Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

JANUARY 17, 2006 CODE AMENDMENT TO CHAPTER 17.11, "AFFORDABLE HOUSING" JANUARY 17, 2006 CODE AMENDMENT TO CHAPTER 17.11, "AFFORDABLE HOUSING" JANUARY 17, 2006 CODE AMENDMENT TO CHAPTER 17.11, "AFFORDABLE HOUSING"



TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JANUARY 17, 2006

SUBJECT: CODE AMENDMENT TO CHAPTER 17.11, "AFFORDABLE HOUSING"

Staff Coordinator: Gregory Pfost, AICP, Deputy Planning Director

RECOMMENDATION

Introduce Ordinance No.__, thereby approving a Code Amendment that revises Municipal Code Chapter 17.11, "Affordable Housing", to specify a preference for the construction of new affordable housing units over the payment of an in-lieu fee.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

At the October 18, 2005 City Council meeting, the Council directed Staff to bring back proposed changes to the Affordable Housing Ordinance to clearly specify a preference for the construction of new affordable housing units over the payment of an in lieu fee, including specific criteria to be used to determine when construction is financially infeasible. Changes to the Affordable Housing Ordinance to implement the Council's direction were drafted by Staff and the City Attorney and presented to the Planning Commission for review.
On November 22, 2005, the Planning Commission recommended specific language that revises Municipal Code Chapter 17.11, "Affordable Housing" as requested by the City Council. The Code Amendment is now being presented to the City Council for adoption.

BACKGROUND

Since 1997, the City has had an affordable housing Ordinance (Municipal Code Chapter 17.11) that requires certain new proposed developments to provide affordable housing. The City's Ordinance also allows developers to pay a fee in lieu of actually constructing new affordable housing units. In such cases, the City would have the responsibility of using the fee to provide for affordable housing units.

At the December 7, 2004 City Council meeting, Council members expressed concern regarding the amount of the existing fee that developers have the option to pay in lieu of providing for affordable housing units as part of their proposed project. Council members expressed that the current fee may be too low and as a result places the City in the difficult position of providing for affordable housing units when there is not enough funds that were provided by developers to do so. Additionally, the attractiveness of the low fee seems to shift the burden of providing affordable units to the City instead of the developer because the developer will most likely request the less expensive in-lieu fee method rather than the more expensive method of providing affordable housing units. At that meeting, the Council requested Staff to come back with a report and recommendation to increase the amount of the in-lieu fee.

At the October 18, 2005 City Council meeting, the Council approved an increase to the residential and non-residential affordable housing in-lieu fee to $201,562 plus a 10% administrative fee per affordable housing unit required. Additionally, at the meeting, the Council directed Staff to bring back proposed changes to the Affordable Housing Ordinance to clearly specify a preference for the construction of new affordable housing units over the payment of an in lieu fee, including specific criteria to be used to determine when construction is financially infeasible

Changes to the Affordable Housing Ordinance as requested by the Council constitute a Zone Text Amendment, which according to the Government Code and the City's Municipal Code (Chapter 17.68) is first required to be reviewed by the Planning Commission through a public hearing before adopted by the City Council.

On November 22, 2005, the Planning Commission reviewed a Staff Report and related background information and adopted the attached Resolution (PC Resolution No. 2005-47) recommending that the City Council approve a Code Amendment that revises Municipal Code Chapter 17.11, "Affordable Housing". A copy of the applicable portions of the November 22, 2005 Planning Commission Minutes are attached for reference.

For tonight's public hearing, a public notice was published in the Peninsula News on December 24, 2005. Staff has not received any correspondence related to the published notice.

DISCUSSION:

Chapter 17.11, "Affordable Housing" (see attached) requires certain development projects to provide for an affordable housing component as part of their project. More specifically, Section 17.11.040 requires that proposed residential subdivisions that have five or more residential units as part of the project be required to provide a percentage of such units as affordable.

Section 17.11.050, indicates that, "Upon city council approval, in-lieu fees may be provided as an alternative to units required". Essentially, if a developer desires to pay a fee in lieu of constructing the required number of affordable units, upon Council approval, a fee may be paid. This has occurred with two projects in the past, the Seabreeze Tract and the Oceanfront Estates Tract.

As noted above, the City Council felt that the option of providing a fee in lieu of providing affordable housing as part of the project unduly burdened the City and its Staff by shifting the developer's obligation of providing affordable housing to the City. To address this issue, on October 18, 2005, the Council increased the in-lieu fee amount, and directed Staff to initiate a Code Amendment to Chapter 17.11 that would clearly specify a preference for the construction of new affordable housing units over the payment of an in lieu fee, including specific criteria to be used to determine when construction is financially infeasible.

Based upon Council's direction, on November 22, 2005, the Planning Commission took action by adopting the attached P.C. Resolution No. 2005-47, recommending that the City Council approve the following amendments (text to be removed shown as strikethrough, and text to be added shown as bold underline):

17.11.050 In lieu fees.
To help meet the city's affordable housing obligation, the city requires that development projects provide affordable housing units as part of the project and not pay a fee in lieu of providing said units. However, u Upon city council approval, in-lieu fees may be provided as an alternate to units required pursuant to Sections 17.11.040 or 17.11.130 of this chapter. In order for the city council to grant an approval for an applicant to pay a fee in lieu of providing the required units, a feasibility study application must be submitted by the project applicant pursuant to Section 17.11.080.B.2, and all findings per Section 17.11.080.D.3 related to such request must be adopted by the city council. The fee per affordable unit to be provided shall be established by city council resolution.

17.11.080 Feasibility.
A. Applicability. A feasibility study shall be required when:
1. Provision of units affordable to low and very low income households in accordance with Section 17.11.040 of this chapter is not contemplated;
2. An existing development in the coastal specific plan district meets the criteria of Section 17.11.130 of this chapter and the provision of replacement units affordable to low and moderate income households is not contemplated; or
3. A developer has requested one or more incentives in addition to the density bonus, pursuant to Section 17.11.060 of this chapter; or
4. A developer has requested to pay a fee in lieu of providing affordable housing units per Section 17.11.050.

B. Application.
1. Submission of a feasibility study per Sections 17.11.080.A.1 through 17.11.080.A.3 shall be as follows: The applicant shall deposit with the city a fee adequate to compensate for the cost of the study in addition to an administrative fee at a level to be established by resolution of the city council. The applicant shall provide a project proforma, data regarding existing rents and existing tenant income for existing residential projects to be converted or demolished, and any other information deemed necessary by the director. The application package shall not be deemed complete until the feasibility study is completed to the satisfaction of the director.
2. Submission of a feasibility study per Section 17.11.080.A.4 shall be as follows: The applicant shall submit a letter requesting to pay a fee in lieu of providing affordable units and shall deposit with the city a fee to cover the costs of reviewing and processing such request at a level to be established by resolution of the city council. Said letter shall include the reason(s) why the request is being made, address all of the items noted in Section 17.11.080.C.2, and describe how the request meets the findings as described in Section 17.11.080.D.3. Additionally, the applicant shall provide a project proforma, and/or any other information deemed necessary by the Director.

C. Study Contents. The study shall examine the feasibility of providing affordable units in accordance with Sections 17.11.040 and 17.11.130 of this chapter, as applicable. Additionally:
1. If an application has been filed for an affordable housing incentive in addition to a density bonus, the study shall examine the feasibility of providing the affordable housing without the additional affordable housing incentive. If this is demonstrated not to be feasible, the study shall examine other affordability scenarios at the discretion of the director. These may include the feasibility of providing fewer units affordable to low and very low income households and units affordable to progressively higher income households, as approved by the director.
2. If an application has been filed requesting to pay a fee in lieu of proving affordable housing units, then the feasibility study shall evaluate:
a. The specific economic, environmental or technical factors that render impossible the provision of new affordable units pursuant to the requirements of Section 17.11.040 of this chapter;
b. The impacts to the development project if the city council denies the applicant's request to pay a fee in lieu of providing affordable housing as part of the development; and
c. A cost/benefit analysis that compares all of the available alternatives to the applicant in meeting the applicant's affordable housing obligation, which would include, but not be limited to, providing new affordable units as part of the project development, providing new affordable units elsewhere in the city, converting existing market-rate units to affordable units within the city, and providing the in-lieu fee.

D. Written Findings Required.
1. Approval of a lesser amount of housing affordable to the specified income groups than would otherwise be required under the provisions of Sections 17.11.040 and 17.11.130 of this chapter may be approved by the city council upon adoption of the following findings:
a. That specific economic, environmental or technical factors render impossible the provision of new dwelling units affordable to low and/or very low income households, pursuant to the requirements of Section 17.11.040 of this chapter, or of replacement units affordable to low and/or moderate income households pursuant to the requirements of Section 17.11.130 of this chapter;
b. That these factors are documented in a feasibility study which has been prepared for the proposed project, which study has been reviewed and approved by the city and is part of the public record for the project.
2. Approval of an applicant’ s requested concession or incentive in addition to a density bonus shall be approved by the city council unless, based on substantial evidence including a feasibility study that has been reviewed and approved by the city and is part of the public record for the project, one or both of the following written findings is made:
a. That the concession or incentive is not required in order to provide for affordable housing costs, as defined in Section 50052.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or for rents for the targeted units to be set as specified in subdivision (c) of Section 65915 of the Government Code; or
b. That the concession or incentive would have a specific adverse impact, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, upon the public health and safety or the physical environment or on any real property that is listed in the California Register of Historical Resources and for which there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate of avoid the specific adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households.
3. Approval of an applicant's request to pay a fee in lieu of providing affordable housing units shall be approved by the city council provided the following finding is made:
a. The payment of a fee in lieu of providing affordable units as part of the proposed project has been determined by the city council to be the most beneficial method for the city in meeting its affordable housing obligations.

E. Public Hearing. A noticed public hearing shall be held before the city council prior to adoption of any finding regarding feasibility. This hearing may be held concurrently with any hearing required for the project application.

F. Waiver or Reduction of Development Standards.
1. Any development standard set forth in the Municipal Code, general plan, any specific plan, condition, policy, law, resolution or regulation that has the effect of precluding the construction of a development meeting the criteria of Section 17.11.060(A)(1) of this chapter shall be waived or modified pursuant to a request from the applicant, except however nothing in this paragraph shall be interpreted to require the city to waive or reduce development standards if the waiver or reduction would have a specific adverse impact, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, upon health, safety, or the physical environment and for which there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific adverse impact. Nothing in this paragraph shall be interpreted to require the city to waive or reduce development standards that would have an adverse impact on any real property that is listed in the California Register of Historical Resources.
2. The applicant shall include any request for waiver or reduction of development standards in the application required by Section 17.11.080(B) of this chapter. Further, the study required by Section 17.11.080(C) of this chapter shall study the feasibility of providing affordable housing in a manner that does not require waiver or reduction of the city’ s development standards. (Ord. 394 §§ 8--9, 2003; Ord. 320 § 7 (part), 1997)

ALTERNATIVES

In addition to the Staff recommendation, the City Council may also wish to consider the following alternatives:

1. The City Attorney expressed concern with some of the language that was adopted by the Planning Commission and feels that the following changes should be made (underline text adopted by Planning Commission, strikethrough text recommended by City Attorney, bold underline text recommended by City Attorney):

17.11.050 In lieu fees.
To help meet the city's affordable housing obligation, the city requires prefers that development projects provide affordable housing units as part of the project and not pay a fee in lieu of providing said units. However, upon city council approval, in-lieu fees may be provided as an alternate to units required pursuant to Sections 17.11.040 or 17.11.130 of this chapter...

, and;

3. Approval of an applicant's request to pay a fee in lieu of providing affordable housing units shall be approved by the city council provided the following finding is made:
a. The payment of a fee in lieu of providing affordable units as part of the proposed project has been determined by the city council to be the most beneficial method for the city in meeting its affordable housing obligations.
a. The specific economic, environmental or technical factors that render impossible the provision of new affordable units pursuant to the requirements of Section 17.11.040 of this chapter.

The attached draft Ordinance includes only the Planning Commission adopted language. If the Council chooses to adopt this Alternative, then the Ordinance will be corrected accordingly.

2. Continue the public hearing to a future date to address changes to the proposed Code language.

FISCAL IMPACT

No fiscal impact will result from adopting this Ordinance.

Respectfully submitted:

Joel Rojas, AICP
Director of Planning, Building
and Code Enforcement

Reviewed By:

Les Evans
City Manager

ATTACHMENTS:

Ordinance No. ___
PC Resolution No. 2005-47
Portion of the November 22, 2005 Planning Commission Minutes
Municipal Code Chapter 17.11

ORDINANCE NO. ____

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING TITLE 17 OF THE CITY’S MUNICIPAL CODE PERTAINING TO CHAPTER 17.11 "AFFORDABLE HOUSING"

WHEREAS, on October 18, 2005, the City Council directed staff to initiate a code amendment to Chapter 17.11, "Affordable Housing", that would clearly specify a preference for the construction of new affordable housing units over the payment of an in lieu fee, including specific criteria to be used to determine when construction is financially infeasible; and,

WHEREAS, after notices issued pursuant to the provisions of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on November 22, 2005 at which time the Planning Commission adopted PC Resolution No. 2005-47, recommending City Council approval of amendments to Title 17 as set forth in the such Resolution; and,

WHEREAS, on December 24, 2005 a notice was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News; and,

WHEREAS, after the notice was published pursuant to the provisions of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, the City Council conducted a public hearing on January 17, 2005 at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence regarding said amendments to Title 17 as set forth in the City Council Staff Report of that date.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES HEREBY FIND, DETERMINE, AND RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1: The City Council has reviewed and considered the amendments to Title 17 of the Municipal Code.

Section 2: That the amendments to Title 17 of the Municipal Code are consistent with California Government Code Section 65853, zoning amendment procedures.

Section 3: That the amendments to Title 17 are consistent with the Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan and Coastal Specific Plan in that they continue to implement the General Plan Housing Element's Goal to "Assist in the provision of housing affordable to very low, low and moderate-income families" as the proposed amendments do not alter the requirements for number of affordable units to be provided by a developer per Chapter 17.11.

Section 4: That the proposed amendments to Chapter 17.11 will assist in the provision of affordable housing units by ensuring that developer requests for payment of fees to the City in lieu of providing affordable units will be analyzed in more detail to ensure that the payment of a fee is not a method used by developers to simply transfer their obligation for providing affordable housing units to the City.

Section 5: That there is no substantial evidence that the amendments to Title 17 would result in new significant environmental effects, or a substantial increase in the severity of the effects, as previously identified in Environmental Assessment No. 694 and the Negative Declaration, adopted through Resolution No. 97-25 in conjunction with Ordinance No. 320 for amendments to Titles 16 and 17 of the Municipal Code, since the new amendments simply identify a procedure for developers to go through when requesting to pay a fee in lieu of providing affordable units as part of their proposed project. An Addendum (No. 13) to the prior Negative Declaration has been prepared and is attached hereto as Exhibit “A”. The City Council hereby finds, based on its own independent judgment, that the facts stated in the Addendum are true.

Section 6: Section 17.11.050 of Title 17 is hereby amended to read as follows (the bold underlined text represents new language and the strikethrough text represents deleted language):

17.11.050 In lieu fees.
To help meet the city's affordable housing obligation, the city requires that development projects provide affordable housing units as part of the project and not pay a fee in lieu of providing said units. However, u Upon city council approval, in-lieu fees may be provided as an alternate to units required pursuant to Sections 17.11.040 or 17.11.130 of this chapter. In order for the city council to grant an approval for an applicant to pay a fee in lieu of providing the required units, a feasibility study application must be submitted by the project applicant pursuant to Section 17.11.080.B.2, and all findings per Section 17.11.080.D.3 related to such request must be adopted by the city council. The fee per affordable unit to be provided shall be established by city council resolution.

Section 7: Section 17.11.080 of Title 17 is hereby amended to read as follows (the bold underlined text represents new language and the strikethrough text represents deleted language):

17.11.080 Feasibility.
A. Applicability. A feasibility study shall be required when:
1. Provision of units affordable to low and very low income households in accordance with Section 17.11.040 of this chapter is not contemplated;
2. An existing development in the coastal specific plan district meets the criteria of Section 17.11.130 of this chapter and the provision of replacement units affordable to low and moderate income households is not contemplated; or
3. A developer has requested one or more incentives in addition to the density bonus, pursuant to Section 17.11.060 of this chapter; or
4. A developer has requested to pay a fee in lieu of providing affordable housing units per Section 17.11.050.

B. Application.
1. Submission of a feasibility study per Sections 17.11.080.A.1 through 17.11.080.A.3 shall be as follows: The applicant shall deposit with the city a fee adequate to compensate for the cost of the study in addition to an administrative fee at a level to be established by resolution of the city council. The applicant shall provide a project proforma, data regarding existing rents and existing tenant income for existing residential projects to be converted or demolished, and any other information deemed necessary by the director. The application package shall not be deemed complete until the feasibility study is completed to the satisfaction of the director.
2. Submission of a feasibility study per Section 17.11.080.A.4 shall be as follows: The applicant shall submit a letter requesting to pay a fee in lieu of providing affordable units and shall deposit with the city a fee to cover the costs of reviewing and processing such request at a level to be established by resolution of the city council. Said letter shall include the reason(s) why the request is being made, address all of the items noted in Section 17.11.080.C.2, and describe how the request meets the findings as described in Section 17.11.080.D.3. Additionally, the applicant shall provide a project proforma, and/or any other information deemed necessary by the Director.

C. Study Contents. The study shall examine the feasibility of providing affordable units in accordance with Sections 17.11.040 and 17.11.130 of this chapter, as applicable. Additionally:
1. If an application has been filed for an affordable housing incentive in addition to a density bonus, the study shall examine the feasibility of providing the affordable housing without the additional affordable housing incentive. If this is demonstrated not to be feasible, the study shall examine other affordability scenarios at the discretion of the director. These may include the feasibility of providing fewer units affordable to low and very low income households and units affordable to progressively higher income households, as approved by the director.
2. If an application has been filed requesting to pay a fee in lieu of proving affordable housing units, then the feasibility study shall evaluate:
d. The specific economic, environmental or technical factors that render impossible the provision of new affordable units pursuant to the requirements of Section 17.11.040 of this chapter;
e. The impacts to the development project if the city council denies the applicant's request to pay a fee in lieu of providing affordable housing as part of the development; and
f. A cost/benefit analysis that compares all of the available alternatives to the applicant in meeting the applicant's affordable housing obligation, which would include, but not be limited to, providing new affordable units as part of the project development, providing new affordable units elsewhere in the city, converting existing market-rate units to affordable units within the city, and providing the in-lieu fee.

D. Written Findings Required.
1. Approval of a lesser amount of housing affordable to the specified income groups than would otherwise be required under the provisions of Sections 17.11.040 and 17.11.130 of this chapter may be approved by the city council upon adoption of the following findings:
a. That specific economic, environmental or technical factors render impossible the provision of new dwelling units affordable to low and/or very low income households, pursuant to the requirements of Section 17.11.040 of this chapter, or of replacement units affordable to low and/or moderate income households pursuant to the requirements of Section 17.11.130 of this chapter;
b. That these factors are documented in a feasibility study which has been prepared for the proposed project, which study has been reviewed and approved by the city and is part of the public record for the project.
2. Approval of an applicant’ s requested concession or incentive in addition to a density bonus shall be approved by the city council unless, based on substantial evidence including a feasibility study that has been reviewed and approved by the city and is part of the public record for the project, one or both of the following written findings is made:
a. That the concession or incentive is not required in order to provide for affordable housing costs, as defined in Section 50052.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or for rents for the targeted units to be set as specified in subdivision (c) of Section 65915 of the Government Code; or
b. That the concession or incentive would have a specific adverse impact, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, upon the public health and safety or the physical environment or on any real property that is listed in the California Register of Historical Resources and for which there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate of avoid the specific adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households.
3. Approval of an applicant's request to pay a fee in lieu of providing affordable housing units shall be approved by the city council provided the following finding is made:
a. The payment of a fee in lieu of providing affordable units as part of the proposed project has been determined by the city council to be the most beneficial method for the city in meeting its affordable housing obligations.

E. Public Hearing. A noticed public hearing shall be held before the city council prior to adoption of any finding regarding feasibility. This hearing may be held concurrently with any hearing required for the project application.

F. Waiver or Reduction of Development Standards.
1. Any development standard set forth in the Municipal Code, general plan, any specific plan, condition, policy, law, resolution or regulation that has the effect of precluding the construction of a development meeting the criteria of Section 17.11.060(A)(1) of this chapter shall be waived or modified pursuant to a request from the applicant, except however nothing in this paragraph shall be interpreted to require the city to waive or reduce development standards if the waiver or reduction would have a specific adverse impact, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, upon health, safety, or the physical environment and for which there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific adverse impact. Nothing in this paragraph shall be interpreted to require the city to waive or reduce development standards that would have an adverse impact on any real property that is listed in the California Register of Historical Resources.
2. The applicant shall include any request for waiver or reduction of development standards in the application required by Section 17.11.080(B) of this chapter. Further, the study required by Section 17.11.080(C) of this chapter shall study the feasibility of providing affordable housing in a manner that does not require waiver or reduction of the city’ s development standards. (Ord. 394 §§ 8--9, 2003; Ord. 320 § 7 (part), 1997)

Section 8: The rights given by any approval granted under the terms of Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code prior to the effective date of the adoption of said ordinance shall not be affected by the amendments to Title 17 by this ordinance and shall continue in effect until and unless they are modified, revoked, expired or are otherwise terminated according to the terms of the approval or the terms of Title 17 as they existed prior to the effective date of this ordinance.

Section 9: The amendments to Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code as identified herein shall apply to all development applications submitted after the effective date of the adoption of said ordinance and to all development applications that have not been decided upon prior to the effective date of the adoption of said ordinance.

Section 10: For the foregoing reasons, and based on the information and findings included in the Staff Report, Minutes, and other records of proceedings, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby adopts an Ordinance amending Title 17 of the City’s Municipal Code pertaining to revisions to Chapter 17.11, "Affordable Housing".

Section 11: The City Clerk shall cause this Ordinance to be posted in three (3) public places in the City within fifteen (15) days after its passage, in accordance with the provisions of Section 36933 of the Government Code. The City Clerk shall further certify to the adoption and posting of this Ordinance, and shall cause this Ordinance and its certification, together with proof of posting, to be entered in the Book of Ordinances of the Council of this City.

Section 12: This Ordinance shall go into effect and be in full force and effect at 12:01 a.m. on the thirty-first (31st) day after its passage.

PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED this 17th day of January 2006.

_____________________________
Mayor
ATTEST:

___________________________
City Clerk
ADDENDUM NO. 13 TO ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT/
NEGATIVE DECLARATION (EA/ND) NO. 694
JANUARY 13, 2006

On April 1, 1997, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 97-25, thereby adopting a Negative Declaration for Environmental Assessment No. 694 for amendments to Titles 16 and 17 of the City's Municipal Code. Prior to its adoption, the Negative Declaration was circulated for public comment from March 4 through March 24, 1997 and no substantive comments were received from any persons or responsible agencies. In adopting the Negative Declaration, the City Council found: 1) that there would be no significant adverse environmental impacts resulting from the adoption of the amendments; 2) that many of the amendments were clarifications and minor non-substantive revisions; and 3) that the substantive amendments would reduce impacts on the environment since the requirements and regulations governing development in the City would generally be strengthened, thereby further reducing any adverse impacts to adjacent properties and upon the environment.

The City Council is currently reviewing amendments to Title 17 of the Development Code that would revise Chapter 17.11, "Affordable Housing", so as to define a process wherein a developer may request Council approval of the payment of a fee in lieu of providing affordable housing units. The City Council has independently reviewed this item and determined that the proposed amendments will not result in any new significant environmental effects. Furthermore, the City Council finds the amendments to be within the scope of EA/ND No. 694 that were prepared and adopted in conjunction with the amendments to Titles 16 and 17, which were adopted on April 19, 1997 by the City Council. As a result, the City Council finds that no further environmental review is necessary.