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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sonoma County Housing Element & AB 885

The Housing Element part of Sonoma County's General Plan needs to address how AB 885 impacts Affordable Housing that already exists along our Russian River communities.

The Board of Supervisors' Agendas are packed with interesting items. Many of them are in the Consent Calendar and/or the Closed Session. On Tuesday, January 13th, in addition to the morning Agenda, they discussed the Housing Element of the General Plan.

As a Planning Commissioner I sat on the Housing Ordinance several years ago, and more recently on the Draft 2009 Housing Element. One thing I hope will be maintained is the language I put in to allow/encourage the county to support existing affordable housing by being proactive regarding AB 885 (septic tanks rules for homes adjacent to the Russian River). I hope it will serve to help us all advocate for our "unofficial" affordable housing.

I made the point that if we loose housing that is functionally affordable (albeit not any the county is "credited" with) - it will result in more people who need housing that the county will have to supply elsewhere. The language does not spell out how this will be done (it can't do that yet) but allows advocates and the county to look for solutions and funding as part of the General Plan.

The language may not be perfect - please look for ways to improve it if you can. As you likely know, AB 885 was written to deal with a situation in Santa Barbara County and is creating huge problems here (and in other counties).

NOTE: from the Environmental Protection Agency (and on the heels of the Housing Element:

In case you folks haven't seen these items on septic tanks....

California Water News has a link to a California Farm Bureau article on the Septic Tank controls proposed by the CA SWRCB. The article seems to be a good summary.
Here is the link:

Note that the article has a link to the SWRCB site that is full of information,

There is a public workshop scheduled for Santa Rosa (Wells Fargo Center) on January 27 at 7 pm.

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