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News and Announcements

Sustainability Update certified by Coastal Commission

After several months of review and coordination between the California Coastal Commission and County staff, the Sustainability Update was certified by the Coastal Commission at their March 15th meeting. The Sustainability Update is now in effect. To learn more, please visit the project website at

The 2023 Housing Element Update Submitted to the State!

HOUSING ELEMENT UPDATE: The Draft Housing Element has been released to the California Department of Housing and Community Development for a 90-day review period! View it here.

Every eight years, the state requires local communities to update their Housing Element to ensure the supply of adequate housing to meet community needs. The new 2023 Housing Element has been drafted for the 2023 - 2031 planning period and submitted to the California Department of Housing and Community Development to start a 90-day review period that commenced on Tuesday, July 25.  The review period ends on Monday, October 23. During this state agency review period your input is still needed!  Following October 23, there will be a series of public meetings with the Santa Cruz County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.  The schedule of meetings can be found on the Get Involved page of the 2023 Housing Element website. View schedule.

Visit the project website to learn more at, or Join our email list.

Develop your own plan to share where the housing should go: SCC Interactive Housing Plan


New ADU Incentives Program (April 2023):

Free Technical Assistance with ADU development for qualifying local homeowners.
Sign up for updates here:
Program Flyer in English & Spanish

  • Free Pre-Designed ADU Plans Now Available
  • We are happy to announce that pre-designed ADU plans are now available at no charge to you. Plans are available for single-story, detached ADUs in three sizes and three architectural styles. For more information, including a How-to Guide, please visit our Pre-Designed ADU webpage.

  • Tiny Homes on Wheels Certified by California Coastal Commission
  • On April 14, 2023 the California Coastal Commission certified the County's ordinance providing regulations for tiny homes on wheels (THOW) as submitted. The regulations became effective inside the Coastal Zone on April 28, 2023. 

  • County Seeking Input on Regional Vehicle Miles Traveled Mitigation Program.
  • See here for more information - VMT Mitigation Program (

    SB 743, signed into law in 2013, required the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to establish a new metric for identifying and mitigating transportation impacts for projects that are subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). OPR identified Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) as the new metric. Watch our video explaining what VMT is and what this project is about:

  • All Electric Residential Requirement
  • The Ninth Circuit Court ruled that the “All Electric” State law is preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). As a result, as of February 9, 2024,  the County will no longer enforce the All Electric requirement.  

  • Year 2024 Growth Goal Adopted
  • Santa Cruz County Code sets out a growth management system that implements Measure J, the Growth Management measure approved by County voters in 1978. Each year, the Board of Supervisors is required to establish an annual population growth rate that represents Santa Cruz County's fair share of statewide population growth. On December 12, 2023, the Board of Supervisors adopted a 0.5% growth rate for the year 2024. Find more information here: Board of Supervisors Public Hearing, December 12, 2023, Year 2024 Growth Goal
  • New State Laws
  • The Planning Division has prepared public materials to help property owners understand new state laws. Please use the links below to learn more about how these new laws might apply to your housing project.
    • • SB 8: extends the Housing Crisis Act of 2019 (SB 330) to encourage more housing production [SB 330/SB8 Guide] [SB 330 Pre-Application]
    • • SB 9: increases development potential on eligible urban single-family zoned lots [SB 9 Guide]
    • • SB 478: encourages development of small-scale multifamily “missing middle” housing [SB 478 Guide]
    • • AB 803: allows subdivision of multifamily-zoned lots for single-family starter homes [AB 803 Guide]
    • • AB 2234 streamlines review times for qualifying projects and requires application checklists and example applications of certain project types [AB 2234]