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F. The Orange County Board of Supervisors and Department of Public Health <br />declared a local emergency and local public health emergency to aid the <br />regional healthcare and governmental community in responding to COVID-19. <br />G. On March 17, 2020, the Santa Ana City Council proclaimed the existence of a <br />local emergency to ensure the availability of mutual aid and support an <br />expedient response to the COVID-19 pandemic. <br />H. As a result of the public health emergency and the precautions recommended <br />by health authorities, City Hall and the public counters for development <br />processing and permit applications in Santa Ana were closed to the public <br />from March 18 through June 1, 2020, thereby limiting the processing of <br />development applications, delaying development projects that were already <br />approved, and thereby impacting development activities in the city for over 10 <br />weeks. <br />I. The City Council of the City of Santa Ana is concerned about the unplanned <br />detrimental effects caused by COVID 19 on the local economy and the <br />development and construction of housing in the City. These unforeseen <br />issues are of grave concern as it is imperative for the City to maintain a <br />steady stream of housing units in the pipeline at all times. <br />J. As a result of current world events, construction of single-family homes <br />plummeted to its slowest pace in several years. Single-family housing starts <br />dropped 17.5 percent while multifamily housing starts (5 or more units in a <br />structure) fell 32.1 percent in April and were down 3.9 percent from a year <br />earlier. <br />K. Lack of housing units in the City of Santa Ana is a threat to public health and <br />safety and requires urgent intervening action by the City Council. <br />L. In an effort to combat the anticipated severe negative effects that a reduction <br />in the availability of housing units in the City of Santa Ana will cause to the <br />City and its residents, the City Council has determined that a reduction in the <br />HOO fee will serve as an incentive and a catalyst for builders to initiate <br />construction of housing in the City and for the City to continue providing <br />quality housing opportunities in the City. <br />M. The Santa Ana City Council finds that the construction of new housing units <br />will also stimulate the economy by providing jobs and the City is committed to <br />encouraging that end result. <br />N. The Santa Ana City Council finds that requiring projects with over twenty units <br />to pay the full $15.00 per square foot in -lieu housing fee would pose a serious <br />Ordinance No. NS-2994 <br />Page 2 of 17 <br />