City Council Introduces Affordable Housing Ordinance

Click here to read the article on updates to the ordinance.

At Monday's meeting the City Council introduced a new affordable housing ordinance that includes an impact fee to establish an Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The ordinance is aimed at implementing and addressing one of the Community's overarching goals for the City: to "encourage the continued diversity of housing, income levels and lifestyles in the community" (Mill Valley 2040 General Plan, Goal #2). The Affordable Housing Ordinance will come back to Council for second reading and adoption at the August 7 meeting.

The affordable housing ordinance sets forth regulations on all residential development projects with a construction valuation of $100,000 or more. Single Family residential construction, Multi-Family rental projects, and ownership units with 2-3 units are subject to the impact fee, which is established at 1.5% of the construction valuation for a project ($100,000 or more). Multi-Family Ownership Projects with 4 or more units must build 25% of the total number of proposed units for sale to moderate and low-income households. Second units and micro units are exempt from the impact fee, as are those projects with a valid and active building permit prior to November 1, 2017.

An Affordable Housing Trust Fund is established as part of the ordinance to collect and maintain impact fees separate from other City revenues. All money collected in the Trust Fund "shall be expended exclusively to provide or assure continued provision of affordable housing in the City to meet the housing needs of the City's workforce through acquisition, construction, development assistance, substantial rehabilitation/maintenance, finance, rent or other subsidies, and for costs of administering programs which serve those ends." Staff has proposed to collect the fees for a year, during which time staff will report back to City Council with the administrative guidelines for the use, disbursement and prioritization of trust funds for public review and City Council adoption.

Applying the adopted 1.5% impact fee to 2016 applicable building permits, over 110 building permits would qualify and collect $550,000 in impact fees. Mayor Jessica Sloan stated that "affordable housing is the biggest issue our community is facing and this is a huge victory for our town. I'm excited about the potential of what we can do with this money and in the future I want to continue to explore funding sources to see what other revenue streams from the City budget are possible to increase the funding for affordable housing in Mill Valley."

The Affordable Housing Ordinance will come back to Council for a second reading and adoption at the August 7 meeting. The ordinance will then become effective 60 days after adoption. Any projects that receive a building permit or tentative map before November 1, 2017 will be exempt from the fee.

Learn more:

Affordable Housing Ordinance Staff Report - July 17, 2017