Chapter 17.25
PROCESSING OF AGREEMENTS

17.25.100 Development Agreements

A.    Purpose

This Section provides procedures and requirements for the consideration of development agreements for the purposes specified in and as authorized by Section 65864 et. seq. of the California Government Code.

B.    General Provisions

1.    Only a qualified applicant may file an application for a Development Agreement. A qualified applicant is a person who has a legal or equitable interest in the real property which is the subject of the Development Agreement, or an authorized agent of a person who has a legal or equitable interest. The Planning Director may require an applicant to submit a title report or other evidence satisfactory to the Planning Director to verify the applicant’s interest in the real property and of the authority of the agent to act for the applicant.

2.    An application for a development agreement may be filed concurrently with any other application(s) having a direct relationship to the property which is the subject of the proposed agreement.

C.    Application procedure

1.    An application for a development agreement shall be made on a form provided for that purpose by the Planning Department, along with the required fee and deposit established by the City Council.

2.    A draft of the proposed development agreement (along with the required number of copies) may be submitted along with the application. Said agreement shall be in a form acceptable to the City Attorney. If deemed appropriate, the City Attorney may draft the initial agreement for review by the parties thereto. Any legal fees incurred by the City in drafting or reviewing a development agreement shall be paid by the applicant.

3.    The Planning Director may require additional information if deemed necessary to enable the Planning Commission and City Council to determine whether the development agreement is consistent with the objectives of the City’s General Plan and any applicable specific plan.

D.    Action by Planning Commission

1.    The Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing on an application for a development agreement. The hearing shall be set and notice given as prescribed in PMC 17.20.020. The hearing may be continued from time to time.

2.    The Planning Commission shall determine whether the development agreement is consistent with the required findings for approval as contained in paragraph F of this Section, and shall recommend to the City Council that the development agreement be approved, approved as amended, or denied.

E.    Action by City Council

1.    Upon receiving a recommendation from the Planning Commission on a proposed development agreement, the City Council shall hold a public hearing. The hearing shall be set and notice given as prescribed in PMC 17.20.020. The hearing may be continued from time to time.

2.    Following the closing of a public hearing, the Council shall determine if the Development Agreement is consistent with the findings contained within subsection F of this Section. If determined to be consistent, the City Council shall introduce an ordinance adopting the development agreement.

F.    Required findings for approval

Prior to taking an action to approve or recommend approval of a development agreement, the reviewing authority shall find as follows:

1.    The proposed development agreement conforms with the maps and policies of the General Plan and any applicable specific plan.

2.    The proposed development agreement complies with the requirements of California Government Code Sections 65865 through 65869.5.

3.    The proposed development agreement will not be detrimental to or cause adverse effects to adjacent property owners, residents, or the general public.

4.    The proposed development agreement provides clear and substantial benefit to the residents of the City of Palmdale.

G.    Ongoing review

The City shall periodically review all approved development agreements to determine whether the applicant, or successor in interest thereto, is demonstrating good faith compliance with the terms of the agreement. This review process may require the submittal of an application form, materials, and fees as established by City Council resolution.

H.    Amendments to approved development agreements

Any amendment to a previously-approved development agreement shall be reviewed pursuant to the procedures outlined in this Section for a new application.

17.25.110 Density Bonus Agreements

A.    Purpose

This Section provides procedures and requirements for the consideration of density bonus agreements for the purposes specified in and as authorized by Section 65915 et. seq. of the California Government Code.

B.    General provisions

1.    Only a qualified applicant may file an application for a density bonus agreement. A qualified applicant is a person who has a legal or equitable interest in the real property that is the subject of the density bonus agreement, or an authorized agent of a person who has a legal or equitable interest. The Planning Director may require an applicant to submit a title report or other evidence satisfactory to the Planning Director to verify the applicant’s interest in the real property and the authority of the agent to act for the applicant.

2.    Where a density bonus request does not involve an existing development, the application for a density bonus agreement shall be filed concurrently with all other development application(s).

3.    The density bonus agreement may only be requested for development projects consisting of (prior to any density increase) five or more dwelling units.

4.    For the purposes of this Chapter, a “density bonus” shall mean an increase above the otherwise maximum allowable residential density under the General Plan (the base density). (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

5.    For purposes of this Chapter, “very low”, “low” and “moderate” income shall be defined as follows: (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

a.    Very Low Income shall mean those households earning 50% or less of the area median income as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code. Rent for these households shall not exceed 30% of 50% of the area median income. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

b.    Low Income shall mean those households earning 80% or less of the area median income as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code. Rent for these households shall not exceed 30% of 60% of the area median income. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

c.    Moderate Income shall mean those households earning 120% or less of the area median income as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

6.    For the purposes of this Chapter, “incentives” and/or “concessions” shall be provided to developers as specified in subsection (B)(12) of this Section in return for the development of housing at affordable levels and shall consist of any of the following: (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

a.    Waiver or modification of a development standard (e.g., parking, setbacks, open space, etc.) that would otherwise inhibit the ability to utilize a density bonus granted on a specific site. A waiver and/or reduction shall not be given if it is determined to have a specific, adverse impact upon health, safety or the physical environment that cannot otherwise be feasibly mitigated. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

b.    Approval of mixed use zoning in conjunction with the housing project if commercial, office, industrial or other land uses will reduce the cost of the housing development and is compatible with the housing project and surrounding area. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

c.    Other regulatory incentives or concessions proposed by the developer or the City that result in identifiable, financially sufficient, and actual cost reductions. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

7.    When determining the number of units that are affordable, the density bonus shall be included. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

8.    When calculating base density or density bonus numbers, any fractional portion of a unit shall be rounded up. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

9.    Density bonuses, as specified in this Chapter, shall be granted when an applicant for housing development requests and agrees to construct at least any one of the following: (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

a.    Low Income Housing. A 20% density bonus shall be granted when ten percent (10%) of the total units are designated for lower income households. For each 1% increase above 10% in the percentage of units affordable to lower income households, the density bonus shall be increased by 1.5% up to a maximum of 35%. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

b.    Very Low Income Housing. A 20% density bonus shall be granted when 5% of the total units are designated for very low-income households. For each 1% increase above 5% in the percentage of units affordable to very low-income households, the density bonus shall be increased by 2.5% up to a maximum of 35%. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

c.    Senior Housing. A 50% density bonus shall be granted for development of senior citizen housing, defined as housing for those age fifty-five (55) or older. An additional 20% density bonus shall be granted when ten percent (10%) of the total units in a senior housing development are designated for lower income households. For each 1% increase above 10% of the percentage of units affordable to lower-income households, the density bonus shall be increased by 1% up to a maximum of 80%. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

d.    Condominium and Planned Development. A 5% density bonus shall be granted when ten percent (10%) of the total units in a condominium or planned development are designated for moderate-income households pursuant to Section 65915(c)(2) of the Government Code. For each 1% increase above 10% of the percentage of units affordable to moderate-income households, the density bonus shall be increased by 1% up to a maximum of 35%. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

e.    Land Donation. Pursuant to provisions contained in Section 65915(h) et. seq. of the Government Code, a 15% density bonus shall be granted for qualifying land donations. An additional density bonus up to a maximum of 35% may be authorized pursuant to that Section. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

f.    Child Care Facility. In conjunction with providing the affordable housing specified in subsections (B)(9)(a) through (d) of this Section, an additional density bonus or concession may be granted for providing child care facilities located on the premises of, as part of, or adjacent to, the project in accordance with the following: (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

i.    Child care facilities in the community shall be deemed inadequate. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

ii.    The density bonus shall consist of residential space that is equal to or greater than the amount of square feet in the child care facility. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

iii.    One concession or incentive in addition to those permitted under subsection (B)(12) of this Section may be granted in lieu of the density bonus. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

iv.    The child care facility shall remain in operation for a period of time that is as long as or longer than the period of time during which the density bonus units are required to remain affordable. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

v.    Of the children who attend the child care facility, the children of very low income households, lower income households, or families of moderate income shall equal a percentage equal to or greater than the percentage of dwelling units that are required for the applicable housing development. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

10.    Required parking for housing development seeking a density bonus shall not exceed the following: (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

a.    Zero to one bedroom: one on-site parking space. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

b.    Two to three bedroom: two on-site parking spaces. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

c.    Four and more bedrooms: two and one-half parking spaces. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

11.    For any density bonus granted under the provisions of this Section, the developer shall agree to ensure continued affordability of all lower income density bonus units for no less than 30 years or a longer period of time if required by the construction or mortgage financing assistance program, mortgage insurance program, or rental subsidy program. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

12.    Applicants for density bonuses may in addition to the density bonus request the following number of incentives or concessions: (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

a.    One incentive or concession for projects that include at least ten percent (10%) of the total units for lower income houses, at least five percent (5%) for very low income households, or at least ten percent (10%) for persons and families of moderate income in a condominium or planned development. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

b.    Two incentives or concessions for projects that include at least 20% of the total units for lower income households, at least 10% for very low income households, or at least 20% for persons and families of moderate income in a condominium or planned development. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

c.    Three incentives or concessions for projects that include at least 30% of total units for lower income households, at least 15% for very low income households, or at least 30% for moderate income households in a condominium or planned development. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

13.    The City shall grant the concession or incentive requested by the applicant under subsection (B)(12) of this Section, unless it makes a written finding, based upon substantial evidence, of either of the following: (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

a.    The concession or incentive is not required in order to provide for affordable housing costs or for rents for the targeted units to be set as specified in subsection (B)(5)(a) or (b) of this Section. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

b.    The concession or incentive would have a specific adverse impact upon public health and safety or the physical environment or on any real property that is listed in the California Register of Historical Resources for which there is no feasible method to mitigate or avoid without rendering the development unaffordable. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

14.    The granting of a density bonus, concession or incentive shall not be interpreted, in and of itself, to require a general plan amendment, zone change, variance or other discretionary approval. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

C.    Application procedure

1.    An application for a density bonus agreement shall be made on a form provided for that purpose by the Planning Department, along with the required fee and/or deposit established by the City Council.

2.    The applicant shall provide financial data as determined by the Director of Planning showing that any requested concession and/or waiver is necessary to make the affordable units economically feasible. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

3.    The application shall be accompanied by the appropriate number of draft density bonus agreements as listed on the application. Said agreement shall be in a form acceptable to the City Attorney and may include the following provisions as well as any other deemed necessary by the City during review of specific proposals:

a.    The terms and conditions of the agreement shall run with the land which is to be developed, shall be binding upon any or all successor in interest of the developer, and shall be recorded in the Office of the Los Angeles County Recorder, prior to issuance of any building permits for the project;

b.    The developer shall give the City the continuing right-of-first-refusal to purchase or lease any or all of the designated units at the fair market value;

c.    The deeds to the designated units shall contain a covenant stating that the developer or his/her successor in interest shall not sell, rent, lease, sublet, assign, or otherwise transfer any interests for same without the written approval of the City confirming that the sales price of the units is consistent with the limits established for very low, low- and/or moderate-income households, which shall be related to the Consumer Price Index;

d.    The City shall have the authority to enter into other agreements with the developer or purchasers of the dwelling units, as may be necessary to assure that the required dwelling units are continuously occupied by eligible households.

4.    The Planning Director may require additional information if deemed necessary to enable the Planning Commission and City Council to determine whether the density bonus agreement is consistent with the objectives of the City’s General Plan and any applicable specific plan. This may include, but not be limited to, a market feasibility/absorption study for the proposed project.

D.    Action by Planning Commission

1.    The Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing on an application for a density bonus agreement. The hearing shall be set and notice given as prescribed in PMC 17.20.020. The hearing may be continued from time to time.

2.    The Planning Commission shall determine whether the density bonus agreement is consistent with the required findings for approval as set forth in subsection F of this Section, and shall recommend to the City Council that the density bonus agreement be approved, approved as amended, or denied.

E.    Action by City Council

1.    Upon receiving a recommendation from the Planning Commission on a proposed density bonus agreement, the City Council shall hold a public hearing. The hearing shall be set and notice given as prescribed in PMC 17.20.020. The hearing may be continued from time to time.

2.    Following the closing of a public hearing, the Council shall determine if the density bonus agreement is consistent with the findings contained within subsection F of this Section. If determined to be consistent, the City Council shall introduce an ordinance adopting the development agreement.

F.    Required findings for approval

Prior to taking an action to approve or recommend approval of a density bonus agreement, the reviewing authority shall find as follows:

1.    The proposed density bonus agreement is consistent with the maps and policies of the General Plan and any applicable specific plan.

2.    The proposed density bonus agreement complies with the requirements of California Government Code Section 65915 et. seq.

3.    All waivers and/or concessions granted in conjunction with the proposed density bonus are necessary in order to make the project’s affordable units economically feasible. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

4.    The granting of the proposed density bonus will result in provision of housing for lower income households and/or persons with special needs, as identified in the Housing Element. (Zoning Ordinance 05-02, adopted by City Council December 12, 2005).

5.    The granting of the proposed density bonus will not have an adverse impact on adjacent properties or on the general public.

G.    Ongoing review

The City shall periodically review all approved density bonus agreements to determine whether the applicant, or successor in interest thereto, is demonstrating good faith compliance with the terms of the agreement. This review process may require the submittal of an application form, materials and fees as established by City Council resolution.

H.    Amendments to approved density bonus agreements

Any amendment to a previously-approved development agreement shall be reviewed pursuant to the procedures outlined in this Section for a new application.