Inclusionary Zoning “Discussion”

For over a year Mayor Stone has been saying he would bring an ordinance to Council requiring inclusionary zoning* on housing developments.  Mayor Stone believes that's how to provide market-rate housing to low-income households.
After a couple false starts, Mayor Stone delivered.
At its March 3 Council meeting, the Council majority voted to send the discussion of an inclusionary zoning ordinance to the Ad Hoc Housing Committee (Stone, Huber, Ory).
  • Note:  The Ad Hoc Housing commiteee has already "discussed" inclusionary zoning and took no action. The meetings and a workshop were held last summer and fall.  Industry experts  presented facts showing IZ will make it less likely housing projects will get financing.   It will raise the cost of all homes in Chico, including existing homes.  Those meetings now forgotten, inclusionary zoning boomerangs back.  

At the March 3 meeting, CBA made the argument that all ideas to make housing affordable to more households should be considered at the same time, with all facts available.  The time to do that is during the update of Chico's Housing Element, which begins later this year.

The Council majority have many rental and sales policies on subsidized housing.  They consider them individually, without time to consider facts or cumulative impact.  At the Ad Hoc or Internal Affairs meetings, industry experts are given 1 - 3 minutes to present complex information on these significant policies.  Then the committee "summarizes" the input to make a recommendation to the City Council, without the benefit of experts.

If the housing affordability crisis was simple and could be fixed in a committee meeting, it would already be fixed.  It's not, and it can't.

In California we build the most energy efficient, water efficient, safest housing in the world. But it comes with a price.

CBA will continue to present the facts that the combination of high cost-to-build and rural household income will practically stop housing production if an inclusionary zoning ordinance is passed.

*Inclusionary Zoning requirements mean a builder has to set aside a % of units to be sold or rented at rates affordable to lower income households.  The facts show that the "allowed" price to sell or rent these units is less than it cost to build the unit.  That shortfall is covered by the price charged the rest of the buyers or renters in the development.