Ting Legislation Seeks to Pave the Way for Fees on Density Bonus Units

Assemblymember Phil Ting (D – San Francisco) introduced new amendments to the State Density Bonus law on March 15, 2017 that would specifically require local jurisdictions to impose their local inclusionary housing requirements on density bonus units, unless the jurisdiction expressly exempts them by ordinance.

As mentioned in our recent inclusionary housing legislation blog post, local legislation proposed by Supervisors Safai, Breed and Tang would require that an “in-lieu” inclusionary housing fee be paid for any density bonus units, as recommended by the City Controller. As we previously reported, that requirement would be additive, meaning that millions of dollars of additional fees could be due for market rate housing projects with otherwise required inclusionary housing units provided on-site. As currently drafted, AB 915 authorizes the general approach in Supervisors Safai, Breed and Tang’s density bonus fee proposal and could open up the door to other options for satisfying local inclusionary housing requirements vis-à-vis the density bonus units (e.g., off-site and on-site).

This legislation joins the larger debate about the appropriate level of incentives necessary to encourage developers to participate in a local density bonus program. As discussed in a prior post, fees on density bonus units is one of the major issues expected to be discussed when the Board considers the competing inclusionary ordinances in the coming months.