In 2011, Shasta County was several years late adopting its required housing element revision. Because of its tardy timeline, the County committed itself to rezoning sites to accommodate 800 units of higher density housing that could meet the unincorporated County’s housing need for lower income households. But by the next state required revision in 2014, the County had not completed the rezonings and again, did not adopt a timely update to the Housing Element of its General Plan.
Because of this ongoing failure to plan for the housing needs of lower income families and individuals, Tracy Bowman and Micheal Williamson, who have both struggled to find and maintain affordable housing in Shasta County, with the help of Legal Services of Northern California and PILP, filed a lawsuit to challenge the County’s lack of an adequate housing element and compel the rezoning to accommodate the 800 affordable units from the last planning period and over 300 units needed during the current planning period. In addition to the required rezonings, the County must also establish a zone, or zones, where emergency shelters can be built without a Conditional Use Permit. Despite the 10 year old legal requirement to do so, the County still does not allow the construction of emergency shelters anywhere in the County without discretionary review.