SACOG Praises Sacramento’s General Plan – Hits All of the Major Housing Changes including Missing Middle and Elimination of Parking Minimums

Photo posted by SACOG

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Sacramento, CA – On Monday, SACOG (Sacramento Area Council of Governments) put out a blog post praising Sacramento for making “groundbreaking changes to housing policies” and proclaiming, “New General Plan leads the nation in housing policies.

“The City of Sacramento has taken a monumental step forward in its effort to combat climate change and offer a wide range of housing options,” SACOG posted.

The Council adopted the 2040 General Plan on February 27, 2024, which included “many vital updates that will work hand-in-hand with implementing SACOG’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (Blueprint) and help the region achieve its greenhouse gas reduction targets.”

Critical to this: “A key mechanism for the Sacramento region to accomplish its greenhouse gas reduction targets is by encouraging more efficient and compact land use patterns, as well as promoting the construction of housing near mass transit.”

By doing so, SACOG says, “the region will be far more competitive as it seeks millions of dollars in transportation funding in the years ahead.”

The city now becomes the first jurisdiction in the nation “to eliminate a cap on the number of housing units that can be constructed on a parcel of land in single-family zones. Instead, property owners can now construct multi-unit housing based on a floor area ratio, or FAR, meaning the square footage of new housing can be equal to the square footage of a parcel, as long as the building meets height and setback restrictions.”

For example, “on a 6,000-square-foot city lot, a new multi-unit housing building could be up to 6,000 square feet spread across multiple floors and units.”

SACOG notes, “The policy is intended to promote multi-family housing such as duplexes and triplexes in neighborhoods zoned for single-family housing.”

Moreover, this FAR will be higher near mass transit, as the policy attempts to encourage dense infill housing near light rail and bus lines.

In addition, the General Plan “eliminates a parking space requirement for new housing, providing developers far more flexibility as they design new projects.”

As they note, “Parking can add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of constructing new housing, and can be particularly detrimental to building large affordable housing developments.”

The city is also attempting to address the “missing middle” housing by allowing multi-unit residences in all neighborhoods.

SACOG’s 2020 Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) determined the Sacramento region should plan for the construction of nearly 27,000 housing units for moderate-income residents and more than 60,000 units for low- and very-low-income earners this decade.

“We’re super excited about this monumental milestone,” said Matt Hertel, the City of Sacramento’s long range planning manager. “Centered on equity and sustainability, this is one of the premier comprehensive plans in the country, and it’s a testament to the extensive engagement by the community over the last five years.”

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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