The 2005 General Plan establishes the minimum and maximum densities for the residential land use designations using net acres. This means the total allowed density of a parcel is calculated on the portion that could accommodate housing and excludes the portion that would accommodate roads and sidewalks. Other jurisdictions establish residential densities based on gross density. This means the total allowed density is based on the total area of the parcel.

In Hollister, using net density has obscured the project review process and has not produced the types of housing products envisioned by the General Plan. Project applicants cannot achieve the net density limits because the roadways and topography of a site reduce the area that could accommodate housing. Allowing projects to use gross density provides project applicants with certainty on what could be built and would accommodate a wider range of housing types. For example, although the Medium Density Residential designation allows for duplexes and triplexes at 8 to 12 units per net acre, Hollister developers can rarely propose projects that include these products because the net density has resulted in lower density projects at 5 to 9 dwelling units per gross acre. Basing the residential land use densities on gross acreage would provide project applicants with more certainty because densities would not change based on the roadway network. In addition, it could encourage new housing types in Hollister that would be affordable to lower incomes.

Question Title

* 1. Should the General Plan base the residential density limits using gross acres instead of net acres? (Choose one.)