Santa Monica : Prop. R Implementation

The City Council began the process of implementing Proposition R, a measure approved by Santa Monica voters in November that requires new apartments and condominium projects to set aside nearly one of every three units for low- and moderate-income residents.

In a 5-2 vote, with Councilmen Herb Katz and Robert T. Holbrook voting no, the council directed city staff to seek public comment and draft an ordinance that would require low- and moderate-income units in all multi-unit residential projects that apply for permits to the city.

In drafting the ordinance, the staff will have to decide whether to allow developers to pay fees in lieu of setting aside units, so the city can build the affordable housing units at another site. The staff must also recommend what standards of income will be used and whether residents who change income brackets should be evicted from the low- and moderate-income units.

The staff already has called for community groups and developers to offer comments and suggestions on the new ordinance. The period for public comment ends Feb. 7.

Proposition R mandates that 33% of all new multifamily units in the city be affordable to low- and moderate-income households. The ordinance is expected to be back before the council sometime in February.

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