23.61.050 ALTERNATIVES TO PAYMENT OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMMERCIAL LINKAGE FEE.
(a) As an alternative to compliance with the basic provisions included in Section 23.61.030 of this chapter, developers of commercial development projects may propose the construction of affordable units on-site or an alternative mitigation program proposed by the developer and the community development director, such as the provision of off-site affordable units, donation of land for the construction of affordable units, or purchase of existing units for conversion to affordable units.
(1) The City Council shall adopt, by resolution, the percentage of affordable units needed to mitigate the impact of commercial development projects on the need for affordable housing.
(2) Any affordable rental or for-sale units proposed as an alternative to the payment of the affordable housing commercial linkage fee shall be subject to the requirements described in the City's Below Market Rate Housing Program.
(b) If the developer seeks an alternative to the payment of the affordable housing commercial linkage fee, then the application for the first approval of a commercial development project for which the alternative is sought, shall include an "affordable housing plan" that describes how the alternative will comply with the provisions of this chapter. No affordable housing plan is required if the developer proposes only to pay the affordable housing commercial linkage fee.
(1) Development projects requesting an alternative to payment of the affordable housing commercial linkage fee require that an affordable housing plan be submitted in conformance with this chapter prior to the application being deemed complete.
(2) The affordable housing plan shall be processed concurrently with all other permits required for the commercial development project. Before approving the affordable housing plan, the decision-making body shall find that the affordable housing plan conforms to this chapter. A condition shall be attached to the first approval of any commercial development project to require recordation of an affordable housing agreement, as described in this subsection, prior to the approval of any final or parcel map or building permit for the development project.
(3) The approved affordable housing plan may be amended prior to issuance of any building permit for the commercial development project. A request for a minor modification of an approved housing plan may be granted by the community development director if the modification is substantially in compliance with the original affordable housing plan and conditions of approval. Other modifications to the affordable housing plan shall be processed in the same manner as the original plan.
(4) If required to ensure compliance with the approved affordable housing plan, affordable housing agreements, acceptable to the community development director or designee, shall be recorded against the commercial development project prior to approval of any final or parcel map or issuance of any building permit, whichever occurs first. The affordable housing agreement shall specify the number, type, location, size, and phasing of all affordable units, provisions for income certification, and screening of potential purchasers or renters of units, and resale control mechanisms, consistent with the approved affordable housing plan, as determined by the community development director or designee.
(c) The decision-making body may approve, or conditionally approve, an affordable housing plan that proposes on-site construction of affordable units if the decision-making body determines, based on substantial evidence, that:
(1) The proposed affordable units comply with the City's below market rate standards adopted by City Council resolution, including that the affordable units be made available for occupancy concurrently with the market-rate units; and
(2) The affordable units will mitigate the impact of the project on the need for affordable housing as adopted by City Council resolution.
(d) If a developer proposes off-site affordable housing units or any other alternative in the affordable housing plan, the decision-making body may approve such a proposal if it finds that the proposal satisfies all of the following conditions:
(1) Financing, or a viable financing plan, is in place for the proposed affordable housing units;
(2) The proposed location is suitable for the proposed affordable housing, is consistent with the Housing Element, general plan, and zoning; and
(3) The off-site units will be available for occupancy concurrently or prior to the commercial development project.