The City of Escondido envisions itself as a sustainable community through various environmental, economic, health, and social equity initiatives. And the ability to increase housing production and preservation is a key factor to a sustainable future. Housing is a central component of livability and the need for people of various incomes and physical ability to find safe, decent, and attainable housing.
The City was recently awarded grant funding to develop three different hosing studies and plans: a Housing Element Update, a Sector Feasibility Study, and an East Valley Specific Plan. These three housing studies and plans will be linked together, through a common work program theme, called the “Housing and Community Investment Study.”
Components of the Housing and Community Investment Study:
The Housing and Community Investment Study identifies the City’s housing needs and establishes clear goals and objectives to inform future housing decisions. This important effort will guide Escondido’s future housing policy creation and implementation. It will address things like how best to increase or accommodate affordability, substandard housing rehabilitation, existing demand for new housing, eliminating housing development constraints, and fair housing.
The Housing Element Update identifies:
- Policies for new housing construction, rehabilitation and conservation of the existing affordable housing stock.
- The current Housing Element sets a number of ambitious goals to increase housing production and preservation, ensure neighborhood livability, prevent discrimination, and end homelessness. This foundation has allowed Escondido to advance a progressive set of programs and initiatives to develop and preserve both market-rate and affordable housing. This update presents an opportunity to build on that foundation as we continue to address the housing crisis.
The Sector Feasibility Study identifies:
- Information and assess if, and to what degree, housing development is financially/economically feasible under rising construction, land, and regulatory costs.
East Valley Specific Plan identifies:
- A comprehensive planning and zoning scheme for an area just east of the former, downtown hospital campus.
- Opportunity sites ready for development. The area map shows the location of potential re-visioning.
- New ways to accommodate streamlined housing with community-supported solutions.
A goal of the Housing and Community Investment Study is to ensure that the future housing accommodation strategies embrace the distinct identity and character of Escondido where one can live their entire life with housing for all ages, incomes and abilities. For that purpose, a Public Participation Plan was developed to help street outreach engagement activities. During the course of the Study, the City will work with development experts, community-based interest groups, stakeholders, and the community at large to achieve the best plan possible through engagement tools including meetings, community workshops, and online engagement. The City is currently initiating the second phase of outreach, which will occur during the fall 2020. Information about the first phase and second phase of outreach is available and provided on this webpage below.
The work program schedule anticipates completion by summer 2021. Since the Study will allow the various plans/studies to be reviewed by the public and considered by the Planning Commission and City Council in a timely manner, the please utilize this website as a source of the latest information. It will be updated as needed to make sure that the public has access to all of the information. Please check back soon, and frequently, to provide input on new housing policies and programs to address the issues most important to Escondido.
Project Material and Information:
First Phase of Outreach:
Escondido is dedicated to creating a sustainable and livable community for all. To achieve this, the City of Escondido is preparing a city-wide housing plan, called a “Housing Element.” The City is exploring a strategy to develop more housing in important areas to meet state housing requirements and to meet our own goals for maintaining community character and strong neighborhoods. The East Valley is one of those target areas. The first phase of outreach of the Housing Investment Community Study is focused on developing background information and feedback on overarching housing issues and concerns. We ask for your input on the future of housing in Escondido and we will talk about key opportunities and constraints for East Valley.
Second Phase of Outreach:
With most of the first phase of outreach complete, the City is moving into the second phase to collect input on where new housing should go in the East Valley Specific Plan area. The City is exploring different strategies to develop more housing to meet state housing requirements and to meet our own goals for maintaining community identity. Public feedback in the second phase of outreach will be utilized to determine the locations and densities of new housing options.
With most of the vision and plan development underway/complete, the next phase of the project involves assessing how the project might impact the environment. On February 11, 2021, the City released a Notice of Preparation to advertise the forthcoming work and to solicit feedback on the scope of the environmental study.