Thursday, November 8, 2007

Ojai Must Balance Affordable Housing Issue

Needs pitted against slow growth management

By Nao Braverman
Ojai’s housing element calls to balance two pressing issues which have raised the ire of local residents of over the years: slow growth and the need for affordable housing. Though at odds with one another, the city needs to address both. According to the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, Ventura County must allow for 28,481 units to be built by 2014, with 433 of those being built in Ojai.
That number does not exactly coincide with Ojai’s Slow Growth Management Plan which allows for 16 new housing units a year. But the city is required to answer to the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and the growing population must be considered. City staff has already met twice with a task force comprised of planning commissioners and representatives from local non-profit housing agencies to come up with a program to accommodate the state’s housing requirements and meet Ojai’s housing needs.
The 433 units don’t actually need to be built by the city, explains city manager Jere Kersnar. That is the job of the developers. The city does, however, have to make room for such development.
With six new units built already, the 433 unit requirement has decreased to 427. With the help of planning consultant Tom Figg, city staff determined that corresponding to Ojai’s population, 254 of the 427 total need to be affordable for very low, low, and moderate income residents.
Prices for affordable housing are determined to cost the resident about 30 percent of their income. That means an affordable two-bedroom rental is $900 a month for very-low income residents, $1,080 for low income residents and $1,970 for moderate income residents. Affordable two-bedroom homes for sale are $87,300 for very-low income, $133,800 for low income residents and $260,300 for moderate income residents.
With Ojai’s growing elderly population, 50 of those units will be for seniors, and could be built in a location zoned for other use with a zone change, approved by the City Council. Under Figg’s consultation, city staff concluded that 13 new units could be constructed in the current area zoned for Village Mixed Use, seven new units could be added to existing homes, and 15 new unit credits could be obtained through affordable housing covenants, making existing units contractually affordable.
The latter, though not exactly new constructions, are still credited as new units by the Housing and Community Development Department, because of their contractual affordability.
Figg calculated that 138 units are expected to be built by the market. That leaves 204 units that the city needs to make room for.
How city staff will do that is still being discussed among staff and task force members.
Task force members were generally in agreement with Figg’s report, except for local resident Rod Greene who said he thought that the city should reject the state mandate because so many homes are not suitable to Ojai’s character and environment.
City staff members are currently considering a special housing overlay which would either change areas zoned for other uses to strictly housing, or give the property owner the option of developing housing on their property. Though the latter is a friendlier approach it is, of course, uncertain to result in new housing, said Kersnar.
At the next housing element meeting on Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m., city staff will finalize a housing program to recommend to the Planning Commission at their Nov. 28 meeting. If approved by the commission it will go to the City Council for adoption on Dec. 11.


James Hatch said...

When I talk about more homes, I mean the ones the aren't subsidized by our welfare state. Enough is enough. The only reason we are supplying these homes is because are City Council doesn't have the spine to say "Go force your socialist agenda on some other liberals". Stand up Ojai, and fight the nationwide problem of overcrowding because of porous borders.

Affordable housing is created by less demand. The demand is coming from those other than lifelong locals, be it the rich yahoo from L.A. or illegal immigration.

We need more houses but not the kind that are built to encourage breaking the law!

jim hatch fan club said...

james, work on sounding less like a boob. it'll help your cause in the long run.....

James Hatch said...

James Hatch needs no fan club. He is not like Hillary Clinton who relies on opinion polls before forming her own.

I rely on what's best for America. And what's best for America can be found in my blogs throughout the ovnblog.

The only boob is the one that relies on the government's teet for its financial support.

Anonymous said...

When I talk about more homes...

And you are, and we should care, because?

j. hatch = anti-christ fan club said...

i repeat. work on sounding less like a boob...

James Hatch said...

I sense a mutiny in my fan club. That is o.k. The true leader stays firm when the going gets tough. He does not waiver in the wind.

By way of introduction, I am also known in these cyberparts as The Demo Man and The Vigilante. The mask is off. . .

You should care about my opinion because I will be the next mayor of Ojai. Consider this my pledge to you, fellow Ojains, to do the best I can for a town I have always called home. I feel the dying heartbeat of a once thriving town whose arteries are clogged with the plaque of festering trust funderers and talentless artists who are no good know it alls.

I hereby am announcing my candidacy for city council. That is why you should care what I have to say.

Ojai needs a true leader, a homegrown leader, a man of the people, for the people. What I say is what I mean. There is no equivocating my statements of fact.

Left wingers and soft liberals beware, 'cause there's a new sheriff in town... His name's James Hatch, and you won't forget it.

(My name is James Hatch and I endorse this message...James Hatch for Mayor Campaign 2008)

Anonymous said...

James: you should really announce your candidacy at

Really. Tell them all exactly what you think, and in great detail.

Anonymous said...

A person has to serve on the City Council for 4 years before they can become the Mayor. They also have to live within the city limits.

Perhaps you, as a lifelong resident, should know a bit more about how local government works.

Lenny Roberts said...

Mr. Hatch
Please call my office Monday to arrange a story about your candidacy for Ojai City Council. Thank you.

Lenny Roberts
Managing Editor
646-1476 Ext. 232

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that'll happen.

James Hatch said...

Dear Lenny,

I appreciate your interest in my candidacy and can't say that I blame you for wanting first dibs on the breaking news.

When I talk about freedom, I mean real freedom. The kind that doesn't grow on trees. The kind that veterans have spilled blood to preserve.

It's a shame you don't observe Veterans Day, and because of that, I'd quite frankly rather not associate with you, as my many supporters might find this to be unpatriotic.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame you don't observe Veterans Day, and because of that, I'd quite frankly rather not associate with you, as my many supporters might find this to be unpatriotic.

In my opinion, you're so full of it that you shouldn't be running for Mayor -- you should be running for President! Based on what we've seen in the last 7 years, I think that your lies, bias, bigotry, storytelling, multiple personalities, and general unfamilarity with reality qualify you for the job.

James Hatch said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for your kind words of support, although my humility often leads me to strive for less than I might be capable...City council is a fine place to start.

I was puzzled by your accusations regarding lies and so forth. Are these now prerequisites for leader of the free world?

Anthony Clifton said...

It's about time we've had a leader like James Hatch willing to take a stand for our community.

Ojai needs more people like James Hatch.

Last night, for example, I was gassing up my F150 when some random typical Ojaian stumbled through the parking lot cursing me and others that we "needed to get Toyota's" and "show some F*** love for the ozone."

That's the type of crazy liberal talk that James Hatch will help rid from Ojai.

I'm with you, James.

Anonymous said...

Why does all of this sound like the rant of a man who has photographed too much architecture?

James Hatch said...

Dear Anonymous,

Who are you referencing? James Hatch needs no psuedonym.

Anonymous said...

Who are you referencing? James Hatch needs no psuedonym.

James Hatch does, however, need spell check. (And a few other things I won't mention here.)

James Hatch said...

Dear Anonymous,
If you were trying trying to insult my intelligence, so did Einstein. But we wouldn't really know because you won't mention it here.

The attack of the person is the always the fall back of those without logic.

Anonymous said...

The attack of the person is the always the fall back of those without logic.

Then you must be pretty short on logic, because most of what you say, in any of your various guises, amounts to an attack on someone or another.

Posting as 3 or 4 different people is just as anonymous as posting anonymously, and referring to yourself in the 3rd person is usually a pretty good sign that you have some serious issues.

You and your sock puppets can play here all you want, but you're just turning this into a 3rd rate MySpace blog. Pretty soon, you'll have the place all to yourself.

Adios, "James".

Anonymous said...

What's Myspace?

Anonymous said...

I have it on good authority that James Hatch is actually a pseudonym used by Dennis Leary (aka “spaz zapper” and/or “penguin boy”)in his effort to gain political advantage.

ask him his stand on ojai frostie and the 150 bridge???

Anonymous said...

Is Dennis Leary the leftwinger that ran for city council? Sure doesn't sound like the Great James Hatch to me...

Another J.H. Supporter

Anonymous said...

Dennis Leary is a comedian. He was on SNL and MNF.

I am not Dennis Leary.

James Hatch stands for the difference between right and wrong.

James Hatch is endorsed by over three hundred organizations.

Jamea Hatch is running for mayor from prison.

James Hatch knows the streets are tough.

Anonymous said...

James Hatch is a waste of bandwidth, but hey; that's what most blogs are all about, or so it would seem.

If we had to pay to do comment here, this place would 1) be full of advertising; 2) be completely silent and without any input at all, or 3) be the realm of none but political gas-bags with money to burn and their sycophants.

james hatch for mayor said...

now that were talking wasted bandwidth.... james, if elected, will you put an end to blog-trolls like this one:

James Hatch said...

I am disappointed to see a quote attributed to "james hatch for mayor." This was not endorsed by me or anyone in my camp.