SECTION 25.38
DENSITY BONUS

Sections:

25.38.1    Definitions

25.38.2    Eligibility for Density Bonus and Incentives

25.38.3    Conceptual Review Required

25.38.4    Bonus and Incentives

25.38.5    Incentive Conditions

The following Sections provide incentives to encourage the production of quality housing for lower income and senior citizen segments of the community. This Section implements the General Plan Housing Element and State Density Bonus Law (California Government Code Section 65915).

25.38.1 Definitions

For purpose of this Section, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:

A.    "Incentive" means density bonus, modification to development standard, or another regulatory incentive provided by the City to housing developer for purposes of reducing housing costs.

B.    "County Median Income" means the median income for various household sizes in Solano County as determined by the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development.

C.    "Density Bonus" means an increase in density over the otherwise maximum allowable residential density under the applicable zoning and general plan designation. The density bonus is not included when calculating the percentage reserved units.

D.    "Reserved Units" means those units reserved for sale or rental to certain household types as described below. (Ord. No. 2012-04, § 2.)

25.38.2 Eligibility for Density Bonus and Incentives

In order to be eligible for a density bonus and other incentives as provided by this Section, a proposed residential development project shall meet the following requirements:

A.    Consist of five or more units;

B.    The project provides reserved units for the following populations and income groups:

1.    Very-Low-Income Rental Housing. At least five (5) percent of the units in the proposed project shall be affordable to households whose total household income is less than 50 percent of the County median income (very-low-income households); or

2.    Low-Income Rental Housing. At least ten (10) percent of the units in the proposed project shall be affordable to households whose total household income is less than 80 percent of the County median income (low-income households); or

3.    Senior Housing. At least 50 percent of the units in the proposed project shall be set aside for persons age 62 and older, or persons age 55 and older in a residential development consisting of at least thirty-five (35) dwelling units which is developed for, or substantially rehabilitated or renovated for senior citizens; or

4.    Moderate Income Ownership Housing. For projects providing ownership housing units, including condominiums and planned developments as defined in the State Civil Code, at least ten (10) percent of the dwelling units shall be set aside for persons and families with less than 120% of the County median income (moderate-income households). (Ord. No. 2012-04, § 2.)

25.38.3 Conceptual Review Required

Developers seeking the incentives offered by this Section are required to submit a written proposal and project plans for Conceptual Review to the Department of Community Development prior to making a formal development application. (Ord. No. 2012-04, § 2.)

25.38.4 Bonus and Incentives

Eligible residential development projects shall be granted the following incentives:

A.    Density bonus.

1.    Rental Projects. All projects that provide Rental Reserved Units for the specified income and population groups defined in Section 25.38.2B shall receive a density bonus of at least 20%. Said density bonus shall be calculated on the total unit count for the project.

    For projects that provide additional Rental Units beyond the minimums specified above, additional Density Bonus shall be provided as follows:

a.    Low-Income Units: For each 1 percent increase above 10 percent 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 percent.

b.    Very-Low-Income Units: For each 1 percent increase above 5 percent 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 percent.

2.    Ownership Projects (Condominiums or Planned Unit Developments). Developers of ownership housing (condominium projects or planned unit developments) with at least 10% of the units affordable to moderate-income households shall be granted a Density Bonus of at least 5%. For each 1 percent increase above 10 percent in the percentage of units affordable to moderate-income households, the density bonus shall be increased by 1% up to a maximum of 35 percent.

3.    Land Dedication for Construction of Very-Low-Income Units. When an applicant donates land pursuant to Section 65915 (h) of the California Government Code to the City or designated agency or organization, the applicant shall be entitled to a 15% or greater density bonus, as provided for in Section 65915 of California Government Code.

B.    Additional incentives.

1.    Incentive Proposals. In addition to the Density Bonus as defined in Section 25.38.4 A, a housing developer may submit to the City a proposal for specific incentives or concessions that will enable the development of affordable housing as defined in Section 25.38.2 above. Said incentives may include but not be limited to:

a.    Modification or waiver of zoning or development standards and requirements, including, but not limited to, minimum lot size, setbacks, parking standards, and additional density bonuses; and/or

b.    Other measures which can be shown to result in identifiable cost reductions, including, but not limited to, expedited processing, technical assistance, use of redevelopment funds or powers, or financing assistance.

    The City shall grant additional incentives in addition to those outlined in Section 25.38.4A as provided in Section 65915 (d) of the California Government Code. The applicant shall receive the following number of incentives or concessions:

(1)    One incentive or concession for projects that include at least 10 percent of the total units for lower-income households, at least 5 percent for very-low-income households, or at least 10 percent for persons and families of moderate income in a condominium or planned development.

(2)    Two incentives or concessions for projects that include at least 20 percent of the total units for lower income households, at least 10 percent for very low-income households, or at least 20 percent for persons and families of moderate income in a condominium or planned development.

(3)    Three incentives or concessions for projects that include at least 30 percent of the total units for lower income households, at least 15 percent for very low-income households, or at least 30 percent for persons and families of moderate income in a condominium or planned development.

2.    City Duty to Approve Incentives Proposals. City shall approve the incentives proposal provided for in Section 25.38.4 B. 1 unless City can make written findings as follows:

a.    The proposed incentives or concessions are not required in order to provide for affordable housing costs as outlined in Sections 25.38.5 E. and F below.

b.    The concession or incentive would have a specific adverse impact upon public health and safety or the physical environment. (Ord. No. 2012-04, § 2.)

25.38.5 Incentive Conditions

A.    Number and mix of incentives. The type and number of incentives will depend on the amount necessary to provide for affordable housing costs of the Reserved Units, consistent with the requirements of California Government Code Sec. 65915 as summarized in Sec. 25.38.4 of this Ordinance.

B.    Incentive approval. The type and number of incentives shall be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Planning Commission. Incentives which involve any financial assistance (including fee reductions) must also be approved by the City Council or Redevelopment Agency, as applicable.

C.    Limitation imposed by Development Agreement or other restrictions. No density bonus shall be granted that would exceed the densities established or fixed by development agreements or redevelopment plans. In such cases, the City shall grant other incentives of equivalent financial value.

D.    Term of reserved units. The Reserved Units shall be rented or sold exclusively to their intended households as provided in Section 25.38 for a minimum period of 30 years. The appropriate compliance mechanism(s) shall be determined by the Director of Community Development and be specified in the conditions of approval for the development.

E.    Affordability - Rental Units. During the reservation period, Reserved Units for households earning less than 80 percent of the County median income shall comply with the affordability requirements contained in State Density Bonus Law.

1.    Those units designated for low-income households shall be affordable at a rent that does not exceed 30% of 60% of area median income.

2.    Those units designated for very-low-income households shall be affordable at a rent that does not exceed 30% of 50% of area median income.

3.    Current maximum rents and housing costs may be obtained from the Department of Community Development.

F.    Affordability-Condominium Units

1.    An applicant shall agree to, and the City shall ensure that, the initial occupant of the moderate-income units in the condominium project or planned development shall be a moderate-income household earning no more than 120% of County Median Income.

2.    Upon resale, the reseller of the condominium unit shall retain the value of any improvements, the down payment, and the seller’s proportionate share of appreciation.

3.    Fairfield’s proportionate share of appreciation is equal to the percentage by which the initial sales price to the moderate-income household was less than the fair market value of the home at the time of initial sale. Contact the Department of Community Development for further information on appreciation sharing.

G.    Design of reserved units. The exterior of Reserved Units shall be visually indistinguishable from the non-Reserved Units in the development in terms of overall design, execution, and use of materials. Reserved Units may be smaller than the non-Reserved Units but shall be proportionally comparable in bedroom count to the non-Reserved Units in the development. Reserved Units shall not be clustered and shall be interspersed within the development.

H.    Expiration. Any density bonus and/or incentive granted under this Section shall expire if not exercised within 24 months of the Planning Commission approval date. The Commission may extend the validity of density bonuses and incentives for up to 24 months at any one time prior to the date of expiration.