The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors opted Wednesday to put off a final decision on its multifamily rezoning effort for about a month in a vote that puts the county in breach of a recent legal settlement and jeopardizes hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding.
Voting 4-1, with 3rd District Supervisor Mark Lovelace dissenting, the board delayed a decision on whether to approve a massive plan to rezone dozens of parcels throughout the county to accommodate multifamily housing developments until its Aug. 23 meeting. The board made the decision to allow more time to consult with the McKinleyville Community Services District, which stands staunchly opposed to the plan that would place 45 percent of the rezoned properties within its service area.
At the start of Wednesday’s meeting, Lovelace also took a moment to apologize to the Humboldt Association of Realtors, after saying Tuesday the group seemed to have “lost its soul.” Lovelace deemed the remark “unwarranted and unhelpful,” saying it was made in frustration.
The county’s plan — plagued by a tight timeline — seeks to rezone about 55 parcels throughout the county to allow for the development of more than 1,000 multifamily units, a little more than half of which would be designated for low-income families. Under state law, the county needs to rezone enough properties to provide for the construction of at least 980 multifamily units.
The project is being fast-tracked under the terms of a settlement reached last month between the county and the advocacy group Housing for All in a court case brought against the county in 2007 by Humboldt Sunshine, which alleged the county’s housing element was out of compliance with state law.
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