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Placer supes to consider affordable housing fee

$5.95 a square foot for developers recommended by staff
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Supervisors will be considering establishing a $5.95 per-square-foot fee Tuesday that western Placer County subdivision developers would be required to pay if they don’t build onsite affordable housing.

Under a proposal favored by the county’s Community Development Resource Agency, a new fee would replace a policy that allowed fees-in-lieu of affordable housing being constructed at a development to be negotiated.

Since August 2017, staff has been working under a Board of Supervisors directive instructing “in lieu” fees should be utilized as a “last resort” when proposed development cannot otherwise provide affordable housing, Principal Planner Shawn Purvines said in a report the board will consider at Tuesday’s regular session.

The board’s current policies on housing require 10 percent of residential units in specific plans be affordable.

Under the proposal Tuesday, supervisors are being asked to approve a “no fee option” for specific plans and larger general plan amendment projects. That would mean developers on larger projects would be required when possible to construct affordable housing units onsite.

If onsite construction is deemed not possible, the fee would be $5.95 per square foot plus a 3 percent administrative fee and would be applied to all market-rate residential units.

A fee exemption would be given to projects with eight or more units per acre that result in development of a mix of housing sizes, types and affordability. Also exempted would be developments considered to be on infill sites. An exemption could also be listed for a project within within a half-mile of a major transit stop that is already in existence or planned for the near future.

The meeting will start at 9 a.m. in the county Administrative Center, 175 Fulweiler Ave. in Auburn. The fee issue is a timed item, scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m.