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Council Deadlocked on Jump in Affordable Housing Fees

Olin Ericksen
Staff Writer

July 30 -- Developers will not see a dramatic jump in affordable housing fees paid to the City -- at least not for the time being.

That decision came after the City Council deadlocked 3 to 3 on a proposal to increase the fees developers pay the City “in lieu” of building affordable housing by 300 percent for apartments and 200 percent for condominiums. (see related story)

The vote hinged on whether the City should study the impacts that raising the fees would have on builders’ bottom lines.

While Council members Bobby Shriver, Herb Katz and Bob Holbrook voted against raising the fees without conducting the impact study, Council members Richard Bloom, Ken Genser and Mayor Pam O’Connor said they were ready to move forward on the proposal.

The three Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights council members said they would dramatically increase affordable housing funds available to the City and help meet the goals of a voter approved proposition to increase affordable housing in the City.

Attorneys representing local developers urged the council not to raise the fees without conducting the impact study -- a study they argued has helped avert housing litigation over the past decade.

Currently developers pay $6.14 per square foot in affordable housing fees for apartments and $11.01 per square foot for condominiums.

The increase would almost triple that fee to $22.33 per square foot for apartments and more than double to $26.08 per square foot for condominiums.

The item will return to the council in September, when Council Member Kevin McKeown -- an outspoken proponent of affordable housing -- returns from vacation.

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