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Ceres has ample space to handle regional housing needs allocation
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The city of Ceres is updating its Housing Element of the General Plan which explains to the state how Ceres will handle its burden of regional housing needs.

Cities are required by the state to have seven elements for their general plans, one of which examines available land for the building of new housing for all levels of society. The element also analyzes existing housing needs and population and employment trends. The Ceres Housing Element will be in force from 2014 to 2023, said Mark Niskanen, a consultant planner with J.B. Anderson Land Use Planning of Ripon.

The Ceres Planning Commission approved the Housing Element. The only commissioner who voted no was new commissioner, Couper Condit, who stated he was opposed to state mandates.

The consultant determined that Ceres has ample residentially zoned property to accommodate the city's allocation for housing as dictated by the state. There is approximately 1,272 vacant acres in the current city limits - mostly because of the recent West Landing Annexation - that would lend to the ultimate building of 7,189 residential units. Those would vary from single-family houses to apartments and townhouses.

"This represents a surplus of 4,670 residential units above what the city is required to accommodate with its Regional Housing Needs Allocation," said Tom Westbrook, Director of Community Development, in a memo to the council.

The allocation calls for Ceres to make room for 311 units for extremely low-income families; 311 units for very low-income households; 399 units for low-income; 446 units for moderate income families; and 1,104 units for above moderate income households.

The proposed Housing Element is out for public review and comment, with anticipated submittal to the state Housing and Community Development Department by October.