Chapter 11.31
DENSITY BONUS FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Sections:

11.31.010    Purpose and intent.

11.31.020    Applicability.

11.31.030    Definitions.

11.31.040    Density bonus.

11.31.050    Incentives.

11.31.060    Affordable housing requirements.

11.31.070    Affordable housing agreement.

11.31.080    Enforcement and monitoring.

11.31.090    Severability of provisions.

11.31.010 Purpose and intent.

It is the intent of the city of South Gate to accommodate the current and projected housing needs of the city’s workforce by providing a diverse mix of housing types and a broad range of housing prices. The purpose of this chapter is to provide incentives for the production of affordable housing in accordance with California Government Code Section 65915 et seq., and as amended.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.31.020 Applicability.

This chapter applies to any residential development of five or more units (except for senior housing, which requires a minimum of thirty-five units) when an applicant proposes a density increase above the maximum allowable residential density. In exchange for the density increase, a portion of the units will be reserved for lower-income households, senior households, or moderate-income households, as provided in this chapter.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.31.030 Definitions.

“Affordable housing agreement” shall mean a legally binding, written agreement between the city and a developer, in form and substance satisfactory to the city attorney, ensuring compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

Affordable Housing Costs. As defined in California Health and Safety Code Sections 50052.5 and 50053, or any successor statute or regulation.

“Affordable units” shall mean the units reserved for lower-, low-, or moderate-income households or senior households in order for the project to be eligible for the density bonus and incentives.

“Child care facility” shall mean a facility other than a small- or large-family day care home, including, but not limited to, infant centers.

“Density bonus” shall mean an increase over the otherwise maximum allowable residential density as specified by this title.

“Density bonus units” shall mean the residential units granted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter that exceed the maximum residential density for the development site.

“Director” shall mean the community development director of the city of South Gate or his/her designee.

“Los Angeles County annual median income” (“AMI”) shall mean the annual median income for Los Angeles County, adjusted for household size, as published in the California Code of Regulations, Title 25, Section 6932, or its successor provision.

“Low-income households” shall mean households whose income does not exceed the lower-income limits applicable to Los Angeles County, as published and periodically updated by the California Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50079.5 of the California Health and Safety Code.

“Low-income units” shall mean housing units restricted to occupancy by low-income households at affordable housing cost.

“Lower-income households” shall mean the inclusion of both low-income and very-low-income households.

“Moderate-income households” shall mean households whose income does not exceed the moderate income limits applicable to Los Angeles County, as published and periodically updated by the California Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50093 of the California Health and Safety Code or any successor statute or regulation.

“Moderate-income units” shall mean housing units restricted to occupancy by moderate-income households at affordable housing cost.

“Senior housing” shall mean a residential development that has been “designed to meet the physical and social needs” of older adults and that otherwise qualifies as “housing for older persons” as that phrase is used in the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 and its implementing regulations, and as that phrase is used in California Civil Code Sections 51.3 and 51.12, or to mobile home parks that limit residency based on age requirements for housing for older persons pursuant to Section 798.76 or 799.5 of the California Civil Code.

“Very-low-income households” shall mean households whose income does not exceed the very-low-income limits applicable to Los Angeles County as published and periodically updated by the California Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50105 of the California Health and Safety Code.

“Very-low-income units” shall mean housing units restricted to occupancy by very-low-income households at affordable housing cost.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.31.040 Density bonus.

A.    Determination of Density Bonus. Qualified projects that meet the eligibility requirements set forth in this chapter shall be granted a density bonus as outlined in Table 11.31-1, Determination of Density Bonus.

B.    Example. A project that includes ten percent very-low-income units would qualify for a total density bonus of thirty-two and one-half percent:

1.    Twenty percent base density for providing five percent very-low-income units.

2.    For each additional one percent of very-low-income units, the applicant may request a density bonus of two and one-half percent (5 × 2.5% = 12.5%) (Table 11.31-2, Sample Calculation of a Density Bonus).

 

Table 11.31-1 Determination of Density Bonus 

Income Group

Minimum Set-Aside of Affordable or Senior Units

Eligible Density Bonus

Base Bonus Granted

Each Additional 1% of Affordable Units Adds

Maximum Density Bonus

Very Low Income (50% AMI)

5%

20%

2.5%

35%

Lower Income (80% AMI)

10%

20%

1.5%

35%

Moderate Income (120% AMI)

10%

5%

1.0%

35%

Land Donation (Very-Low-Income Projects Only)

10%

15%

1.0%

35%

Condominium/Apartment Conversions

33% low to moderate income

25%

n/a

25%

15% very low income

Senior Housing Development

100% (1) (35 units minimum)

20%

20%

Notes:

1.    Senior housing is not required to be affordable in order to receive a density bonus. However, one hundred percent of the units in the development (thirty-five units minimum) must be restricted as senior housing as defined in Section 51.3 of the California Civil Code.

AMI = annual median income.

 

Table 11.31-2 Sample Calculation of a Density Bonus 

 

Very Low Income (50% AMI)

Lower Income (80% AMI)

Moderate Income (120% AMI)

Senior Housing

Initial Project Size

20 units

20 units

20 units

35 units

Affordable Units

5%

10%

10%

100%

Density Bonus Qualified

20%

20%

5%

20%

Total Project Units

24 units

24 units

21 units

42 units

Distribution of Project Units

1 very low income

23 market rate

2 lower income

22 market rate

2 moderate income

19 market rate

42 units (1)

Notes:

1.    Senior housing is not required to be affordable in order to receive a density bonus. However, one hundred percent of the units in the development (thirty-five units minimum) must be restricted as senior housing as defined in Section 51.3 of the California Civil Code.

AMI = annual median income.

C.    Requirements.

1.    In all density calculations, fractional units shall be rounded to the next whole number.

2.    The density bonus shall not be included when determining the percentage of affordable units.

3.    The developer can request a smaller density bonus than the project is entitled to, but no reduction shall be permitted in the number of required affordable units.

4.    A density bonus may be selected from only one category, except in combination with a land donation or a child care facility, provided the total density bonus does not exceed thirty-five percent.

5.    The granting of a density bonus and its subsequent incentive(s) shall not be interpreted, in and of itself, to require a general plan amendment, zone change, or other discretionary approval.

6.    Condominium/apartment conversions are not eligible for a density bonus if the original residential development received a density bonus, or other incentive, pursuant to this chapter.

7.    Senior Housing Requirements.

i.    Senior/older adult housing development projects must have a minimum of thirty-five units and shall meet the requirements described in Section 51.3 of the California Civil Code, or any successor statute or regulation.

ii.    Mobile home parks shall limit residency based on age requirements for housing for older persons pursuant to Section 798.76 or 799.5 of the California Civil Code, or any successor statute or regulation.

8.    Land Donation Requirements. An applicant for a tentative map, parcel map, or any other discretionary approval required to construct a residential development in the city shall receive a fifteen percent density bonus for the residential development when the applicant donates land to the city for the purpose of affordable housing development as provided in this section. This fifteen percent bonus shall be in addition to any other density bonus provided for in this section, up to a total combined density bonus of thirty-five percent. Applicants are eligible for the fifteen percent land donation density bonus if all of the following conditions are met:

i.    The applicant shall donate and transfer land to the city prior to approval of the final map or other discretionary approval required for the residential development.

ii.    The transferred land shall have the appropriate acreage and general plan and zoning designations to permit development of affordable housing for very-low-income households in an amount no less than ten percent of the number of residential units of the proposed development.

iii.    The transferred land shall be at least one acre or of sufficient size to permit development of at least forty residential units.

iv.    The transferred land and the very-low-income units constructed shall have a deed restriction recorded with the county recorder to ensure continued affordability of the units. The deed restriction must be recorded on the property at the time of dedication.

v.    The transferred land shall be conveyed in fee simple to the city or to a housing developer approved by the city.

vi.    The transferred land shall be within the boundary of the proposed residential development, or no more than approximately one quarter mile from the boundary of the qualified project, if the city so approves.

vii.    No later than the date of approval of the final map or other discretionary approval required for the residential development, the transferred land shall have all of the permits and approvals, other than building permits, necessary for development of the very-low-income housing units on the transferred land.

viii.    A proposed source of funding for the very-low-income units shall be identified prior to the approval of the final map or other discretionary approval required for the residential development.

9.    Child Care Facility Requirements.

i.    The city shall grant either of the following to a density bonus project that includes a child care facility located on the premises or adjacent to the project:

a.    An additional floor area bonus in an amount equivalent to the square footage of the child care facility; or

b.    An additional concession or incentive that contributes significantly to the economic feasibility of the construction of the child care facility, pursuant to city review and approval.

ii.    To receive the additional child care density bonus, the project must comply with the following requirements:

a.    The child care facility will 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.

b.    Of the children who attend the child care facility, the percentage of children of very-low-income, lower-income, or moderate-income households shall be equal to or greater than the percentage of affordable units.

c.    Notwithstanding any requirement of this section, the city shall not be required to provide a density bonus or concession for a child care facility if the city finds, based on substantial evidence, that the community already has adequate child care facilities.

10. An applicant shall be ineligible for a density bonus or any other incentives or concessions under this section if the housing development is proposed on any property that includes a parcel or parcels on which rental dwelling units are or, if the dwelling units have been vacated or demolished in the five-year period preceding the application, have been subject to a recorded covenant, ordinance, or law that restricts rents to levels affordable to persons and families of lower or very low income; subject to any other form of rent or price control through a public entity’s valid exercise of its police power; or occupied by lower- or very-low-income households, unless the proposed housing development replaces those units. Replacement units shall meet the requirements set forth in Section 65915(c)(3)(B) of the California Government Code.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.31.050 Incentives.

A.    Number of Incentives. A proposed project that provides an affordable housing set-aside, as described in this chapter, shall be granted incentives in the number shown in Table 11.31-3.

 

Table 11.31-3 Number of Incentives 

Target Group

% of Affordable Units

Very Low Income (50% AMI)

5%

10%

15%

Lower Income (80% AMI)

10%

20%

30%

Moderate Income (120% AMI, Common Interest Development Only)

10%

20%

30%

 

Number of Incentives Eligible

Incentives (1)

1

2

3

Notes:

1.    Child care facility: When a qualified project also includes a child care facility as described in Section 11.31.040(C)(9), the applicant shall receive one additional incentive.

AMI = annual median income.

B.    Documentation of Financial Feasibility. The city shall approve the requested incentives for a proposed project if the applicant provides a written financial statement detailing that the incentive is necessary to make the housing units economically feasible and will sufficiently reduce the cost of the housing development. The applicant shall submit a project financial report (pro forma) demonstrating that the requested incentives or concessions are required to provide for affordable rents or affordable housing costs, as applicable. At the city’s discretion, the city may require a third-party review of the financial feasibility at the cost of the applicant. If the applicant is a nonprofit organization, the cost of the consultant may be paid by the city upon prior approval of the city council.

C.    Granting of Incentives. The city shall grant one or more of the requested incentives unless, based on substantial evidence, the city makes either of the following written findings:

1.    The incentive is not required to ensure housing costs meet the affordability standards, as defined in Section 50052.5 of the California Health and Safety Code, or any successor statute or regulation, or to ensure rents in the affordable units meet the requirements of this chapter.

2.    The incentive would have a specific adverse impact, as defined in Section 65589.5(d)(2) of the California Government Code, upon public health and safety, or physical environment, or any real property that is listed in the California Register of Historical Resources, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households.

3.    The concession or incentive would be contrary to state and federal laws.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.31.060 Affordable housing requirements.

A.    Maximum Affordable Housing Costs. The maximum total housing costs paid by a qualifying household, adjusted for household size appropriate for the unit, shall be pursuant to Sections 50052.5 and 50053 of the California Health and Safety Code.

B.    Development Standards.

1.    All affordable units shall be reasonably dispersed throughout the residential development, and shall be comparable with the market-rate units in terms of design, construction quality, exterior appearance, exterior finished quality, and required square footage.

2.    The bedroom mix of the affordable units shall be equivalent to the bedroom mix of the market-rate units of the residential development, unless otherwise approved by the city.

3.    Unless the city’s adopted parking standards will result in fewer parking spaces, the maximum parking standards found in Table 11.31-4 shall apply, inclusive of handicapped and guest parking, for the entire residential development:

 

Table 11.31-4 Parking Requirements for Projects Receiving a Density Bonus 

Number of On-Site Parking Spaces (1,2)

Maximum Number of Bedrooms

1.0

0

1.0

1

2.0

2

2.0

3

2.5

4

Notes:

1.    A parking calculation resulting in a fraction shall be rounded up to the next whole number.

2.    Parking standards here include guest and handicapped parking.

4.    Concurrency. All affordable units in a residential development shall be constructed concurrently or precede the market-rate units, unless both the planning commission and developer agree to an alternative construction schedule. Such schedule shall be included in the affordable housing agreement required by Section 11.31.070.

5.    Comparable Amenities. Residents of affordable units shall have equal access to project amenities available to other residents, and may not be charged for amenities not charged to other residents, including access to recreational facilities, parking, cable TV, and interior amenities such as dishwashers and microwave ovens. Optional services shall be made available to all residents of affordable and market-rate units. Residents of affordable units shall not be required to purchase access to amenities or services not charged to other residents.

C.    Length of Affordability.

1.    Affordable rental units shall remain restricted and affordable to the designated income group for a minimum of fifty-five years or as approved by the city at the time of development review and entitlement.

2.    Affordable units offered for sale shall be sold at an affordable price and reserved for income-eligible households for a minimum of fifty-five years, with the fifty-five-year time restriction beginning again at the time of resale.

3.    A longer affordability period may be specified if required by any construction or mortgage financing assistance program, mortgage insurance program, or rental subsidy program applicable to the residential development.

4.    Upon resale of an affordable unit, the seller of the unit shall retain the value of any improvements, down payment, and the seller’s proportionate share of appreciation. The city shall recapture its proportionate share of appreciation, which shall be used within five years to promote homeownership pursuant to Section 33334.2(e) of the California Health and Safety Code, or any successor statute or regulation. The city’s proportionate share of appreciation shall be equal to the percentage by which the initial sale price to the moderate-income household was less than the fair market value of the home at the time of the initial sale.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.31.070 Affordable housing agreement.

A.    Applicants that have been conditionally granted an affordable housing density bonus and/or incentive(s) shall enter into an affordable housing agreement with the city in a form approved by the city attorney.

B.    The affordable housing agreement describing the density bonus, incentives, and affordability restrictions shall be recorded against the entire residential development.

C.    The approval and execution of the affordable housing agreement shall take place prior to final map approval or, where a map is not being processed, prior to the issuance of building permits. The affordable housing agreement shall bind all future owners and successors in interest for the term of years specified therein.

D.    An affordable housing agreement must, at a minimum, include the following:

1.    The number, size, bedroom count, and location of all the units proposed.

2.    Level and tenure of affordability for the units.

3.    Schedule for development of all units.

4.    The income levels of the affordable units and an acknowledgment that the city will verify tenant and home buyer incomes to maintain the affordability of the units.

5.    Annual income recertification and physical inspection of health and safety violations for tenants of affordable rental units.

6.    Approved incentives, if any, provided by the city.

7.    An affirmative fair marketing plan that is approved by the city to ensure advertising of the availability of the affordable units to a wide spectrum of city residents.

8.    Where applicable, requirements for other documents to be approved by the city, such as marketing, leasing, and management plans; financial assistance/loan documents; resale agreements; and monitoring and compliance plans.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.31.080 Enforcement and monitoring.

A.    The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all developers and their agents, successors, and assigns proposing a residential development governed by this chapter. No building permit or occupancy permit shall be issued, nor any entitlement granted, for a project receiving a density bonus until it meets the requirements of this chapter.

B.    All affordable units shall be rented or owned in accordance with this chapter.

C.    The city attorney shall be authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter and all affordable housing agreements, regulatory agreements, covenants, resale restrictions, promissory notes, deeds of trust, and other requirements placed on affordable units by civil action and any other proceeding or method permitted by law. The city may, at its discretion, take such enforcement action as is authorized under this code and/or any other action authorized by law or by any regulatory document, restriction, or agreement executed under Division III of this title.

D.    Any individual who sells or rents an affordable unit in violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be required to forfeit all monetary amounts so obtained.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.31.090 Severability of provisions.

If any provision of this chapter or the application of any provision of this chapter to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of the chapter and the application of the provision to other persons not similarly situated or to other circumstances shall not be affected.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)