Affordable Housing Ordinance

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About the Affordable Housing Ordinance and Impact Fees

The City of Santa Clara is committed to ensuring availability of affordable housing to moderate, low, very-low and extremely-low income households through the adoption of the Affordable Housing Ordinance and Impact Fees. The new requirements will include a combination of inclusionary requirements for residential projects and impact fees for smaller projects and nonresidential projects to provide a steady stream of affordable housing units and income to fund the provision of affordable housing projects across the City.

Affordable Housing Ordinance, Fee Schedule and Frequently Asked Questions

Affordable Housing Ordinance (effective February 22, 2018)

Affordable Housing Resolution and Fee Schedule

Affordable Housing Frequently Asked Questions and Summary of Fees Handout
This document was created to facilitate understanding and transparency regarding Affordable Housing requirements including inclusionary requirements, in-lieu fees, impact fees and any other necessary requirements.

Implementation of the Ordinance and Resolution

To allow market based development to adjust to the new fee requirements, implementation of requirements and fess will be as follows:

  1. If a project has been deemed complete by the Community Development Department within the first six (6) months of the effective date, no in-lieu or impact fee will be applicable.
  2. If a project has been deemed complete by the Community Development Department from six (6) months of the effective date up to twelve (12) months of the effective date, one-third  (1/3) of the total in-lieu or impact fee will be applicable.
  3. If a project has been deemed complete by the Community Development Department on or after twelve (12) months following the effective date, the full requirements, including in-lieu and impact fees, will be applicable.
  4. Exempt Projects: Projects that have a planning application, the meets filing requirements, on file with the City of Santa Clara Community Development Department prior to August 1, 2018 and receive planning approval by December 1, 2020, will not be subject to the requirements as set forth in the Affordable Housing Ordinance.

Note: "Complete application" means an application for a residential, nonresidential or mixed use development that has been determined to be complete by the Community Development Department.
Note: "Filing requirements" shall mean, for the purposes of this ordinance, an application for a residential, nonresidential or mixed use project on file with the Community Development Department with a planning application (including property owner signature), substantial set of detailed planning drawings, and all planning application fees paid in full.

The City’s Inclusionary Housing Policy was established in 1992 and is described in the 2010-2035 General Plan. The Policy requires new developments of for-sale housing of 10 or more units to provide at least 10 percent of units at below market rates for moderate income households. During the adopted implementation period, this inclusionary requirement will still be required on qualifying projects.

The General Plan also outlines other Affordable Housing incentives including encouraging and supporting public and private efforts to provide affordable housing, density bonuses and other financial incentives for housing projects that include affordable and/or senior housing units, consistent with State law requirements.

What updates are being considered?

The Ad Hoc Affordable Housing Working Group reached a consensus on requirements, in-lieu fees and impact fees towards providing Affordable Housing in the City of Santa Clara and presented them to the City Council on July 11, 2017. At this meeting, Council directed staff to prepare a draft ordinance for Council consideration. The draft ordinance includes inclusionary requirements for new residential development, in-lieu fees for residential development, impact fees for non-residential development and other considerations such as a provision for pipeline projects, a grace period, activities exempt from the fees and timing for fee payment.

The Draft Affordable Housing Ordinance and Draft Affordable Housing Resolution can be found below:

Meeting Archive

City Council Meeting: January 23, 2018
City Council Meeting: December 5, 2017
City Council Meeting: October 10, 2017
City Council Meeting: July 11, 2017
City Council Meeting: February 21, 2017
Planning Commission Meeting: January 25, 2017

Ad Hoc Affordable Housing Working Group Meetings

May 31, 2017: Meeting Minutes
April 25, 2017: Meeting Minutes
April 11, 2017: Meeting Minutes
March 14, 2017: Meeting Minutes

Comments or questions?

Contact the Planning Department
(408) 615-2450


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