ORINDA -- After months of public outcry and copious input from a community group during a lengthy redrafting process, Orinda officials are set to approve a document that shows how the city plans to fulfill state-mandated housing guidelines in the coming years.

Council members will meet Tuesday to formally adopt the city's "draft housing element," and an accompanying amendment to the city's general plan to allow for residential multifamily building densities greater than 10 units per acre on a "case-by-case basis" to satisfy state affordable housing guidelines. The city's general plan currently restricts density at 6 to 10 units per acre, but makes an exception for senior housing.

The council will also consider changing the zoning of a 3.2-acre parcel adjacent to Santa Maria Church on which housing could someday be developed. The city has proposed increasing housing density there to 20-25 units per acre to fulfill a requirement by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, which will certify the housing element following the city's adoption. An environmental study will also be considered.

Planning commissioners reviewed the document last month and are recommending city council approval. The city is slated to receive state transportation and planning funding if the housing element is certified.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Orinda library auditorium, 26 Orinda Way.


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