State law requires each city to adopt a comprehensive, long-term General Plan for its physical development, and the Housing Element has been a mandatory component of the General Plan since 1969. For cities in Southern California, Housing Element updates must be prepared every 8 years. The current Housing Element planning period extending from 2013 to 2021 is called the “5th Housing Element cycle” in reference to the five required updates that have occurred since the comprehensive revisions to State Housing Element law adopted by the Legislature in 1980.
The current La Habra Heights General Plan was adopted in 2004 and includes six elements: Land Use; Environmental Resource Management; Circulation; Safety; Noise and Air Quality. The City has not yet adopted a Housing Element for the 5th planning cycle.
State law establishes specific, detailed requirements for Housing Elements. The overarching requirement set forth in State Housing Element law provides:
The housing element shall consist of an identification and analysis of existing and projected housing needs and a statement of goals, policies, quantified objectives, financial resources, and scheduled programs for the preservation, improvement, and development of housing. The housing element shall identify adequate sites for housing, including rental housing, factory-built housing, mobile homes, and emergency shelters, and shall make adequate provision for the existing and projected needs of all economic segments of the community.