Another Sac'to Housing Density Amplifier: San Diego Assemblyman Introduces AB 2372 Letting City Councils Give Developers Of "Affordable" (Subsidized/Below-Market) Housing "Density Bonus" Half Mile From Major Transit Stop Or Infill Within "Transit Priority Areas," Shrinks Parking Requirements is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(Feb. 15, 2018, 9:20 p.m.) -- Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D, San Diego) has introduced AB 2372 that would enable a City Council to establish a procedure by ordinance giving the developer of an "eligible housing development" -- defined in terms of its proximity to transit -- a floor area ratio bonus in lieu of a density bonus awarded on the basis of dwelling units per acre, whichever provides greater public benefit in relation to "affordable" (below market/subsidized) housing.

AB 2372 surfaces as a fateful LB City Council vote approaches on March 6 on whether to accept, tweak or withhold action pending information -- not yet provided or discussed by the Council or the public -- on the impacts of multiple complex housing density locally-preemptive state bills enacted last year or pending now that could amplify increased density in city staff's proposed Land Use Element.

Some transit adjacent aspects of AB 2372 are similar to SB 827 (by state Sen. Scott Wiener), which has drawn criticism (in its initial form) from some quarters on grounds it didn't address "affordable" (below market/subsidized) housing. AB 2372 includes transit adjacent verbiage but focuses on "affordable" (below market/subsidized) housing.

AB 2372 states that a City Council "may establish a procedure by ordinance to grant a developer of an eligible housing development a floor area ratio bonus in lieu of a density bonus awarded on the basis of dwelling units per acre, whichever provides greater public benefit in relation to affordable housing."

For "eligible housing developments" a City Council would be forbidden from applying any parking requirement in excess of 0.1 parking spaces per unit that is affordable to persons and families with a household income equal to or less than 120 percent of the area median income and 0.5 parking spaces per unit that is offered at market rate.

For an eligible housing development zoned for "mixed-use" purposes (retail on first floor, residences above), "any floor area ratio requirement under a zoning ordinance or land use element of the general plan...applicable to the nonresidential portion of the eligible housing development shall continue to apply notwithstanding the award of a floor area ratio bonus" as provided in the bill.

On its introduction, AB 2372 already has three Assembly co-authors: Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D, San Diego), Evan Low (D, Cupertino) and Miguel Santiago (D, L.A.)

[Scroll down for further.]

AB 2372 defines an "Eligible housing development" as one which satisfies all of the following criteria:

  • (A) The development is a multifamily housing development that contains five or more residential units, exclusive of any other density bonus or incentive awarded pursuant to this chapter.

  • (B) The development is located within one of the following:
    (i) An urban infill site that is within a transit priority area.
    (ii) One-half mile of a major transit stop.

  • (C) The site of the development is zoned to allow residential use with a minimum planned density of at least 20 dwelling units per acre and does not include any land zoned for low density residential use or for nonresidential use. (D) The applicant and the development satisfy the affordability criteria specified in subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 65915.

  • (E) In addition to those criteria specified in subparagraph (D), the development includes both of the following:
    (ii) At least 20 percent of the units with an affordable housing cost or affordable rent to persons with a household income equal to or less than 80 percent of the area median income, as determined pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code.

  • (F) The development complies with the height requirements applicable to the underlying zone. A development shall not be eligible to use density bonus or other incentives provided pursuant to Section 65915 to relieve the development from a maximum height limitation.

  • (2) "Floor area ratio" means the ratio of gross building area of the eligible housing development, excluding structured parking areas, proposed for the project divided by the net lot area. For purposes of this paragraph, "gross building area" means the sum of all finished areas of all floors of a building included within the outside faces of its exterior walls.

  • (3) "Floor area ratio bonus" means an allowance for an eligible housing development to utilize a floor area ratio over the otherwise maximum allowable density permitted under the applicable zoning ordinance and land use elements of the general plan of a city or county.

    (4) "Major transit stop" has the same meaning as defined in Section 21155 of the Public Resources Code [which states "Major transit stop means a site containing an existing rail transit station, a ferry terminal served by either a bus or rail transit service, or the intersection of two or more major bus routes with a frequency of service interval of 15 minutes or less during the morning and afternoon peak commute periods."]

  • (5) "Transit priority area" has the same meaning as defined in Section 21099 of the Public Resources Code [which states a "Transit priority area" means an area within one-half mile of a major transit stop that is existing or planned, if the planned stop is scheduled to be completed within the planning horizon included in a Transportation Improvement Program adopted pursuant to Section 450.216 or 450.322 of Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations [in So Cal adopted by SCAG's Regional Council on September 1, 2016]



Compare AB 2372's text to salient portions of SB 827 as currently proposed, which would give developers "density bonuses" and mandate minimum heights/densities for multi-unit housing within half-mile/quarter mile from specified transit, full text as initially introduced here.)

On Feb. 13, 2018, Councilmembers declined to oppose, or oppose unless amended, SB 827 by state Senator Scott Wiener (D, SF), another housing density/transit adjacent bill, sending it a Council committee until Sen. Wiener makes amendments whose content he hasn't yet disclosed.

In 2017, the City of Long Beach (despite stated policies in a Council-approved state legislative agenda to protect local decisionmaking control) failed to oppose Sen. Wiener's SB 35 and a number of other bills reducing and in some cases erasing local decisionmaking control on certain developer-desired housing projects.





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