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Belvedere consultants urge affordable-unit minimums, pro-housing program

After receiving more than 200 comments on Belvedere’s draft plan to accommodate 160 new housing units in the next eight years, consultants say the city should create new incentives for secondary units, consider a pro-housing designation to gain access to infrastructure-grant money, take another look at its recently completed development standards to preserve local controls and require at least 15 percent of new developments include affordable housing.


The recommendations from EMC Planning Group came during a Nov. 15 online special meeting of the city’s Planning Commission, which drew about a dozen callers to the last forum before public comment on the draft of Belvedere’s state-mandated 2023-2031 housing element closed Nov. 17.


At the meeting, residents who spoke mostly expressed concerns about displacement, water resources, traffic, disaster safety and solutions to an influx of market-rate development over affordable-housing goals.


The draft is now in its 10-day consideration and revision period, with consultants updating it to reflect the public comments and its own program recommendations for review in public hearings by the Planning Commission and City Council. The draft will then go to the California Department of Housing and Community Development for 90-day review.


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