2019 Housing Element - Implementation


The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors deliberated and adopted the ADU ordinance and related amendments at its September 1, 2020 meeting, a virtual meeting. 

The Inland ADU Ordinance is effective October 1, 2020. The Coastal ADU Ordinance will become effective when certified by the Coastal Commission. Information on CC certification will be posted as it becomes available.


Or email comments to longerangeplanning@co.humboldt.ca.us

Virtual Board of Supervisors Meeting
Board of Supervisors Public Hearing


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.

Opportunities for Public Comment

Email your comments to longrangeplanning@co.humboldt.ca.us

Virtual Public Hearing - see Humboldt County Website for details

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. Meeting Schedule
  2. Draft Policies
  3. Background & Demographics
  4. Archived 2019 Housing Element
  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.

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