Planning and Zoning Commission Recommends Approval of 2015-2023 Housing Element

On January 7,2015, the Albany Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing on the Draft 2015-2023 Albany Housing Element.  At the conclusion of the hearing, the Commission voted 5-0 to recommend City Council adoption of the document, which will guide the City’s housing policies for the next eight years.  The Commission also voted to recommend adoption of the Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration, the mandated environmental review document that accompanies the Housing Element.  At the January meeting, staff highlighted a number of changes to the document that had been proposed in response to input from Albany’s Diverse Housing Working Group (DHWG).  Members of the DHWG provided public comment on the Draft, and the Commission discussed possible edits prior to voting to forward the document to the City Council.  The Council will take up the matter on February 2, 2015.

Planning and Zoning Commission Considers New Community Services Policies

On December 10, the Albany Planning and Zoning Commission convened a Study Session to consider new Community Services and Facilities policies.  The policies are to be included in a new Community Services and Facilities Element of the Albany General Plan.  They cover important topics such as schools, libraries, police and fire services, civic facilities, public art, child care, and infrastructure.  This will be the first time Albany has had a specific chapter of its General Plan dedicated to this topic.

Planning and Zoning Commission Study Sessions Continue

The Planning and Zoning Commission continues to hold monthly study sessions on the General Plan.  Sessions are typically held on the fourth Wednesday of the month and are part of the regular Commission meeting agenda.   In March 2014, the Commission reviewed the growth assumptions to be used for the General Plan, including household and employment projections for 2035.  The April 2014 meeting featured a review of Draft Land Use policies, and the May meeting focused on transportation.  Upcoming meetings will be topic-focused, with subjects including conservation, hazards, parks and open space, and community facilities.  Each study session includes a period for public comment and feedback.  

For copies of agendas, staff reports, presentations, and meeting summaries, click here

Transportation Policies Previewed

On May 22, the Albany Traffic and Safety Commission held a study session to review Draft goals, policies, and actions for the new General Plan Transportation Element.  The draft incorporates existing policy direction from the Active Transportation Plan, Complete Streets Plan, and Traffic Management Plan.  The Transportation Element emphasizes a balance between all modes of travel, so that residents can safely and conveniently bicycle, walk, drive, or ride public transit through the city.  

To review Draft Transportation goals, policies, and actions, click here: Transportation Policies

City considers new land use policies

The Planning and Zoning Commission is continuing to conduct monthly study sessions on draft General Plan goals, policies, and actions.  At their April 24 meeting, the Commission considered Draft land use policies.    

To review the draft policies, click here Draft Land Use Policies

Waterfront Committee Considers General Plan

At its final meeting on April 2, 2014, the Albany Waterfront Committee considered issues related to the Albany General Plan and the future of the Albany waterfront.  Committee members were provided with an overview of the existing General Plan and were informally polled about whether the updated Plan should include a separate “Waterfront Element” articulating the City’s policies for the shoreline area.  The Waterfront Element would summarize existing city, regional, and state policies for the area, including planned improvements to park and open space lands.  It would also address natural resource conservation and issues relating to sea level rise.  The Waterfront Element will carry forward existing, adopted City policies for Golden Gate Fields.

New Housing Element Adopted

The City Council adopted a new Housing Element on March 3, 2014.  The adoption is the culmination of a six-year process including numerous meetings with the City Council, the Planning and Zoning Commission, and Albany residents.  The Housing Element covers the period 2007-2014, and has been prepared in accordance with California Government Code requirements.  It includes goals, policies, and action programs to conserve housing, produce new market rate and affordable housing, meet Albany’s special housing needs, and ensure fair and equal access to housing.  The Element identifies specific sites where the opportunity to build housing exists, and demonstrates that Albany can meet its fair share of the region’s  housing needs.

to review a copy of the Adopted Housing Element, click here Albany Housing Element

Land Use Categories Proposed

At the July 24 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, the Commission considered a new set of land use categories for the Albany General Plan Land Use Map. The categories indicate the types of uses and the densities (or intensities) of development envisioned in different parts of the City. The Commission will continue its discussion of land use categories at its December 11 meeting.

For more information on the proposed categories, click here:

072413 P&Z meeting Staff Report

Albany 2035 at the Solano Stroll

This year’s annual Solano Stroll featured a General Plan Exhibit, with information about the Plan and an interactive map display. On a beautiful warm September Sunday, participants were invited to find their homes on a large-size aerial photo of the City and respond to two simple questions. The first question asked participants to indicate what they liked most about the city, and the second asked what they’d most like to see changed in the next 20 years. Dozens of residents participated. If you missed your chance, please visit, where you can respond to the same questions.

Solano Stroll 2013 3


Housing Element Update

Updated November 7,2013

The City of Albany is in the process of updating the 2007-2014 Housing Element of the General Plan.  This page will be updated as the City progresses.

On October 21, 2013 the Albany City Council authorized staff to make minor edits to the Working Draft Housing Element and submit it to the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for formal review. The document was submitted to the State on October 25. Written comments from HCD are expected in late December.

The document will be revised to reflect the comments, and then brought to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a public hearing and recommendation. It will then be forwarded to the City Council for adoption Prior to the Council hearing on October 21, the Planning and Zoning Commission conducted four study sessions on the Housing Element in 2013, including May 22, September 25, October 8, and October 15. In addition, a Town Hall style public meeting was held at City Hall on October 1, 2013 to discuss housing policy issues.



California state law mandates that all municipal governments prepare and maintain a Housing Element as a component of their General Plans.  The Housing Element is a long-range planning document that evaluates existing demographics and housing conditions in the community, and identifies the policies required to enable the community to meet its share of the demand for market rate and affordable housing in the region.

The purpose of the Housing Element is to ensure that a safe, decent supply of affordable housing is provided for current and future Albany residents.  The Element strives to conserve existing housing while providing opportunities for new housing for a variety of income groups.

The following five sections are required in the Housing Element:

  1. Review of the previous Housing Element
  2. Assessment of housing needs
  3. Inventory of potential sites for housing development
  4. Analysis of City regulatory framework related to developing housing
  5. Goals and policies for housing, coupled with specific action programs to be implemented in the coming years.

The City of Albany’s current Housing Element was approved in 1992 as part of the comprehensive update to the City’s General Plan. Since that time, draft updates have been prepared by the City and reviewed by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The recent updates, however, have not been formally adopted by the City nor approved by HCD.

Albany Housing Element 09-18-13 DRAFT

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