Next Tuesday, Oct. 5, Riverside City Council will move to adopt Phase 1 of the General Plan to comply with California’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment’s (RHNA) 2021-2029 Housing Element Cycle. RHNA has allocated 18,415 needed new homes of the state’s housing needs to Riverside, with the Community and Economic Development Department (CEDD) aiming for 24,000 homes to create a 30 percent buffer. To accomplish the task, the city will rezone lots and properties across Riverside to be developed for housing.
Tuesday’s meeting will be Riversiders’ last chance to speak their opinion before the initiation of Phase 1. On Sept. 9, the Riverside Planning Commission discussed the plans that are now headed to the council. The meeting lasted seven hours, with most individuals voicing concern or frustration of particular lots being proposed for rezoning.
Kevin Pope, whose family owns property in the city, spoke during the meeting. He claimed that the city decided to select their property for rezoning without letting them know. Pope said the family had spent nearly $500,000 on upgrades to their property.
“Now put yourself in our shoes and imagine all that money and effort wasted because [the] planning department has decided they know what’s best for your property, not you,” Pope said at the Sept. 9 meeting.
Israel Bello also spoke in opposition to sites in Ward 3.
“I’d like to voice concerns over traffic and lack of accident studies in the area … and I’d like to stress the preservation of the Gage Canal,” he said. The Gage Canal neighbors the properties he spoke for.
According to Matthew Taylor, Senior Planner with the city, not all sites are “going to necessarily develop during this eight-year cycle, or they may develop with fewer units than we expect them to.”
As for Tuesday’s meeting, the city has 103 linked documents on the agenda, including maps of lots the city is looking to rezone. Riversiders can attend the meeting in person at the council chambers or stream it live.