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News and Announcements

The Sustainability Update heads to the Coastal Commission!

After several months of review and coordination between the California Coastal Commission and County staff, the Sustainability Update will be presented to the Coastal Commission at a public hearing on Friday, December 15, 2023. Coastal Commission staff is recommending that the Commission approve the Sustainability Update LCP amendment with suggested modifications to ensure changes would conform to the Coastal Act. To learn more about the upcoming meeting and read the complete staff report, please visit the California Coastal Commission website.

Learn more about the Sustainability Update 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

  • 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
  • As of January 2023, all NEW residential structures that are located within the Urban Services Line (USL) must be all-electric. “All-electric” is a building design that uses a permanent supply of electricity as the only source of energy (no propane or natural gas). Residential structures include townhouses, ADUs, duplexes, single family residences and accessory structures. More information, including how to determine if your property is within the USL, is available here.

  • Year 2023 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 September 20, 2022, the Board of Supervisors adopted a 0.5% growth rate for the year 2023. Find more information here: Board of Supervisors Public Hearing, September 20, 2022, Year 2023 Growth Goal
  • New State Laws
  • The Planning Department has prepared public materials to help property owners understand new state laws in effect starting on January 1, 2022. 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]
  • Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Update
  • The 2021 update of the County’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) is now available. You can find more information and links to the documents here.