Multifamily Rezone Project

Overview

The 2022 Multifamily Rezone Project (“MRP”) is a Humboldt County initiative to up-zone qualifying properties to allow by-right multifamily development.  To be eligible, properties must be located in the unincorporated area of Humboldt County.  Property owner participation is on a strictly voluntary basis.  Similar to the County’s previous multifamily zoning initiatives, property owners are incentivized to volunteer their eligible properties by the County underwriting most, if not all, of the entitlement work, e.g., all Planning application fees, environmental evaluation for the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), etc.  In addition to the linked Resources, more information about the Multifamily Rezone Project can be found here: 

A key goal of the MRP is to increase the number of sites available and ready for multifamily development to address the chronic shortage of affordable rental and ownership housing available to community members.  The number of sites will be increased by up-zoning qualifying properties.  

Important eligibility factors for the two Multifamily Rezone Project up-zoning pathways are: 

  • Is property is located in a 2020 US Census designated Urban Cluster?
  • Is property is located within the Martin Slough Interceptor service area outside the City of Eureka?

To make it easier to find this information, we've updated the navigation guide (PDF).  

If you would like to volunteer your property to be up-zoned for by-right multifamily development as part of the Multifamily Rezone project, please complete our online application.  If you have questions, please contact Michael Richardson, Supervising Planner.

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Multifamily Rezone Project Resources

How will property be up-zoned?

There are two pathways for volunteered parcels to be up-zoned 1) Inclusion in the Lower Income Inventory of the County's Housing Element; and 2) Senate Bill 10 ("SB 10").  Both pathways are discussed further below.  Because of State law requirements for sites to be infill and to meet a minimum density, a key qualifying requirement is a parcel must have a public sewer and water connections to be eligible for up-zoning using either SB 10 or inclusion in the Lower Income inventory, in addition to being located in the unincorporated area of Humboldt County.

  1. Pathway 1: Inclusion in the Lower Income Inventory of the County’s Housing Element.  Unless the housing development is receiving public funding, the County cannot require or mandate unassisted housing units to be affordable.  These sites can be developed at a minimum density of 16 dwelling units per acre.  Please read our information bulletin if you want to know more about the Lower Income inventory qualifying criteria, and what you should expect if you volunteer your property and it is up-zoned for inclusion in the Lower Income inventory.  
  2. Pathway 2: SB 10 is a new streamlining rule for up-zoning urban infill parcels for multifamily development.  SB 10 allows qualifying parcels to be up-zoned to allow up to 10 housing units per parcel.  Please read our SB 10 information bulletin if you want to know more about SB 10’s qualifying criteria, and what you should expect if you volunteer your property and it is  up-zoned via SB 10. 

What are the benefits to participating in the Humboldt County's Multifamily Rezone Project?

If you choose to volunteer your property for the Multifamily Rezone Project, and it meets the qualifying criteria, some of the benefits of up-zoning your property are:

  • Low to zero cost: the County is underwriting the application fees, the environmental work, public workshops and meetings, and all staff work necessary to up-zone your property.  
  • Development of tiny house villages will be an option once the County completes its tiny house village regulations.
  • Because Planning is completing all of the pre-entitlement work, this means your property will be shovel-ready for multifamily development at the conclusion of the Multifamily Rezone Project.  
  • Public and private agencies that provide water or sewer services are required by State law to prioritize the allocation of water and sewer connections to housing projects that include units affordable to lower income households.
  • In 2022, the Planning Department will be advancing a building permit fee deferral/waiver ordinance to the Board of Supervisors.  The ordinance proposes County building permit fees be deferred, reduced or waived for multifamily projects containing units affordable to lower income households.
  • Building permit applications for multifamily projects receive priority and faster processing timelines.
  • If your property is located in the Coastal Zone, it will still be necessary to secure a Coastal Development Permit, but your application will prioritized and fast tracked.  

Contact

For more information on Humboldt County's 2022 Multifamily Rezone Project, please contact Michael Richardson, Supervising Planner, by using the email contact form or by phone at 707-445-7541.