed to create a study of an affordable housing overlay on lots over 6,000 square feet, study the creation of a density bonus in the Transit Oriented District (areas contiguous to the Expo Station at Washington and National,) to seek permission for a waiver from the California regulation that prohibits cities from building “social” housing, and to make the permitting process more efficient so that housing could be built more quickly. 

The remainder of the agenda was remanded over to Monday, June 28 at 3 pm, to precede the regularly scheduled City Council meeting. 

To register to attend, go to, and click on Meetings and Agendas.

For the complete tape of the meeting, go to the video on this page. 

Judith Martin-Straw

The Actors' Gang

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