The City of Santa Rosa is undertaking a State grant-funded initiative to facilitate the production of housing throughout the City. The initiative, called House Santa Rosa (House SR), will help community members and developers understand how parcels throughout the City can be developed. Additionally, House Santa Rosa will create greater transparency regarding housing projects that are proposed and approved, while it implements efficiencies related to required annual reporting. Finally, House SR will simplify analysis of the effectiveness of housing policies by providing a user-friendly platform that displays where development is happening throughout the City.
Staff have identified three initial components to achieve these goals:
- Creation of an online feasibility tool for development, land improvements
This online, interactive tool will display parcel-specific zoning regulations and development incentives that affect how that parcel can be developed. The goal is for residents and commercial developers to view a parcel and quickly gauge and understand a project's or development's feasibility prior to reaching out to staff.
- Development of a real-time housing dashboard
This dashboard will focus on the current status of housing in the City including, but not limited to, the number of housing units by proposed based on income levels among many others. When completed, this dashboard will also allow filtering of data by specific attributes, such as Council district, percent affordability, usage of density bonus, and so forth. It will also summarize the City’s provision of special needs housing (farmworker housing, senior housing, transitional/supportive housing, etc.).
- Data collection and reporting improvements to current permitting system
In conjunction with the two stated components above, the City will refine its internal systems to accurately capture housing data. The City uses a system that requires greater refinement in order to quickly and effectively provide figures used for state and federal grants, reporting requirements, among others. This internal system will be refined with a renewed focus on incorporating the two stated goals above to achieve greater data consistency and accuracy across all permits associated with a single housing project.
Once completed, House SR will reduce the burden on staff and prospective developers by providing parcel-specific regulations and incentives in a user-friendly format; streamline the efforts associated with state-required annual reporting and the analysis of the effectiveness of City housing policy; and facilitate greater public participation in the planning/development process by providing community members with the real-time, updated statuses of housing developments.
Funding for this initiative is provided by a Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) grant from the State of California, which provided $500,000 that must be allocated by September 2023.
The project commenced in August 2022 and its first iteration is expected to be completed by September 2023.