Chapter 17.140


17.140.010    Purpose.

17.140.020    When allowed.

17.140.030    Review authority.

17.140.040    Public notice of process availability.

17.140.050    Application requirements.

17.140.060    Review procedure.

17.140.070    Criteria for decision.

17.140.080    Conditions of approval.

17.140.090    Appeals and post-decision procedures.

17.140.010 Purpose.

This chapter establishes a procedure for requesting reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities seeking equal access to housing under the Federal Fair Housing Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. A reasonable accommodation is typically an adjustment to physical design standards to accommodate the placement of wheelchair ramps or other exterior modifications to a dwelling in response to the needs of a disabled resident. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.140.020 When allowed.

A. Eligible Applicants. A request for reasonable accommodation may be made by any person with a disability, their representative, or any entity, when the application of the zoning code or other land use regulations, policy, or practice acts as a barrier to fair housing opportunities.

B. Definition. A person with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that limits or substantially limits one or more major life activities, anyone who is regarded as having this type of impairment, or anyone who has a record of this type of impairment.

C. Eligible Request. A request for reasonable accommodation may include a modification or exception to the rules, standards, and practices for the siting, development, and use of housing or housing-related facilities that would eliminate regulatory barriers and provide a person with a disability equal opportunity to housing of their choice. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.140.030 Review authority.

A. Community Development Director. The community development director shall take action on reasonable accommodation applications if the application is not filed for concurrent review with an application for discretionary review by the planning commission or city council.

B. Other Review Authority. If a reasonable accommodation application is submitted concurrently with a permit application reviewed by the planning commission or city council, the reasonable accommodation application shall be reviewed by the planning commission or city council.

C. Referral to Planning Commission. The community development director may refer any reasonable accommodation application to the planning commission for review and final decision. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.140.040 Public notice of process availability.

Notice of the availability of the reasonable accommodation process shall be publicly displayed at City Hall. Forms for requesting reasonable accommodation shall be available to the public at the community development department at City Hall. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.140.050 Application requirements.

A. Application. A request for reasonable accommodation shall be submitted on an application form provided by the community development department along with any fees required by the planning fee schedule.

B. Review with Other Land Use Applications. If the project for which the request for reasonable accommodation is being made also requires some other discretionary approval (e.g., conditional use permit, design review, coastal development permit), then the applicant shall file the reasonable accommodation application materials together for concurrent review with the application for discretionary approval.

C. Application Timing. A request for reasonable accommodation may be filed at any time that the accommodation is necessary to ensure equal access to housing. A reasonable accommodation does not affect an individual’s obligation to comply with other applicable regulations not at issue in the requested accommodation.

D. Application Assistance. If an individual needs assistance in making the request for reasonable accommodation, the city will provide assistance to ensure that the process is accessible to the individual. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.140.060 Review procedure.

A. Director Review.

1. The community development director shall make a written determination within forty-five days and either grant, grant with modifications, or deny a request for reasonable accommodation.

2. If necessary to reach a determination on the request for reasonable accommodation, the community development director may request further information from the applicant consistent with fair housing laws. In the event that a request for additional information is made, the forty-five-day period to issue a decision is stayed until the applicant submits the requested information.

B. Other Review Authority. The determination on whether to grant or deny the request for reasonable accommodation submitted concurrently with a discretionary permit application shall be made by the planning commission or city council in compliance with the review procedure for the discretionary review. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.140.070 Criteria for decision.

The review authority shall make a written decision and either approve, approve with modifications, or deny a request for reasonable accommodation based on consideration of all of the following factors:

A. Whether the housing which is the subject of the request will be used by an individual defined as disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

B. Whether the request for reasonable accommodation is necessary to make specific housing available to an individual with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

C. Whether the requested reasonable accommodation would impose an undue financial or administrative burden on the city.

D. Whether the requested reasonable accommodation would require a fundamental alteration in the nature of a city program or law, including but not limited to land use and zoning.

E. Potential impacts on surrounding uses.

F. Physical attributes of the property and structures.

G. Other reasonable accommodations that may provide an equivalent level of benefit. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.140.080 Conditions of approval.

In approving a request for reasonable accommodation, the review authority may impose conditions of approval to ensure that the reasonable accommodation will comply with the criteria required by Section 17.140.070 (Criteria for decision). (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.140.090 Appeals and post-decision procedures.

A. Appeals. Reasonable accommodation decisions may be appealed consistent with Chapter 17.152 (Appeals). If an applicant needs assistance in filing an appeal on an adverse decision, the city will provide assistance to ensure that the appeals process is accessible.

B. Other Post-Decision Procedures. Post-decision procedures and requirements in Chapter 17.156 (Post-Decision Procedures) apply to reasonable accommodation decisions. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)