Pleasant Hill focusing on district elections, Housing Element
PLEASANT HILL, CA (May 24, 2023) — Pleasant Hill is moving to a by-district City Council election starting with the November 2024 election cycle.
Over the past three months, we held a number of public meetings to discuss the concept of district-based elections, the reasons for districting and proposed electoral district maps. Through the course of our public meetings, we have received valuable feedback from members of the community. There will be another meeting on May 22.
For more on the process, see the front-page article of this issue of the Pioneer or visit www.pleasanthillca.org/districts. Printed packets of the maps are also available at both City Hall and the Pleasant Hill Library.
Meanwhile, the city continues to work with the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to obtain approval of its Housing Element as part of the General Plan 2040 update.
HCD is requiring Pleasant Hill to zone vacant lots of at least one-half acre in size for designation as low-income high-density housing. This process has been a challenging one as HCD has chosen not to accept our designation of more appropriate parcels in the city for such development – ones where transportation and support amenities exist.
HCD is forcing Pleasant Hill to designate vacant space in a rural sector of the city for which there is no public transportation, a non-existent walkability score and no commercial amenities. While I support the development of high-density, low-cost housing in appropriate areas of the city, achieving that goal must be reached through an intelligent and thoughtful process. Under the current designations, developers would have no incentive to build where the necessary infrastructure and amenities don’t exist and it’s unlikely they would be able to see a return on their investment. The City Council continued discussion of the Housing Element on May 18.
On a lighter note, the Pleasant Hill Art Jazz & Wine Festival will be May 20 and 21 along Crescent Drive in the downtown. More information about this event can be found at https://pleasanthillchamberevents.org.
The approaching Memorial Day weekend signals the kick-off of the Pleasant Hill Summer Concert series at the City Hall lawn. The first concert will be 6 p.m. Sunday, May 28, featuring the country band Crossmann Connection. Watch out Nashville! To see the entire schedule for the season, go to www.pleasanthillca.org/summerconcerts.
And finally, the city’s Diversity Commission is presenting a Juneteenth celebration 4:30-7:30 p.m. June 18 on the City Hall lawn. Stop by for food, fun and music. Families will enjoy the performance of Unique Derique, the Clown Prince of Fools. Kids (and grownups too) will get a chance to take photos with Princess Tiana from Disney’s “Princess and the Frog.” Satisfy your appetite with great food truck cuisine and dance along to the joyous high energy music of the West African Highlife Band.
Email questions and comments for Mayor Flaherty to email@example.com