Housing Opportunities on City-Owned Sites

The City of Benicia has designated city-owned sites for housing development as part of the sites inventory of the 2023-2031 Housing Element. In early 2023, the City Council took action to rezone these sites to allow for housing (Ordinance No. 23-3). To move forward with disposition of these sites (i.e., sell, lease, or develop), the City must adhere to the requirements of the State Surplus Land Act (SLA).

Overview of Process

Typically, this process for site disposition involves a declaration by the City Council, followed by a Notice of Availability (“NOA”) to the entities listed below:

  • Entities with authority over low and moderate income housing including: local public entities authorized to engage in or assist in the development or operation of housing for persons and families of low or moderate income; and housing sponsors qualified to own, construct, acquire, or rehabilitate a housing development for the purpose of housing that have notified the HCD of their interest in surplus land for the purpose of developing low and moderate income housing.
  • Entities with authority over open space, including: park or recreation departments of the county and cities; any regional park authority; and the State Resources Agency.
  • School districts which may wish to construct facilities or acquire open space.
  • Entities with authority over Infill Opportunity Zones or Transit Villages

An entity desiring to purchase or lease the surplus land must notify the City in writing of its interest in purchasing or leasing the land within 60 days after the NOA is distributed.

If the City receives a notice of interest, the SLA mandates a 90-day negotiation period to determine a mutually satisfactory sales price and terms of purchase or lease. If no notice of interest is received or negotiations do not result in a disposition, the City may proceed with disposing of the land. The SLA does not require the City to dispose of surplus land at less than fair market value. However, the SLA requires that, at a minimum, development of 10 or more residential units on the site must designate at least 15 percent of units as affordable.

More Information

Interested developers must notify the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) of their interest in receiving notices by completing HCD's Developer Interest Survey.

For more information regarding the SLA, please visit the State's Surplus Lands webpage.