Planning Commission Meeting: November 1, 2006
Agenda Item: 9-A
To: Planning Commission
From: Amanda Schachter, City Planning Division Manager
Subject: Resolution of Intention to consider amending permitted uses, conditionally permitted uses and property development standards sections in the Zoning Ordinance to establish specified affordable housing projects as permitted uses and to exempt those projects from the established development review threshold in certain districts.
It is recommended that the Planning Commission adopt the attached Resolution of Intention.
The attached Resolution of Intention will authorize a public hearing to consider amending Article 9 of the Santa Monica Municipal Code in order to establish a Development Review threshold exemption for affordable housing projects of not more than 50 residential units, as described in Interim Ordinance 2124 (CCS), currently in effect until March 11, 2007. This Resolution will also authorize a public hearing to amend the zoning ordinance to permit these affordable housing projects by right in districts where they are currently only permitted by a Conditional Use Permit.
In November 2002, the City Council adopted Ordinance 2060 (CCS) on an interim basis to require a Development Review permit for developments in excess of 7,500 square feet. This interim ordinance was adopted due to the concern that many new, larger mixed commercial/residential developments in the Downtown of nearly 60,000 square feet in size were being approved administratively the benefit of a public hearing. These projects were adversely impacting existing residents and businesses in terms of noise, traffic, parking, aesthetic, privacy, light and air, shade and shadows and pedestrian orientation.
As part of the Interim Ordinance, to further effectuate the City’s commitment to affordable housing, the City exempted affordable housing projects consisting of not more than 50 residential units from any requirement to obtain Development Review permits and/or Conditional Use Permits in all zoning districts citywide except the LMSD, DP, BP, and R-MH Districts where this land use is not permitted. On May 24, 2005, the City Council approved Interim Ordinance No. 2124 (CCS), extending the previous interim ordinance through March 11, 2007.
A year later, on May 25, 2006, the City Council approved Ordinance No. 2187 (CCS), which dealt with the development, design, and off-street parking standards for projects developed within the Downtown districts. This Ordinance was the product of a multi-year collaborative effort between City staff, the community and consulting agencies, and intended to improve the design, quality, and livability of development in the Downtown area. As Ordinance 2187 (CCS) was specific only to those districts located within Downtown Santa Monica, it did not address the Development Review threshold and Conditional Use Permit exemptions for affordable housing projects of not more than 50 units.
The purpose of the text amendment shown in attachment A is to formally incorporate the Development Review threshold exemption into the Santa Monica Zoning Ordinance. Additionally, it is proposed to modify the zoning ordinance to reflect that all affordable housing projects of not more than 50 units are permitted by right. A staff report will be prepared, and a public hearing will be scheduled for the December 6, 2006 Planning Commission meeting.
RESOLUTION NO. 06-016
(Planning Commission Series)
A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF
WHEREAS, the City has a long history of encouraging and promoting affordable housing through extraordinary efforts manifest in various City laws, policies and programs; and
WHEREAS, for instance, the City’s voters have adopted initiative measures which strive to maintain and promote affordable housing in the City; the Rent Control Charter Amendment, adopted in 1979, has as its primary purpose the protection of affordable housing and has historically been the City’s most important legislative tool for maintaining a supply of affordable housing; and, similarly, Proposition R, adopted by the voters in 1990, mandates that thirty percent of all new multi-family housing units constructed in the City each year be affordable; and
WHEREAS, the City’s zoning laws and policies also include substantial incentives for the production of affordable housing, including height and density bonuses and reduced parking requirements; and
WHEREAS, providing affordable housing opportunities conforms with State and Federal policies and is a principal goal of the City’s 2000-2005 Housing Element Update and the 2005-2010 Consolidated Plan; and
WHEREAS, the lack of affordable housing production has a direct impact upon the health, safety, and welfare of the residents; and
WHEREAS, there is an extremely low vacancy rate for the existing affordable rental housing stock; and
WHEREAS, market conditions, including the high cost and lack of residential land, construction costs, and the availability and cost of financing, make the development of affordable housing in the City extremely difficult; and
WHEREAS, by authorizing affordable housing of not more than 50 units to be approved administratively this resolution is consistent with Policy #1.6 of the Housing Element states articulates a desire to “Maintain and enhance the City’s expedited and coordinated permit processing system;” and
WHEREAS, Goal #2.0 of the Housing Element states requires the City to “Increase the supply of housing affordable to very low, low and moderate income persons;” and seeks to encourage low-income housing by implementing an administrative process for affordable housing projects of a certain size, and
WHEREAS, Policy #2.5 of the Housing Element encourages low income housing and seeks to “Ensure the continued availability and affordability of income-restricted housing for very low, low, and moderate income households;” and
WHEREAS, Policy #2.6 of the Housing Element also supports low income housing by articulating a desire to “Support housing providers to promote the development of rental housing for very low, low, and moderate income households that utilize tax exempt bond financing;” and
WHEREAS, Policy #2.7 of the Housing Element promotes low income housing as it applies in every district where multifamily housing is allowed in stating that the City should “Encourage the distribution of housing for low and moderate income households throughout the City;” and
WHEREAS, Policy #1.10.1 of the Land Use and Circulation Element requires that City land use policy “Encourage the development of new housing in all existing residential districts’; and
WHEREAS, the failure to provide adequate affordable housing for lower-wage workers can force these workers to live in less than adequate housing within the City, pay a significantly disproportionate share of their incomes to live in adequate housing within the City, or commute ever-increasing distances to their jobs from housing located outside the City; and
WHEREAS, new affordable housing will benefit the City as a whole since such development augments the City’s housing mix, helps to increase the supply of housing for all economic segments of the community, addresses the affordable housing need generated by the development, helps meet the voter mandate expressed in Proposition R and thereby supports a balanced community which is beneficial to the public health, safety and welfare of the City,
WHEREAS, for these reasons, the City's Comprehensive Land Use and Zoning Ordinance should be revised to accommodate the production of affordable housing in a consistent and predictable; and
NOW, THEREFORE, THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF
SECTION 1. Pursuant
to Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 9.04.20.16.020, the Planning Commission
does hereby give notice of its intention to recommend amendment of the
Comprehensive Land Use and Zoning Ordinance of the City of
SECTION 2. The Director of Planning and Community Development shall certify to the adoption of this Resolution, and thenceforth and thereafter the same shall be in full force and effect.
APPROVED AS TO FORM:
MARSHA JONES MOUTRIE
Adopted this _____ day of _______________________, 2006.
Chair, Planning Commission
I hereby certify that the foregoing Resolution of Intention was duly and regularly introduced and approved at a meeting of the Planning Commission on the _____ day of ___________________, 2006 by the following vote:
Director of Planning and Community Development
The following sections of the Santa Monica Municipal Code (SMMC) will be amended to reflect the proposed changes:
A. Exemptions from development review thresholds
· Add sub-section to development review threshold exemptions section 9.04.10.14.050 specifying affordable housing units not more than 50 units
B. Bayside Commercial (BSC) District
· Property development standards section 9.04.08.15.060(d)
· Conditionally permitted uses section 9.04.08.28.040(w)(x)
D. Neighborhood Commercial (C2) District
· Property development standards section 9.04.08.16.060(g)
E. Downtown Commercial (C3) District
· Property development standards section 9.04.08.18.060(g)
F. Downtown Overlay (C3-C) District
· Special project design and development standards section 9.04.08.20.070(g)
G. Special Office Commercial (C5) District
· Permitted uses section 9.04.08.24.020
· Conditionally permitted uses section 9.04.08.24.040
H. Industrial Conservation (M1) District
· Permitted uses section 9.04.08.34.020
· Conditionally permitted uses section 9.04.08.34.040
I. Multifamily Districts (R2, R3, R4)
· Property development standards section 9.04.08.06.060 (h)
· Add sub-section (i) to Property development standards section 9.04.08.06.060
· Land Uses Allowed in Multiple Family Residential Districts (Table 9.04-1)
· Property development standards section 9.04.08.48.060(j)
· Property development standards section 9.04.08.50.060(l)
· Property development standards section 9.04.08.52.060(l)
M. Ocean Park High Multiple Family (OP-4) District
· Property development standards section 9.04.08.54.060(l)
N. Low Density Multiple Family Coastal Resident (R2B) District
· Property development standards section 9.04.08.62.060(h)
O. Medium Density Multiple Family Coastal Resident (R3R) District
· Property development standards section 9.04.08.64.060(i)