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Walnut Creek Housing Moratorium Gets the Boot; Housing Still Faces Obstacles

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Officials in Walnut Creek have rejected a proposal that would have frozen all approvals for residential projects in commercially zoned districts for a period ranging from 45 days to 22 months, reports the San Francisco Business Times. The moratorium lost out in a 3 to 2 vote in the city council last night. Walnut Creek is a residential development boomtown, but some feel that too much commercially zoned land is being gobbled up by residential developers, posing a threat to the city's longterm economic vitality by forgoing potential municipal commercial revenue.

However, the moratorium's defeat by no means ensures residential development will continue at the same clip in Walnut Creek, since some updates now in the works for the area plan would make it yet more difficult to gain approvals for residential development in commercial areas. SF Bay Area Renters' Federation founder Sonja Trauss tells us that building residential in a commercial zone would still be possible, but developers would have to get a plan amendment from city council, rather than a decidedly more straightforward conditional use permit from their planning commission. The effort marked the third time a residential building moratorium has come up in the past month, after Emeryville rejected a similar measure and Supervisor David Campos floated the idea of a moratorium on market-rate development in part of the Mission.

· Walnut Creek rejects housing moratorium [SF Business Times]
· Turf Wars [Curbed SF]
· David Campos Might Propose Moratorium on Market-Rate Housing in the Mission [Curbed SF]