The Thousand Oaks City Council, in the first major revision of the city's growth-control ordinance, Tuesday night endorsed a plan allowing builders to receive unused housing allotments left by the slump in home sales after voters adopted the law in 1980.
With the 4-1 vote--the minimum margin necessary to modify the voter initiative--the council can now redistribute 424 expired allotments to developers in addition to the 500 permitted annually under the law. Each allotment authorizes a developer to build one dwelling unit.
Each year, developers compete for allotments by emphasizing their contributions to parkland, flood control, traffic abatement and aesthetics, the growth-control law's criteria for council awards. Projects that provide "affordable" housing are exempt from the allotment limit. About 1,300 such units have been approved since 1980.
The slow housing market of the early 1980s prompted several developers to drop projects that already had been approved.
Developers are allowed up to five years to take out building permits and proceed with construction.
Backers of the ordinance revision said it is consistent with the public's expectations that, over time, the city will allow construction of 500 housing units a year.