Housing Element Status
Rent Burden
rent burdened
Affordable Housing Production
affordable permits issued
Housing Policies and Programs
total policies

Proposed Policies and Programs

Housing policies and programs are the strategies and laws that cities and counties legally have at their disposal to produce more and preserve existing affordable housing, as well as protect existing residents from getting displaced from their homes and communities.

5th Cycle Programs and Policies

policies and programs

Local housing policies and programs, as part of a housing element, have significant impacts on a city or county reaching its affordable housing goals. Each additional housing policy has a significant impact on the residents who are most in need of affordable housing. However, the number of policies or programs that a jurisdiction includes in their housing element is not meant to imply how well a city or county is addressing local housing needs since the quality and impact of each will need to be determined as well. Policies and programs listed here from jurisdictions’ Housing Elements are intended to allow readers to review the text themselves and see if a city or county is doing all they can to reach their affordable housing goals.

Historic 2018 Policies and Programs Categorization

To further policy innovation and local action, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) contacted all of the region's jurisdictions to track the adoption of key housing policies throughout the nine county Bay Area in four major categories Protect, Preserve, Produce, and Prevent. This data is from ABAG’s Policies and Program list and was last updated in 2018/2019.

Commercial Development Impact Fee
Condominium Conversion Ordinance
Flexible Parking Requirements
Form-Based Codes
Home Sharing Programs
Housing Development Impact Fee
Implementation of SB743
Inclusionary Housing Ordinance
In-Lieu Fees (Inclusionary Zoning)
One-to-One Replacement
Surplus Public Lands Act
By-Right Strategies
General Fund Allocation
Graduated Density Bonus
Homeowner Repair or Rehabilitation
Housing Overlay Zones
Just Cause Eviction
Locally-Funded Homebuyer Assistance
Mobile Homes Conversion Ordinance
Preservation of Mobile Homes (Rent Stabilization Ordinance)
Reduced Fees or Permit Waivers
Rent Stabilization
SRO Preservation Ordinance
Streamlined Permitting Process
Tenant-Based Assistance
Belmont's Recorded Housing Policies

The California Department of Housing and Community Development tracks all of the ongoing and completed programs from 2018 onward and can be seen in the table below.

2.9 Belmont General Plan Update
Action 1: Prepare and Adopt update to Belmont General Plan 2035. Action 2: Prepare and adopt Program Environmental Impact Report that analyzing forecasting development within the Belmont Village Priority Development Area and along the El Camino Real corridor.
Actions 1 and 2: COMPLETED. Adopted November 2017.
Action 1: June 2016 Action 2: June 2016
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
4.6 Parking
Action 1: Consider amending the Zoning Ordinance to reduce parking requirements for multi-family residential and mixed-use projects (for example, reduce the studio unit parking requirement from 2 spaces per unit to 1 space per unit). Action 2: Develop shared parking strategies as part of the Belmont Village Implementation Plan, and evaluate the feasibility of establishing parking districts within the Belmont Village area to fund shared parking infrastructure.
Actions 1 and 2: COMPLETED. The BVSP and the General Plan Phase I Zoning (adopted November 2017) allow for shared parking serving more than one use when certain criteria are met. Overall parking requirements for mixed use projects were reduced.
Action 1: June 2016 Action 2: December 2016
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
4.7 Multi-Family Development
Action 1: When multi-family residential and mixed-use development design guidelines are adopted, amend the Zoning Ordinance to remove the conditional use permit requirement for multi-family development projects in high-density residential or mixed-use zones.
Action 1: COMPLETED. The Belmont Village zoning districts and the Corridor Mixed Use zoning district, both adopted in 2017, allow multi-family residential housing development by right (no CUP) when not located on the ground floor. In 2020 the City amended the zoning ordinance to remove the CUP requirement for multi-family housing in the R-3 and R-4 zoning districts.
Action 1: June 2017
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
1.5 Anti-Displacement Policy
Action 1: Evaluate programs and policies and provide recommendations as part of 21 Elements. Action 2: Provide findings and recommendations to City Council. Action 3: Adopt appropriate programs and policies to address displacement within 2 years of adoption of the housing element. Action 4: Monitor programs and policies annually for effectiveness.
Actions 1-2: COMPLETED. City adopted Housing Preference Policy to offer application priority to displaced San Mateo County residents. Action 3: COMPLETED; Housing Preference Policy Adopted. Action 4: Ongoing; semi-annual housing program reports to the Belmont City Council.
Action 1: December 2015 Action 2: July 2016 Action 3: March 2017 Action 4: Ongoing
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
2.2 Affordable Housing Rehabilitation, Operation, and Management
Action 1: Continue to annually monitor City-owned rental properties to ensure that affordability is being maintained. Action 2: In compliance with SB 341, the Housing Successor must initiate activity on affordable housing real property assets by August 31, 2017. BY June 2015, the Housing Successor shall work with the City Attorney to clarify permitted uses of real property assets. Action 3: By December 2015, the Housing Successor shall hold meetings with San Mateo County affordable housing developers/service providers to determine what opportunities are available for rehabilitation of housing units in Belmont. Action 4: By December 2016, the Housing Successor shall develop a housing asset funds disposition program (subject to funding availability) that provides local funding for rehabilitation of existing housing units. Action 5: By June 2017, the Housing Successor shall develop and implement a housing rehabilitation outreach program (subject to funding availability). Information shall be posted to the City of Belmont website, and distributed to residents via code enforcement staff (Program 1.1).
Action 1: COMPLETED; annual/ongoing. Action 2: COMPLETED June 2015. All Housing Successor properties have been rezoned via Belmont Village Specific Plan and El Camino Corridor mixed-use zoning policies; several properties subject to RFP process and new housing development proposal. Action 3: December 2015 The City has held meetings with affordable housing developers to discuss opportunities for rehabilitation projects. No sites identified. Action 4: December 2016 The City Housing Successor maintains an Affordable Housing Fund that is funded by housing impact/mitigation fees, and other developer contributions. The CIty of Belmont committed $5.65 million towards the Belmont Firehouse Square affordable housing project which is now under construction. Action 5: No activity to report.
Action 1: Annually Action 2: June 2015 Action 3: December 2015 Action 4: December 2016 Action 5: June 2017
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
3.5 Emergency Shelters
Action 1: Develop a partnership with Shelter Network to support their efforts to house homeless families and individuals. Action 2: Review Emergency Shelter zoning regulations for ongoing compliance with state law (annually).
Action 1: No specific activity to report. Action 2: COMPLETED. The City ensures ongoing compliance.
Action 1: December 2015 Action 2: December 2015
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
4.2 Transfer of Development Rights
Action 1: Continue to allow the transfer of development rights or floor area within the San Juan Area. Action 2: Consider the feasibility of amending the transfer of development rights program in order to allow development rights to be transferred from the hillside areas to priority development areas.
Action 1: COMPLETED; ongoing compliance. Action 2: No specific activity to report.
Action 1: Ongoing Action 2: December 2016
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
4.3 Density Bonus Program
Action 1: Implement the density bonus program as follows: Develop a density bonus information website and program materials/handouts; Provide information materials to all potential target site and El Camino Real corridor developers.
Action 1: COMPLETED and ongoing; the Density Bonus Section of the Zoning Ordinance os available on the City Website, City staff have engaged in numerous discussions with housing developers to implement density bonus opportunities; the Hill Street/EL Camino Real Affordable Housing Project on City-owned property is expected to receive a devsity bonus in 2020
Action 1: Ongoing
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
4.4 Development Review Process
Action 1: Ensure that the development process complies with State law. This will entail: Eliminating any time used to determine the level of environmental review for secondary dwelling units, as these are generally CEQA-exempt; Capping the number of days needed to act on a CEQA-exempt single-family unit permit application to 60 days; and, Capping the number of days needed to act on a multi-family permit application that requires an EIR to 180 days (90 days if the project requires an EIR and at least 49 percent of the units are affordable ), and 60 days if the project requires a Negative Declaration or is CEQA-exempt. Action 2: Adopt design guidelines for multi-unit and mixed-use development projects.
Action 1: COMPLETED. Planners ensure ongoing compliance with all applicable CEQA processing times. Action 2: COMPLETED. BVSP and Corridor Mixed Use (CMU) zoning for El Camino Real corridor both adopted in November 2017. No separate multi-family design guidelines document has been adopted to date.
Action 1: Ongoing Action 2: December 2016
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
6.2 Support On-Site Alternative Energy Generation
Action 1: Adopt guidelines to encourage on-site solar energy systems. Action 2: Provide informational brochures about solar energy systems and available financial resources at the permit center. Action 3: Consider using City solar farms as demonstration projects for local residents to learn more about solar energy. Action 4: Participate in the Peninsula SunShares group photovoltaic buy-in program.
Actions 1-4: No specific activity to report. The City adopted a Climate Action Plan in November 2017 and has begun working on implementation. The City is working to install vehicle battery charging stations on City property.
Action 1: December 2017 Action 2: Ongoing Action 3: December 2018 Action 2: Ongoing
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
2.3 Belmont Village Priority Development Area Strategy
Action 1: Adopt new comprehensive zoning regulations for the Belmont Village Priority Development Area. The zoning will: Allow high-quality, mixed-use, high-density (30-45 units/acre), 40-50 foot-tall development; Consider alternative parking arrangements such as shared parking, parking districts, or requirement for parking to be behind primary buildings; Streamline the development process; and Incorporate provisions to protect the economic viability of existing commercial uses, while considering the quality of life for new residents. Action 2: Adopt design guidelines for the Villages of Belmont Area to clarify requirements and facilitate the development review process. Action 3: Adopt Belmont Village Specific/Implementation Plan using C/CAG PDA Planning Grant Funds. Action 4: Replace the Downtown Specific Plan with a new Belmont Village Specific/Implementation Plan in the General Plan.
COMPLETED. All actions completed November 2017.
Action 1: December 2015 Action 2: December 2015 Action 3: June 2016 Action 4: June 2016
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
3.1 Mortgage Credit Certificate
Action 1: Actively educate prospective buyers about the program by distributing materials, posting materials on the City website, and meeting with realtors and homebuilders.
Action 1: The City of Belmont, in partnership with HEART of San Mateo County, hosted a first-time homebuyer workshop in April 2019. Options for first-time and low-income homebuyers was distributed and posted to the City's Website.
Action 1: Ongoing
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
Action 1: Continue to participate in HEART, or other comparable programs. Action 2: Actively publicize the revolving affordable housing loan program and First-time Homebuyers loan program available through HEART.
Action 1: COMPLETED. The City is an active participant in HEART and provides an annual member agency contribution. Action 2: COMPLETED. The City of Belmont hosted a HEART First Time Homebuyer workship in April 2019.
Action 1: Ongoing Action 2: December 2015
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
4.5 Planned Development
Action 1: Continue to allow Planned Development zoning.
Action 1: COMPLETED; No specific activity to report.
Action 1: Ongoing
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
6.4 Adequate Water and Sewer Services
Action 1: Deliver the adopted Housing Element to the Mid-Peninsula Water District and Silicon Valley Clean Water within one month of adoption. Action 2: Provide information on the City website about the adopted sewer priority policy for affordable housing projects.
Action 1: COMPLETED June 2015. Action 2: COMPLETED; Sewer Priority Policy available on the City Website.
Action 1: June 2015 Action 2: December 2015
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
2.7 Promotion of Small Lot Development
Action 1: Consider allowing development standards to be modified for small lots, rather than requiring applicants to apply for a variance or a zone change, if projects can demonstrate that they comply with design guidelines and do not cause substantial adverse impacts on adjoining properties. Action 2: Consider working with affordable housing developers and/or management companies to manage groups of smaller housing developments in order to create economies of scale and support affordable housing development.
No specific activity to report. Following adoption of the Belmont Village Specific Plan and creation of the Corridor Mixed Use (CMU) Zoning district, the City has seen a significant decrease in request for variances and zoning changes because the new zoning regulations are flexible and allow for mixed-use development activity in the priority development areas.
Action 1: December 2015 Action 2: December 2017
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
2.1 Affordable Housing Development
Action 1: Develop a real property Development and Disposition Plan by the end of 2015. Action 2: Transfer or sell real property assets to leverage provision and development of affordable housing projects for all income groups including extremely low, very low, and low income households. Action 3: Complete the San Mateo County-Wide Affordable Housing Nexus Study by February 2015. Action 4: Develop and Implement an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance and adopt Housing Impact Fees by December 2015. Action 5: Ensure ongoing compliance with California Health and Safety Code.
Action 1: COMPLETED. Action 2: IN PROGRESS. The City has identified a tentative owner for two special needs group homes; County of San Mateo took actions to forgive outstanding debts on these properties. Tenant Relocation Plan and Housing Replacement Plans were adopted in March 2019; Tenants were successfully relocated in July and August 2019. Realtor selected via RFP, sale of four properties pending; proceeds from market rate sales will be used to fund pipeline 100% affordable housing projects. Actions 3 & 4: COMPLETED. Inclusionary Ordiannce adopted January 2017; Inclusionary rental ordiannce adopted Fall 2018. Action 5: COMPLETED; ongoing.
Action 1: December 2015 Action 2: Ongoing Action 3: February 2015 Action 4: December 2015
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
2.5 Site Consolidation
Action 1: Develop, adopt and implement a lot consolidation program to allow for the assembly of multiple continuous parcels. The program will consider incentives such as: Density bonuses (Program 4.3), Direct Affordable Housing funds to leverage consolidation (Program 2.1), and Other available incentives. Action 2: The Housing Successor Agency will work directly with property owners and affordable housing developers to facilitate consolidation of parcels by: Conducting an outreach program beginning in Spring 2015 to potential affordable housing developers; Providing a map of opportunity sites, such as the ones identified in the Housing Element, on the Citys website as well as on handouts at the Permit Center, by December 2015; and, Evaluating the potential to vacate alleys or rights-of-way that are no longer needed for public use for consolidation with adjacent sites.
Action 1: Density bonus program updated and City financial assets applies to project consolidating smaller lots. Action 2: Map created discussions ongoing, no other specific action to report.
Action 1: June 2017 Action 2: Ongoing
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
5.1 Fair Housing Program
Action 1: Publicize the Peninsula Conflict-Resolution Center (PCRC) at the permit center. Action 2: Provide program support to PCRC and other fair housing nonprofit organizations, such as Project Sentinel.
Action 1: COMPLETED. Action 2: COMPLETED. Belmont staff has met with Project Sentinel staff and promotes their services to residents when appropriate.
Action 1: Ongoing Action 2: Ongoing
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
1.3 Condominium Conversion Ordinance
Action 1: Continue to enforce the Condominium Conversion Ordinance.
Ongoing; no specific activity to report.
Action 1: Ongoing
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
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