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Glendale City Council Supports Code Amendments to Create More Affordable Housing

At a joint November 13 meeting of the Glendale City Council and Glendale Housing Authority, Glendale City Council members directed staff to start the process of amending the City’s zoning code to include an inclusionary zoning ordinance (IZO), in-lieu fee resolution, linkage fees, and a revision to the affordable housing exemption for the Parks and Library Impact Fee.

Council directed that City staff submit the IZO and Resolution to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation, before returning to the Council for its consideration.

The IZO will be applied citywide to both rental and ownership projects with five or more units. It will require that 15% of the total units in an otherwise market-rate rental project be affordable. In an otherwise market-rate ownership project, 11% of the total units must be affordable.

The IZO will set the affordability level – the income level that households must earn in order to be eligible to live in the affordable unit – for rental projects at up to 80% and ownership projects at up to 120% of the Los Angeles County Area Median Income, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The IZO will require an affordability period of 55 years for both rental and ownership inclusionary units.

Inclusionary units and market-rate must be exactly comparable with respect to size, bedroom count, design, quality, workmanship, and finishes, according to the IZO. One exception to this requirement is an option for the developer to build the affordable units smaller than the market rate units. To take advantage of this option the developer would have to provide 20% of the total units as affordable for rental projects and 15% for ownership projects.

A developer has the option of providing inclusionary units off-site within one mile of the project. Inclusionary units can also be provided through acquisition and rehabilitation of an existing residential building, provided that certain conditions are met.

The IZO will not apply to rental and ownership projects that have obtained a validly-issued building permit prior to the IZO’s adoption.

The In-Lieu Fee Resolution will provide developers with the option of paying a fee in-lieu of designating some units as affordable. The In-Lieu Fee will vary based on the number of units in an ownership or rental project, based on a dollar amount per gross buildable area. A chart with the fees can be found on page 6 of the November 13, 2018 report.

The Linkage Fee will be set at $4 per square foot and required for commercial development citywide. Commercial buildings developed for uses as hotels and/or auto dealers, or with a total square footage of 1250 or less will be exempt from payment of a Linkage Fee. A commercial building that has obtained a validly-issued building permit prior to the adoption of the Linkage Fee will be exempt from payment of a Linkage Fee.

The City Council and Glendale Housing Authority considered and discussed IZO amendments on August 14, September 18, and November 13 of this year. IZO reports and additional direction provided by Council from those meetings will inform the preparation of these Zoning Code amendments.


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