The Clovis City Council voted unanimously Monday night to appeal a court decision that found its state approved Housing Element is out of compliance with state law. The 5-0 vote followed a closed session of the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting.
“We disagree with the court’s decision, and after consulting with our City Attorney’s Office, we are confident that we have a strong case to have the decision overturned”, said Clovis Mayor Jose Flores.
The City of Clovis Housing Element allows for high density housing on multiple sites throughout the city. High density sites are required by the state to encourage the development of affordable housing. The City of Clovis has worked closely with the state which, after rigorous reviews, approved the city’s Housing Element as being consistent with state law, including recently enacted strict housing accountability laws.
The Petitioners in this case, Central California Legal Services (CCLS), participated in that state review process. Nevertheless, based on arguments by CCLS, the court chose to reject the state’s decision approving the city’s Housing Element, because the selected sites could also be developed with other, lower density housing. In the ruling, the court acknowledges that it is not the city’s responsibility to develop low-income housing, only to have sites available.
On Friday, private developers broke ground on Butterfly Gardens, an affordable housing project at Willow and Holland in the City of Clovis, which will house up to 73 individuals, including those with disabilities who are at-risk of becoming homeless. The project is being built at a location which is zoned for high-density housing, as determined by our most recent state approved Housing Element, the very tool which the petitioners in this case say is ineffective in creating affordable housing.
Despite claims made by the petitioners, the court found that there was no discrimination against low-income households in the execution of the city’s Housing Element.
Mayor Jose Flores said, “Although we appreciate the court saying we’re not discriminating against low-income households here in Clovis, we need to be able to utilize our Housing Element in order to make land available for developers. Butterfly Gardens is proof-positive that this private-public partnership can and will work in the City of Clovis. Other developers are in talks right now to build additional affordable housing in our city. We have worked with the state as required by law. We have followed the plan approved by the state. It is essential that we be allowed to stay the course.”
The City of Clovis remains committed to providing affordable housing opportunities for its residents.
Work has already started on the next Housing Element Cycle, scheduled to be completed in 2023.