2019 Housing Element - Implementation


The Humboldt County Planning Commission reviewed the ADU ordinance and related amendments in a series of five public hearings, beginning in May and through July of 2020.  At its July 23, 2020 meeting, a virtual meeting, the Commission recommended the following Drafts to the Board of Supervisors for adoption. 

The ordinances are tentatively scheduled to be reviewed by the Board of Supervisors at a public hearing on Tuesday, September 1 beginning at 9 am, as noted in the schedule below.


Or email comments to longerangeplanning@co.humboldt.ca.us
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
9:00 a.m., or as soon as possible thereafter

Virtual Board of Supervisors Meeting
Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on
Draft Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance


From the County's Calendar, here, click on the Agenda link at the right next to the Board Meeting for the desired date. The Agenda contains the zoom link for the meeting, and call-in instructions for public comment. A video link is available to watch the meeting without interaction.

Past Public Hearing - Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance, July 9, 2020

The Humboldt County Planning Commission will continue its review of the ADU ordinance at its July 9, 2020 meeting, which will be a virtual meeting due procedural changes related to Covid-19. Below is a link to the Drafts to be discussed.

Previous Drafts

Also below are links to previous Draft Inland and Coastal ADU Ordinances discussed at the May 21, 2020 Planning Commission meeting. The text is identical to that in the previously published drafts, with the exception of the minor correction in the PC Supplemental (also below). However, the text in these drafts is highlighted as follows:

Light blue text emphasizes provisions of last year’s state legislation; and
Gold or brown highlight indicates major areas where the County may exercise discretion to implement regulation.

Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance - Past Planning Commission Public Hearing May 7, 2020

The Humboldt County Planning Commission began its review of the ADU ordinance at its May 7, 2020 meeting, which was a virtual meeting due to the Covid-19 Shelter in Place Order.  The previous Drafts of the Inland ADU and Coastal ADU Ordinances are available as below, along with related changes to the Alternative Owner Builder (AOB) Regulations, and Building Code for Tiny Houses. Click the links to view or download.

PC Draft INLAND ADU ORD_May 7 2020

PC Draft COASTAL ADU ORD_May 7 2020

ADU Modifications to AOB Regulations

Appendix Q Tiny House Building Code

State Accessory Dwelling Unit Law Currently In Effect

Until such time as the proposed ordinance is approved and adopted by the Board of Supervisors, California’s state ADU law applies. Below are four checklists that summarize current ADU law, in PDF form. 

State ADU Law effective Jan. 1, 2020

Opportunities for Public Comment

Email your comments to longrangeplanning@co.humboldt.ca.us
Thursday, May 7, 2020, 6:00 PM or as soon as possible thereafter Virtual Public Hearing - see Humboldt County Website for details
Planning Commission Public hearing - Draft ADU Ordinance

Implementation 2020 - Upcoming Projects

Welcome to Humboldt County’s Housing Element Update page. It is intended to inform people, and invite community input about current and future housing in the unincorporated parts of the county.

Thank you to everyone who has participated and provided input to the proposed Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance through workshops and comments. In the coming months more implementation measures will be brought forth for review and comment. Humboldt County Planning will post and notify the public about these projects as information and drafts become available. Please sign up for text or email alerts through our Notifyme webpage to keep up with what is coming. See "Get Notifications" below for the link.

Get Notifications

You can sign up for email or text notifications for Housing Element Implementation, including Ordinances, code updates and other topics on the County’s website at: Notify Me.

Once there, sign in with your email. Then select “General Plan Implementation” for ordinance workshops, meetings, and notices

You can also submit ideas and questions through our long range planning email, where we collect public comments: LongRangePlanning@co.humboldt.ca.us

Accessory Dwelling Unit Surveys

The ADU surveys are not available at this time, however email or written comments are always welcome. Later surveys will appear on this page as new implementation measures are discussed.  

Updated April 30, 2020

2019 Housing Element  - Adopted Aug. 20 2019

The Housing Element was adopted by the Board on August 20, 2019. On October 23, 2019 the Element was approved by California’s Dept. of Housing and Community Development (HCD) as being in full compliance with state Housing Element law. Read the HCD compliance certification at this link.

The files below make up the final Housing Element that was adopted at the August 20, 2019 Board of Supervisors hearing. It includes public input, revisions requested by the Planning Commission, by Dept. of Housing and Community Development (HCD), and by Legal Services of Northern California. The Element was adopted with minor revisions.

Earlier versions of the Housing Element can be found under the Draft Policies tab below.

What is the HCD Review status?

The final Housing Element was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on August 20, 2019. The final text has been sent to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for review and certification. The results of the HCD review will be posted here when received. HCD reviewed and approved an earlier draft on August 2, 2019. Click here to view it.

What is the Update Schedule?

Because California requires that Housing Elements be certified for compliance by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), the County’s process will has followed this schedule.

Planning Activity

Topics of interest, policies and implementation measures on the webEnd January 2019
Public WorkshopsLate February to end of April 2019
Planning Commission HearingsMay and June 2019
Board of Supervisors hearingsAugust 20 & 27 2019
Submittal to HCD for certificationAugust 2019
HCD Timeline

Public Notices

  •  See upcoming notices here.

Community input on the DRAFT 2019 Housing Element Policy and Program Report was the focus of the community workshops held in April 2019.

For earlier drafts and notices about the Housing Element see the Draft Polices tab below.

Remind Me, What is the Housing Element?

The state requires cities and counties to have Housing Elements as part of their general plans. The Housing Element identifies existing and projected housing needs and establishes goals, policies, standards and implementation measures for the preservation, improvement, and development of housing in the unincorporated areas of the county. Humboldt County’s Housing Element was last updated in 2014. The planning horizon for this Element extends to 2027; it must be updated by August 30, 2019 per state requirements.

  1. HE Meeting Schedule
  2. Workshops & Public Input
  3. Draft Policies
  4. Background & Demographics
  5. Archive


A series of events are planned to get input on issues of concern, policies, and implementation measures related to housing in unincorporated Humboldt County.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
6-7:30 PM
Ag Center
5630 South Broadway, Eureka
2nd Community Workshop
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
6 PM
Azalea Conference Center
2275 Central Ave, McKinleyvlle
2nd Community Workshop
Thursday, April 25, 2019
6-7:30 PM
Redway Elementary
344 Humboldt Ave., Redway
2nd Community Workshop
Monday, April 29, 2019
6-7:30 PM
Willow Creek CSD Office
135 Willow Rd, Willow Creek
2nd Community Workshop
Thursday, May 2, 2019
6 PM
Eureka Courthouse
825 5th St, Eureka
Planning Commission Housing Element Workshop
Thursday, May 16, 2019
6 PM
Eureka Courthouse
825 5th St, Eureka
Planning Commission Housing Element Hearing
Thursday,July 11, 2019
6 PM
Eureka Courthouse
825 5th St, Eureka
2nd Planning Commission Housing Element Hearing
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
9 AM
Eureka Courthouse
825 5th St, Eureka
Board of Supervisors Hearing
Table of Scheduled Events

Topics Related to Housing

As part of Implementation, we are asking the public to consider several topics related to housing. Some may result in proposed ordinances or amendments. Some changes are mandated by state law, and some spring from recognized housing needs. All are open to public discussion and comment.

(a)New allowances for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs);
(b)New allowances for Tiny Houses;
(c)Facilitate and fund development of Emergency Shelters on parcels previously zoned for them;
(d)Facilitate and fund transitional and supportive housing; and
(e)Allowances for more Farm Employee Housing.
Topics Related to Housing

Broad public participation at all levels of the decision making process, including education, study, workshops, hearings, and plan revisions has been a major policy of Humboldt County since 1984 (1984 Framework Plan, Section 1231.4). Public participation continues to be a foundation of County government, as recognized in the 2017 General Plan (Section 2.8):

"The most successful land use planning process will provide for the education of the public. Knowledge of the process allows citizens to have meaningful access to the decision makers, evaluate alternative proposals, and make specific recommendations on hearing draft land use proposals."

How Can You Participate?

You are invited to help us update the Housing Element in several ways:

  • Sign up for notifications
  • Attend workshop(s)
  • Take our surveys
  • Submit written comments
  • Attend Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors hearings


You can sign up for email or text notifications for the Housing Element update and other topics on the County’s website at: Notify Me

Select “General Plan Implementation” for Housing Element workshops, meetings, and notices.


As work on the Element progresses, interactive surveys and tools for public comment on specific topics will be incorporated into this and other websites. To receive notifications as surveys become available, sign up at Notify Me. Select "General Plan Implementation".

Written Comments

Please send written communications to: longrangeplanning@co.humboldt.ca.us

All comments will be part of public record.

Contact Person for Housing Element

Michelle Nielsen, email: MNielsen@co.humboldt.ca.us