Article Written By: Hannah Jones
Though Truckee staff proposed an updated housing in-lieu fee that was lower than last year’s, the Town Council voted to leave the fee as is for another year.
“I would support the status quo and keeping it as is for another year,” said Mayor David Tirman.
Truckee’s inclusionary housing ordinance requires all residential projects to designate 15% of units as affordable or pay an in-lieu fee that the town would use to build affordable housing units in the future. For example $1.65 million that the town designated for the Artist Lofts project in downtown Truckee was partly from in-lieu fees.
In 2017 the town adopted an in-lieu fee that would generate enough money to subsidise a portion of affordable housing projects. The fee relies on the current cost of construction, median home prices and Nevada County income limits. Based on an analysis from Bay Area Economics, the Town Council decided on a fee that was 20% of the average cost of construction. In 2017 the average cost was $438,000, resulting in an $87,000 in lieu-fee.
Under the proposed update, it would have been $81,000.
The in-lieu fee option is used primarily for smaller projects, according to Yumei Dahn, associate planner for the Truckee. If only two new units are being constructed, the developer would pay 30% of the fee. This year the town only collected about $20,000 in in-lieu fees, Dahn said.
In addition to the in-lieu fee, developers have proposed other “alternative equivalents” to that requirement. Only a handful of alternative proposals have been approved. The most recent being Coburn Crossing, which agreed to make its housing units 100% deed restricted to locals in perpetuity, but with no affordability caps.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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