Chapter 18.77
AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Sections:

18.77.010    Affordable housing – Purpose and intent.

18.77.015    General provisions.

18.77.020    Downtown residential and downtown commercial zones.

18.77.030    Transit oriented development (TOD) district overlay.

18.77.040    Community business zone, Juanita subarea.

18.77.045    Alternative compliance.

18.77.050    Affordability agreement.

18.77.010 Affordable housing – Purpose and intent.

The purpose of this chapter is to implement, through regulations, the responsibility of the City under the Washington State Growth Management Act to consider the housing needs of all economic segments of the community, and to assure an adequate affordable housing supply in the City. The City recognizes that the marketplace is the primary supplier of adequate housing for those in the upper economic groups, but that some combination of appropriately zoned land, regulatory incentives, innovative planning techniques, and requirements will be necessary to make adequate provisions for the needs of households whose incomes are at or below median income. [Ord. 19-0481 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.77.015 General provisions.

A. Determination of Number of Affordable Housing Units Required – Rounding. See KMC 18.30.020(D) for method of rounding to determine the number of affordable housing units required.

B. Adjacent Developments. Adjacent developments by the same or affiliated developer will be considered as a single development for the purpose of applying the thresholds for compliance.

C. Designation of Affordable Housing Units. Prior to the issuance of any permit(s), the City shall review and approve the location and unit mix of the affordable housing units consistent with the following standards:

1. Location. The location of the affordable housing units shall be approved by the City, with the intent that they generally be intermingled with all other dwelling units in the development.

2. Tenure. The tenure of the affordable housing units (ownership or rental) shall be the same as the tenure for the rest of the housing units in the development.

3. Size (Bedroom). The affordable housing units shall consist of a range of number of bedrooms that is comparable to units in the overall development.

4. Size (Square Footage). The size of the affordable housing units, if smaller than the other units with the same number of bedrooms in the development, shall be approved by the city manager. If there is a proposal that the affordable units be smaller than the market rate units, in no case shall the affordable housing units be less than 500 square feet for a studio unit, 600 square feet for a one-bedroom unit, 800 square feet for a two-bedroom unit, or 1,000 square feet for a three-bedroom unit.

5. Design. The exterior design of the affordable housing units shall be compatible and comparable with the rest of the dwelling units in the development and shall comply with any applicable design standards. The interior finish and quality of construction of the affordable housing units shall at a minimum be comparable to entry level rental or ownership housing in the City.

D. Duration. Housing shall serve only income-eligible households for a minimum period of 50 years from the latter of the date when the affordability agreement between the housing owner and the City, as described in KMC 18.77.050, is recorded, or the date when the affordable housing becomes available for occupancy as determined by the City.

E. Timing/Phasing. The affordable housing units shall be available for occupancy in a time frame comparable to the availability of the rest of the dwelling units in the development. [Ord. 19-0481 § 2 (Exh. A).]

18.77.020 Downtown residential and downtown commercial zones.

The provisions of this section shall apply to multifamily residential developments proposed on property four acres or greater in size within the downtown residential or downtown commercial zones that lie west of 68th Avenue NE, and which are providing for more than 20 multiple-family dwelling units.

A. Twenty-five percent of the total number of units in the development shall be moderate-income affordable housing units.

B. Subject to City authorization, the affordable units need not be provided within the development, but must be provided within the downtown commercial, downtown residential, urban corridor, waterfront commercial, or regional business zone. [Ord. 19-0481 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.77.030 Transit oriented development (TOD) district overlay.

A. Properties developed under the TOD district overlay, Chapter 18.29 KMC, shall include affordable housing units.

B. Cap on Total Number of Affordable Housing Units Required. Affordable housing requirements shall be capped at 10 percent of the total number of dwelling units being provided.

C. Number of Affordable Housing Units Required. Affordable housing units shall be provided for any development exceeding the base density of the underlying zone as follows:

1. Tier 1. If the number of bonus units is less than or equal to 30 percent of the total number of dwelling units, then for every three bonus units, one dwelling unit shall be a moderate-income affordable housing unit and two bonus dwelling units may be bonus market rate dwelling units.

2. Tier 2. If the number of bonus units is greater than 30 percent of the total number of dwelling units and if the overall project density is less than or equal to 120 dwelling units per acre, then a combination of low-income affordable housing units and moderate-income affordable housing units shall be provided as follows: For every four bonus units allowed beyond that needed to achieve the 10 percent moderate-income affordable housing units, one of the moderate-income affordable housing units shall be made into a low-income affordable housing unit up to a maximum of 33 percent of the affordable housing units (or 3.3 percent of the total dwelling units in the development).

3. Tier 3. If the overall development density is greater than 120 dwelling units per acre, a combination of very low-income affordable housing units, low-income affordable housing units and moderate-income affordable housing units shall be provided as follows: The required numbers of low-income affordable housing units and moderate-income affordable housing units shall be equivalent to those that would be required under Tier 2, assuming that the project were to be developed at a density of 120 dwelling units per acre. An amount of very low-income affordable housing shall be required so that the total combined amount of very low-income, low-income and moderate-income affordable housing units is equal to 10 percent of the total number of dwelling units in the development.

4. Affordable Housing Example. Example is a one-and-one-half-acre property with a base density of 48 dwelling units (du)/acre. Without the TOD district overlay, the property could achieve up to 72 dwelling units.

Tier 1 example: Proposed TOD development would achieve 93 dwelling units on site for 62 du/acre. This provides 21 “bonus” dwelling units above the 48 du/acre base density of the zone. Since the number of bonus units (21) is less than 30 percent of the total units (93), seven of the 21 bonus units must be affordable to moderate-income households, meeting Tier 1 affordability requirements.

Tier 2 example: Proposed TOD development would achieve 113 dwelling units on site for 75 du/acre. This provides 41 “bonus” dwelling units above the 48 du/acre base density of the zone.

Since the number of bonus units (41) is greater than 30 percent of the total units (113), 11 of the 41 bonus units must be affordable, meeting the 10 percent affordability cap. Nine of these are affordable to moderate-income households and two are affordable to low-income households (33 of the bonus units used toward achieving 10 percent affordable units (11*3) plus eight of the bonus units applied toward making two of the affordable units low-income affordable units (8*.25=2).

Tier 3 example: Proposed TOD development would achieve 210 dwelling units on site for 140 du/acre. The first step is to determine how many affordable units would have been required assuming 120 du/acre using the Tier 2 formula This calculation results in 13 moderate-income affordable housing units and five low-income affordable housing units. To achieve the requirement that 10 percent of the total units in the development be affordable, three additional affordable housing units would be needed (21-18=3). These three units would be required to be very low-income affordable housing units. In summary, the development would provide 13 moderate-income affordable housing units, five low-income affordable housing units, and three very low-income affordable housing units. [Ord. 19-0481 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 14-0391 § 2 (Exh. 1); Ord. 13-0363 § 5; Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.77.040 Community business zone, Juanita subarea.

A. For properties choosing to develop at higher residential densities in the CB Juanita subarea, Chapter 18.23 KMC, affordable housing units shall be provided for any development exceeding the base density of 24 dwelling units per acre as follows:

1. For every four bonus units, one bonus dwelling unit shall be a moderate-income affordable housing unit and three bonus dwelling units may be bonus market rate dwelling units.

2. Each low-income affordable housing unit provided counts as two moderate-income affordable housing units for the purpose of satisfying the affordable unit requirement under subsection (A)(1) of this section.

Example: Proposed development would achieve 36 dwelling units on a one-acre site for a density of 36 du/acre. This provides 12 “bonus” dwelling units above the 24 du/acre base density of the zone. Three of the 12 bonus units must be moderate-income affordable housing units. Alternatively, the project could provide two low-income affordable housing units (rounded). [Ord. 19-0481 § 2 (Exh. A).]

18.77.045 Alternative compliance.

Alternative Compliance. The city manager may approve a request for satisfying all or part of the affordable housing requirements with alternative compliance methods as follows:

A. Application. Applications for alternative compliance shall be submitted at the time of permit application, and must be approved prior to issuance of any building permit.

B. Off-Site Provision. A project proponent may propose to satisfy all or part of affordable housing requirements off site.

1. The project proponent must demonstrate that off-site provision of new affordable housing achieves a result equal to or better than providing affordable housing on site.

2. Affordable housing units provided through this method must be the same type of units as the units in the project which gave rise to the requirement.

3. Priority is for the project to be located within the same zoning district as the development responsible for providing affordable housing. However, the city manager may approve a project located outside the zoning district if the location has access to commercial uses and transit, does not result in an undue concentration of affordable housing, and has adequate infrastructure.

4. The proposal must demonstrate that the affordable units provided off site will be completed before or within the same time period as the development generating the affordable housing requirement. For projects approved for off-site affordable housing, there will be a recorded agreement on both the “sending” property and the “receiving” property. The covenant on the sending site will be released once the affordable housing is completed on the receiving property.

C. Contribution to Preservation of Existing Affordable Housing. A project proponent may propose to satisfy all or part of affordable housing requirements through purchase and long-term preservation of existing affordable housing, particularly in the City’s manufactured housing communities. The applicant shall provide information demonstrating affordability of the units to be preserved and a long-term covenant shall be placed over the preserved units, ensuring preservation and maintenance of the affordable units.

D. Fee in Lieu. Cash payments in lieu of providing actual housing units may be proposed and, if approved by the City, shall be used only for the subsequent preservation or provision of affordable housing units by the City or other housing provider approved by the city manager. Payments in lieu shall be based on the difference between the cost of construction for a prototype affordable housing unit on the subject property, including land costs and development fees, and the revenue generated by an affordable housing unit. The payment obligation will be established at the time of issuance of building permits for the project. [Ord. 19-0481 § 2 (Exh. A).]

18.77.050 Affordability agreement.

A. Prior to issuing any building permit, an agreement in a form approved by the city manager that addresses price restrictions, homebuyer or tenant qualifications, phasing of construction, monitoring of affordability, duration of affordability, and any other applicable topics of the affordable housing units shall be recorded with King County Department of Records and Elections. This agreement shall be a covenant running with the land and shall be binding on the assigns, heirs and successors of the applicant. The City may agree, at its sole discretion, to subordinate any affordable housing regulatory agreement for the purpose of enabling the owner to obtain financing for development of the property.

B. Monitoring and Fees. The City reserves the right to establish, in the affordability agreement referred to in subsection A of this section, monitoring fees for the affordable housing unit, which can be adjusted over time to account for inflation. The purpose of any monitoring fee is for the review and processing of documents to maintain compliance with income and affordability restrictions of the affordability agreement. [Ord. 19-0481 § 2 (Exh. A).]