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Objective Design Standards Toolkit

Ascent, in partnership with PlaceWorks, was selected by HCD to help oversee the SB 2 Planning Grants Technical Assistance Program. SB 2, the Building Jobs and Homes Act, imposed a fee on the recording of most real estate documents in California as a means to fund construction of affordable housing. SB 2 provides that the proceeds generated during the first year of collecting this fee, 2018, would be split evenly between planning efforts to generate more affordable housing and programs that address homelessness. Of the money available for planning, SB 2 further specifies that 5 percent would be available for technical assistance to local governments.
Through the SB 2 program, Ascent has provided technical assistance to local governments in the San Diego, Sacramento, and Sierra Nevada regions to help cities and counties prepare, adopt, and implement plans and process improvements that streamline housing approvals and accelerate housing production. As part of this effort, we led the preparation of an Objective Design Standards Toolkit, which provides an overview and resources related to guiding legislation, a range of approaches that can be used to craft objective design standards and measure design “objectively,” alternative implementation approaches, best practices related to writing, organizing standards, and example topics, criteria, and graphics.

California Department of Housing and Community Development

Urban Design
Objective Design Standards

Statewide, California

Project Contact

Christine Babla, AIA, AICP, LEED AP
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