Court Finds Clovis’ “Voodoo Zoning” Does Not Comply With State Law.

Petitioners Desiree Martinez and Maria de Jesus Sanchez, represented by PILP and Central California Legal Services, sued the City of Clovis to force the City’s Housing Element to comply with state law. On April 30, 2021, the Fresno County Superior Court granted Petitioners’ request for writ of mandate, ordering the City of Clovis, an affluent suburb in Fresno County to zone for over 4,000 units of multi-family housing. Despite state law to the contrary, and a very significant need for affordable housing, Clovis refused to zone sites to accommodate multi-family development for well over a decade. Eventually the City’s lack of action resulted in the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) revoking its findings of compliance regarding the City’s 2015-2023 Housing Element. The City then scrambled to come up with a solution to provide capacity for high-density housing and adopted an overlay that allowed multi-family housing on single-family zoned sites. Despite statements by the City Council that this overlay was “voodoo zoning” and wouldn’t result in any multi-family housing, HCD found the overlay brought the City back into compliance with state law. In fact, the Overlay did not provide the minimum densities required by law on sites rezoned to accommodate the Regional Housing Need Allocation and Petitioners were able to overcome HCD’s presumption of validity. The City has 120 days to complete the rezoning.

Read the Order Here.

Fresno Bee, “Big win for those who want low-income housing in Clovis after judge rules city in violation,” May 7, 2021

Originally published by The Public Interest Law Project: Source

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