Ordinance 437 Ordinance 437
Ordinance 437

ORDINANCE NO. 437

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 and March 7, 2006 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 17.11.010 of Title 17 is hereby amended to read as follows:

This chapter specifies procedures under which applicants for new residential projects shall receive a density bonus or other incentives for providing housing affordable to low and very low income households. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the city from negotiating for greater numbers of dwelling units affordable to low and very low income households or the provision of varying affordable housing incentives.

In order to provide housing affordable to all segments of the community and preserve and maintain low and moderate income housing opportunities in the coastal specific plan district, consistent with the goals of the city’ s adopted general plan housing element and state law, this chapter further specifies procedures under which applicants for demolition or conversion of residential units occupied by low or moderate income households in the coastal zone, or for new residential projects, shall be required to provide for housing affordable to very low, low and moderate income households.

It is the preference of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes that persons and entities obligated to provide affordable housing provide such affordable units as part of their project. It is not desirable to accept "in-lieu of" fees as an alternative to the provision of actual units, and acceptance of "in-lieu of" fees is discouraged. Persons and entities subject to this chapter shall endeavor to design their projects to include affordable units.

In addition, in order to mitigate the impact of local employment generation on the local housing market, consistent with the goals of the city’ s adopted general plan housing element and statewide housing goals as declared by the California state legislature, this chapter specifies procedures under which applicants of new nonresidential development or conversion of existing development to a more intense use, shall be required to make provisions for housing affordable to low and very low income households. (Ord. 320 § 7 (part), 1997)

Section 7: Section 17.11.050 of Title 17 is hereby amended to read as follows:

17.11.050 Fees in lieu of providing affordable housing units.
To help meet the city's affordable housing obligation, the payment of fees in lieu of providing one or more affordable housing units shall be permitted only if the applicant proves, to the satisfaction of the City Council, that provision of affordable housing units renders the project infeasible. Fees, in an amount set by city council resolution, may be paid in lieu of providing affordable housing units required by Sections 17.11.040 or 17.11.030 only if the project applicant files a request supported by a feasibility study conforming to the requirements set forth in Section 17.11.080, and the request is approved by the City Council. In order to grant a request to allow an applicant to pay fees in lieu of providing affordable housing units, the City Council must make, in writing, the finding set forth in Section 17.11.080 D. 3. The foregoing notwithstanding, an applicant shall provide the maximum number of the required affordable units feasible, and shall only be permitted to pay in lieu fees for that number of the required affordable units that render the project infeasible.

Section 8: Section 17.11.080 of Title 17 is hereby amended to read as follows:

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;
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 pursuant to 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 pursuant to 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 one or more 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 satisfies the finding set forth 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 providing affordable housing units, then the feasibility study shall evaluate:
a. The specific economic, environmental or technical factors that may render infeasible the provision of any or all new affordable units required pursuant to 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;
c. The project’s profit margin if the applicant is required to provide affordable units compared to the profit margin if the applicant is allowed to pay the in lieu fees; and
d. The feasibility of providing some, but not all, of the required affordable housing units,
with payment of in lieu fees paid for the units not provided

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 infeasible 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. Specific economic, environmental or technical factors render infeasible the provision of any or all of the new affordable units required pursuant to Section 17.11.040 of this chapter.

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 9: 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 10: 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 11: 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 12: 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 13: 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 21st day of March 2006.

/s/ Stefan Wolowicz
Mayor
Attest:

/s/ Carolynn Petru
City Clerk

State of California )
County of Los Angeles )ss
City of Rancho Palos Verdes)

I, Carolynn Petru, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, do hereby certify that the whole number of members of the City Council of said City is five; that the foregoing Ordinance No. 437 passed first reading on March 7, 2006, was duly and regularly adopted by the City Council of said City at a regular meeting thereof held on March 21, 2006, and that the same was passed and adopted by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Clark, Long, Stern, and Mayor Wolowicz
NOES: Gardiner
ABSENT: None
ABSTAIN: None
______________________
City Clerk