The city’s priority is for residential and mixed-use developments to provide the affordable housing on the site of the development generating the affordable housing requirement. To the extent allowed in the code provisions for areas referenced in BMC 12.07.020, an applicant may propose alternative methods for satisfying all or part of a project’s on-site affordable housing, which the city will evaluate according to the requirements of this section.
A. Application Requirements. Applicants requesting alternative compliance must do so in writing at the time of any building permit or land use application, whichever is earliest, and receive approval prior to obtaining any building permit for the project, unless otherwise allowed by the director.
B. Criteria. The director may, at the director’s discretion, approve an applicant’s request for alternative compliance that must achieve an affordable housing benefit to the city equal to or better than providing the affordable units on site.
C. For off-site affordable housing as alternative compliance, the director may approve an off-site location for affordable units. If allowed, the following restrictions apply:
1. The off-site location for the affordable housing would not lead to a disproportionate concentration of affordable dwelling units either on the proposed off-site property or within a particular location within the city;
2. The alternative location must demonstrate that the affordable units provided off site will be completed and made available for occupancy before or within the same time period as the development generating the affordable housing requirement; and
3. The affordable units provided off site will have the same tenure (type of ownership) of units as the new market-rate housing units developed on the subject property.
D. For payments in lieu of construction of affordable housing as alternative compliance, the director may approve cash payments in lieu of providing actual affordable units with the following parameters:
1. The director shall establish a generally applicable formula for determining the payment amount, which may be modified as frequently as once per year.
2. The director shall determine the payment obligation for a particular applicant and the applicant must enter into an agreement with the city agreeing to payment of the fee, all prior to issuance of any building permits for the project.
3. Payment shall be due prior to issuance of any certificate of occupancy for the project.
4. The city shall deposit collected payments in an affordable housing fund established by the city and used for affordable housing development.
5. The subarea generating the affordable housing requirement is the priority location for affordable housing funded wholly or in part with in-lieu fees. However, the city may authorize the use of these funds for affordable housing projects in other subareas of the city (as a second priority) or within another jurisdiction (as a third priority) with close proximity to commercial uses, transit services, and/or employment opportunities.
E. The director may consider other alternative compliance methods for satisfying the affordable housing requirements, as proposed by the project proponent, such as fewer affordable units at greater affordability (e.g., 50 percent of area median income instead of 60 percent of area median income). (Ord. 2255 § 1, 2018).