Council Tackles Inclusionary In-Lieu Fees Monday, Payments by Developers Who Opt Out of Building Affordable Housing Units

Published : Monday, October 15, 2018 | 4:45 AM

The Pasadena City Council will hold a public hearing Monday on proposed increases to the City’s Inclusionary In-Lieu Fees, one of three alternatives developers can select from in order to comply with the inclusionary ordinance, which requires them to provide affordable units in their housing projects.

The in-lieu fee is the option most often exercised by developers of for-sale condominium projects in the City. Payments are deposited into the lnclusionary Housing Trust Fund, which as of the end of fiscal year 2018 has generated approximately $21.9 million from in-lieu fee revenues, according to an Agenda Report from William K. Huang, Director of the Pasadena Housing and Career Services Department.

Huang is recommending that the City Council approve the proposed adjustments in in-lieu fee rates as well as their implementation schedule, during Monday’s meeting.

Pasadena’s lnclusionary Housing ordinance, enacted in 2001, applies to new housing developments of 10 or more units. For rental developments, the ordinance requires that 10 percent of the units permitted to be built under the current zoning of the development site are to be restricted as affordable housing at the low-income level, and five percent at the moderate-income level. For for-sale developments, 15 percent of the base density units are required to be restricted at the moderate-income level.

In exchange for producing affordable inclusionary units, developers can avail themselves of discounts in paying residential impact fees, a partial waiver in building permit fees, or traffic impact fees may be waived for each affordable unit.

A total of 533 affordable units have been produced under the inclusionary ordinance since 2001, most of them were built outside of Northwest Pasadena, according to the Department of Housing and Recreation Services.

In another housing-related matter, the Housing and Career Services Department is recommending that the City Council authorize the City Manager to enter into a contract with Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) so the City could receive funding to provide homelessness prevention, rapid rehousing, coordinated entry, and motel voucher programs.

The funding is worth $1,243,825 in Measure H funds. The move would also require an amendment to the fiscal year 2019 operating budget, which the Department is also recommending.

Also on Monday, the City Council is expected to act on a recommendation from the City Manager to remove the Complete Streets-Orange Grove Boulevard Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements Project from the Future Projects Section of the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP).

The project, which aims to convert Orange Grove Blvd. from Allen Avenue to Sierra Madre Villa Avenue – a length of about 1.8 miles – from a vehicle-oriented street to a “complete street,” has been part of CIP since 2012.

Known as a road diet, the proposed configuration would include pedestrian curb extensions, dedicated bike lanes, a center turn lane/median, and one lane of traffic in each direction. It has been unfunded for such a long time, according to the City Manager, and while staff is prepared to continue with the effort, the City Manager “believes it would not be productive to do so” and instead is recommending removal of the project from the CIP.

Before adjournment, the City Council will receive a five-minute briefing from the City Attorney regarding recent legislation related to disclosure of certain police department information, Monday’s agenda showed.

The City Council begins with a closed session at 5:30 p.m. and proceeds to the open meeting at 6:30 p.m. Public comment on matters not on the agenda is allowed after the roll call.

Meetings are held at the City Council chamber, Room S249 at the Pasadena City Hall.

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