Santa Monica Gives Tentative OK on Low-Cost Housing


Santa Monica developers may soon have to carry an even bigger burden for low- and moderate-income housing if an ordinance tentatively approved by the City Council Tuesday is adopted.

The City Council introduced an ordinance requiring developers to devote at least 30% of new apartments, including duplexes, to be set aside for low- and moderate-income families, or pay an in-lieu fee of $15 per square foot. The city currently requires developers to set aside 15% of new multifamily developments for low-cost housing, or pay a fee of $6 per square foot.

The council passed the ordinance Tuesday night on first reading, despite the objections of a boisterous crowd of landlords and real-estate agents. The plan, which requires even a duplex to contain one low-income unit, will be an interim ordinance to give city staff more time to better assess the city’s housing needs.


The council was split on the matter, 4 to 3, with the minority taking the developers’ stance that the ordinance will stifle housing development in the city, which city staff say will be sorely needed in the 1990s.

Council members Christine Reed, Herb Katz and William H. Jennings voted against the ordinance. The matter is expected to return for final approval in two weeks.