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Association of Bay Area Governments formally denies nearly all regional housing needs allocation appeals

By Daniel Maroon, Alexander Merritt, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP blog, November 18, 2021

“On Friday, November 12, 2021, the Association of Bay Area Government’s (ABAG’s) Administrative Committee formally denied 27 out of 28 appeals of draft housing allocations filed by local jurisdictions within the Bay Area region. In approving final written denials for nearly all appeals filed by cities and counties within the Bay Area, the Committee signaled strong confidence in the draft Regional Housing Needs Allocation (“RHNA”) Plan prepared by ABAG’s Housing Methodology Committee and approved in May. Local jurisdictions in the Bay Area must now incorporate the Plan’s housing allocations into their Housing Elements.

“Bay Area jurisdictions appealed their allocations for a wide range of reasons. Among the most common arguments were that ABAG failed to adequately consider the availability of land suitable for urban development or conversion to residential use and that ABAG’s methodology failed to exclude future development on lands within various natural disaster hazard zones.

“The sole partially successful appeal was that filed by Contra Costa County, which argued that ABAG improperly included an area annexed to the City of Pittsburg in 2018 as part of unincorporated Contra Costa County in the Plan Bay Area 2050 Blueprint.

“The ABAG Executive Board will meet on December 16, 2021 to consider and adopt the Final RHNA Plan. Once that occurs, local jurisdictions must turn to updating their Housing Elements to incorporate their RHNA allocations.”

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