Chapter 17.70
PROCEDURE FOR REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION

Sections:

17.70.010    Purpose.

17.70.020    Applicability.

17.70.030    Notice to the public of availability of accommodation process.

17.70.040    Application requirements.

17.70.050    Review authority.

17.70.060    Review procedure.

17.70.070    Findings and decision.

17.70.080    Appeal of determination.

17.70.090    Severability.

17.70.010 Purpose.

This chapter provides a procedure to request 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 (the Acts) in the application of zoning laws and other land use regulations, policies and procedures. (Ord. 965 § 1, 2011)

17.70.020 Applicability.

A. A request for reasonable accommodation may be made by any person with a disability, their representative or any entity, when the application of a zoning law or other land use regulation, policy or practice acts as a barrier to fair housing opportunities. 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 such impairment or anyone who has a record of such impairment. This chapter is intended to apply to those persons who are defined as disabled under the Acts.

B. 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. A request for reasonable accommodation shall comply with Section 17.70.040 (Application requirements). (Ord. 965 § 1, 2011)

17.70.030 Notice to the public of availability of accommodation process.

Notice of the availability of reasonable accommodation shall be prominently displayed at public information counters in the planning, zoning and building departments, advising the public of the availability of the procedure for eligible individuals. Forms for requesting reasonable accommodation shall be available to the public in the planning and building and safety departments. (Ord. 965 § 1, 2011)

17.70.040 Application requirements.

A. Application. A request for reasonable accommodation shall be submitted on an application form provided by the department, or in the form of a letter, to the community development department, and shall contain the following information:

1. The applicant’s name, address and telephone number;

2. The name and address of the property owner;

3. The address of the property for which the request is being made;

4. The current actual use of the property;

5. The basis for the claim that the individual is considered disabled under the Acts;

6. Description of the requested accommodation and the regulation(s), policy or procedure for which accommodation is sought;

7. Why the reasonable accommodation is necessary to make the specific property accessible to the individual.

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 (including conditional use permit, design review, general plan amendment, zone change, annexation, etc.), then the applicant shall file the information required by subsection A together for concurrent review with the application for discretionary approval.

C. A request for reasonable accommodation in regulations, policies, practices and procedures may be filed at any time that the accommodation may be 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. If an individual needs assistance in making the request for reasonable accommodation, the jurisdiction will provide assistance to ensure that the process is accessible. (Ord. 965 § 1, 2011)

17.70.050 Review authority.

A. Community Development Director. A request for reasonable accommodation shall be reviewed by the community development director (director) if no approval is sought other than the request for reasonable accommodation.

B. Other Review Authority. A request for reasonable accommodation submitted for concurrent review with another discretionary land use application shall be reviewed by the authority reviewing the discretionary land use application. (Ord. 965 § 1, 2011)

17.70.060 Review procedure.

A. Director Review. The director, or designee, shall make a written determination within forty-five days and either grant, grant with modifications, or deny a request for reasonable accommodation in compliance with Section 17.70.070 (Findings and decision).

If necessary to reach a determination on the request for reasonable accommodation, the reviewing authority may request further information from the applicant consistent with fair housing laws, specifying in detail the information that is required. 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 responds to the request.

B. Other Review Authority. The written determination on whether to grant or deny the request for reasonable accommodation shall be made by the authority responsible for reviewing the discretionary land use application in compliance with the applicable review procedure for the discretionary review. The written determination to grant or deny the request for reasonable accommodation shall be made in compliance with Section 17.70.070 (Findings and decision). (Ord. 965 § 1, 2011)

17.70.070 Findings and decision.

A. Findings. The written decision to grant or deny a request for reasonable accommodation will be consistent with the Acts and shall be based on consideration of the following factors:

1. Whether the housing, which is the subject of the request, will be used by an individual disabled under the Acts;

2. Whether the request for reasonable accommodation is necessary to make specific housing available to an individual with a disability under the Acts;

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

4. 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;

5. Potential impact on surrounding uses;

6. Physical attributes of the property and structures; and

7. Other reasonable accommodations that may provide an equivalent level of benefit.

B. Conditions of Approval. In granting a request for reasonable accommodation, the reviewing authority may impose any conditions of approval deemed reasonable and necessary to ensure that the reasonable accommodation would comply with the findings required by subsection A. (Ord. 965 § 1, 2011)

17.70.080 Appeal of determination.

A determination by the reviewing authority to grant or deny a request for reasonable accommodation may be appealed to the planning commission. All appeals must be made within ten working days of the reviewing authority’s decision and must be in writing. All appeals shall contain a statement of the grounds of the appeal.

If an individual needs assistance in filing an appeal on an adverse decision, the jurisdiction will provide assistance to ensure that the appeals process is accessible. (Ord. 965 § 1, 2011)

17.70.090 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or word of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid and/or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. (Ord. 965 § 1, 2011)