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New county rules to encourage home building in unincorporated ‘villages’ near transit



A split county Board of Supervisors has approved rules to streamline development in certain unincorporated areas with the potential for public transit.

The measure, which passed Wednesday on 3-2 vote, is an effort to comply with state laws limiting vehicle traffic while at the same time boosting housing construction. But not everyone was onboard with the proposal as approved.

County officials said the new rules would greenlight construction of 4,025 new homes in areas that don’t pose high fire risks and are least likely to contribute to traffic and vehicle emissions.

The new rules, approved by all three Democratic supervisors, will allow developers to build in specific “infill” areas without requiring analysis or mitigation for vehicle miles traveled. The plan applies to a number of areas of unincorporated land that are already developed with homes and businesses and are slated for transit lines.

“We have to look for the most legally viable way that we can put the housing in the right places, meet our climate goals and build more housing than we’ve ever built before,” said Board Chair Nathan Fletcher.

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