Defying State Housing Mandate, Chino Hills Nixes Caballero Ranch 22-Unit-Per-Acre Density

This week, Chino Hills took a further stride toward contesting the State of California’s usurpation of what has traditionally been local land use authority.
In what is widely seen, both positively and negatively, as a daring social experiment, the State of California has, through Government Code §65580, required each municipality in the state to assist in alleviating the homelessness crisis by complying with what the California Department of Housing and Community Development deems to be each city’s new housing responsibility. Under the so-called Regional Housing Need Allocation process, a determination is made of what number of dwelling units according to affordability type each community is to accommodate over an eight-year period. The expectation is that those cities will comply by granting developers clearance to build the specified number of houses over that time period.
In the case of Chino Hills, the state’s expectation was that the city welcome 3,720 more dwelling units from October 2021 to October 2029. Previously Chino Hills stood up to Sacramento, counter-proposing that instead of the 3,720 homes, it allow 1,797 units, a 52 percent reduction.
On Tuesday, the Chino Hills City Council ventured even further down the path of resisting having to surrender land use authority within its 44.75 square mile confines by complying with an outpouring of resident sentiment by discontinuing its contemplation of allowing the construction of up to 220 units on 10-acre Caballero Ranch, located at Peyton Drive and Eucalyptus Avenue. The city had tentatively opened the property to intensified development after another proposal for high density apartments/condominiums within Crossroads Marketplace fell through. Officials had included Caballero Ranch on a list of properties that is to be forwarded to the state as potential locations for high density development.
To the chagrin of Ed McCoy of Fairfield Residential LLC, the prospective developer of Caballero Ranch who was salivating with the anticipation of stacking 22 units per acre on the property, the city council removed the parcel from the list.

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