21.20.050 Alternative Compliance Methods.
A. While the priority of the City is to achieve affordable housing on-site, the Administrator may approve a request for satisfying all or part of the affordable housing requirements with alternative compliance methods proposed by the applicant, if they meet the intent of this section.
B. The project proponent may propose one or more of the following alternatives, and must demonstrate that any alternative achieves a result equal to or better than providing affordable housing on-site. Housing units provided through the alternative compliance method must be based on providing the same type and tenure of units as the units in the project that give rise to the requirement.
1. Affordable housing units may be provided off-site if the location chosen does not lead to undue concentration of affordable housing in any particular area of the City. Preference shall be given for the location of the off-site affordable unit in the same neighborhood planning area, and the site must be within close proximity to employment opportunities and transit services. No individual property that receives off-site affordable housing units may have more than 25 percent of its units as affordable housing units, unless the property will be utilizing public funding sources for affordable housing.
2. Cash payments in lieu of providing actual housing units may be provided and will be used only for the subsequent provision of affordable housing units by the City or other housing provider approved by the Administrator. Payments in lieu shall be based on the difference between the cost of construction for a prototype affordable housing unit on the subject property, including land costs and development fees, and the revenue generated by an affordable housing unit. The payment obligation will be established at the time of issuance of building permits or preliminary plat approval for the project.
3. The Administrator may consider other options for satisfying the affordable housing requirements, as proposed by the project proponent.
4. In making a decision on alternative compliance, the Administrator will consider the value of any City incentives available to the project, such as property tax exemptions established in RMC Chapter 3.38.
1. Application for and approval by the Administrator for alternative compliance must be made prior to issuing a building permit for the project, unless otherwise permitted by the Administrator.
2. Application for off-site alternative compliance must document the timing that off-site affordable housing units will be made available and provide assurances to ensure completion of the off-site affordable housing units. The intent is for affordable housing units to be provided before or at the same time as the on-site market rate housing. (Ord. 2883; Ord. 2978)