Tuesday, March 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Council to consider refurnishing affordable housing ordinance

By
From page A1 | July 09, 2013 |

Learn more

What: Davis City Council meeting

When and where: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.

Watch it: Comcast Channel 16, AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 or the city’s website at www.cityofdavis.org/media

Notable agenda items: Adoption of fiscal year 2013-14 budget, affordable housing ordinance changes, contract renewal with Davis Waste Removal, approval of Proposition 218 notices for solid waste removal services

Note: This is the council’s last regularly scheduled meeting before it takes its summer recess. The council will reconvene on Aug. 27.

Hamstrung by shrinking federal subsidies for affordable housing while still grappling with a short supply of homes for residents most in need, city community development staff members have finalized a handful of changes to a local ordinance that they hope will help Davis meet its affordable housing demands and maximize staff resources at the same time.

The recommended revisions that the City Council will consider Tuesday include:

* A primary focus on affordable rental housing: Staff first will ask that the council focus “all, if not almost all” of its affordable housing resources on building up the affordable rental housing supply, rather than ownership housing.

While the city traditionally has built rental units when subsidizing affordable housing, according to Katherine Hess, community development administrator, developer-funded projects often largely feature ownership units.

If approved Tuesday, this policy would strengthen the city’s emphasis on affordable rental housing — specifically to assist the very low-income population in the community — while encouraging developers to build affordable rental units, as priority would be given to developments with rental offerings.

“Affordable housing for households at the upper-end of the low-income range … is provided in rental opportunities throughout Davis,” Hess and city staff said in their report to the council. “Moderate-income households have the choice of rental housing in Davis, or ownership homes within easy commuting distance. (But) very low-income households are not served by market-rent housing in Davis.”

Households classified as very low-income earn up to $26,950 for a one-person household and up to $38,450 for a four-person household in Yolo County.

* Lowering the bar for the inclusionary requirement: In the past, 25 percent of homes built for any housing project in Davis were required to be affordable, no matter the size or the type of the development.

Staff believes that by restructuring that inclusionary requirement based on a graduated scale — where fewer affordable units would be required for certain types of smaller projects — the city could encourage more infill and compact development. Hess says the change also would diversify the type of housing the city can offer to lower-income households.

If approved Tuesday, the affordable housing requirement for single-family detached, or standalone, homes would be lowered to 15 percent. Single-family attached units, such as town homes, would only need to be 10 percent affordable and stacked condominiums would require no affordable housing at all. The requirement for large lot, single-family detached units with more than 5,000 square feet would remain at 25 percent.

“This structure would provide an incentive for builders to construct housing types that are more difficult to entitle and construct, and riskier to finance and market, which can further city goals for infill, densification, a mix of housing types and increased affordability,” staff said in its report.

* Affordable housing in-lieu fees to bolster revenues: To recoup some of the losses sustained when the city’s redevelopment agency was dissolved — among the dwindling of other outside funding — staff is looking to developers for some financial help.

Staff will propose Tuesday to begin charging an in-lieu fee — possibly of about $50,000 to $55,000 per development — that would allow developers to forego the inclusion of affordable housing in a project.

According to staff, based on the projects they expect to get the green light in the next five to eight years, they estimate that the city would receive approximately $1 million from the fees.

“… It doesn’t come close to what we lost when the agency was dissolved, but it might be enough to leverage tax credits for a project,” Hess said in an email.

However, several groups have raised strong concerns over allowing in-lieu fees, including the city’s Social Services Commission and Legal Services of Northern California, representatives of which say that in-lieu fees should be allowed only for smaller projects, if at all.

If approved, the funding generated would be directly tied to acquisition, rehabilitation or construction of residential buildings only. The city also would determine whether to accept the fees on a project by project basis.

* Granny flats to contribute to inclusionary requirement? Staff also will recommend that any accessory dwelling unit — commonly known as a granny flat, which is a smaller, often one- or two-bedroom unit built on the same plot as another home — count as a half-credit toward the city’s affordable housing inclusionary requirements, even if the unit isn’t considered affordable.

“These units can create a range of housing options, provide income potential for homeowners and increase vibrancy of a neighborhood,” staff said in the report. “Accessory dwelling units can also help meet a community’s fair-share obligations under Housing Element law.”

However, the city’s Social Services Commission voted 5-2 against this provision, because it did not guarantee that units would be rented at an affordable rate or rented to low-income households, according to Hess.

The city conducted a survey of the 131 properties in Davis that have been permitted to build granny flats. Of the 50 or so responses staff received, 23 units were rented at low-income levels with a few of those being very low-income.

“Staff is comfortable that accessory dwelling units, particularly those that meet the recommended performance standards, can provide a form of affordable housing that would not otherwise be provided by the market,” the report said.

— Reach Tom Sakash at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Comments

comments

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected], (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Nominees sought for city’s human rights awards

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    Pedal power: It’s a different kind of March Madness

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    STEM-Tastic Sunday highlights summer opportunities

    By Chloe Lessard | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    County: Baby Justice was on Social Services’ radar

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Budget standoff leaves California college hopefuls in limbo

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    House to vote on Homeland bill without conditions

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    State to supply just 20 percent of water

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Rampant crime on the streets of Davis

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Appeals court upholds protection for threatened seabird

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    ‘Pearls Before Swine’ joins daily comics lineup

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Winter market wraps up Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Public broadband, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Alcoholic liver disease strikes Hispanics years earlier

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Embroiderers will discuss needlework tools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Tuleyome needs volunteers for work party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Get a taste of Middle Earth at library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Holmes’ talent showcased

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Bingo games Sunday will benefit DHS Madrigals’ trip

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Go all in for fun at Texas Hold ‘Em tournament

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    DCC Nursery School hosts open house

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Join a fitness party at Zumba class

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Logos Books hosts conversation groups, poetry readings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Sure and begorrah!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Overeaters get support at meetings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

    Cycle de Mayo kicks off Bike Month

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Klein’s book featured at Authors on the Move

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    City says it did not OK Ygrene mailers

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A6

    .

    Forum

    The kids aren’t interested

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    One more family insult

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    UCD alums will want to stay

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    End the use of this word

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Thanks for act of kindness

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

    Cannery CFD creates unequal taxation patchwork

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Climate changes are inevitable

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Act for our children’s future

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

    Aggie men host two big ones this week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Dream run ends for Davis’ master wrestlers

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devil boys net an easy tennis victory

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    In the Clubhouse: Summerhays Jr. talks about new post at El Macero CC

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Blue Devils in semis Tuesday night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Newly acquired Smith scores in Sharks’ victory

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Aggie lacrosse team takes home opener

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    Blue Devil girls look for revenge in the pool

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    DHS boys aim to repeat as section swim champs

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    Name Droppers: Dunn graduates from Marine Corps basic training

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

     
    Songs of the Civil War to be performed by Anonymous 4

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Davis Chorale starts year with demanding music

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    Thursday Live! features Keith Cary, Wyatt Hesemeyer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Otto Vasak

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7