Posts Tagged ‘new homes’
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors decided not to tinker with the makeup or structure of its planning groups despite recommendations from the Red Tape Reduction Task Force that called for term limits and modest experience qualifications. Some county planning groups have brought the ire of property owners and project applicants who say the groups act more like quasi regulatory agencies that demand design changes and multiple meetings rather than as an advisory board as prescribed by county law. Their approach leads to excessive delays that add thousands of dollars in project costs.
Planning group members raised strong objections to any changes but the Supervisors did implement a mandatory training session for planning group members in order for their group to receive indemnification protection from the County. Supervisors are moving forward with a host of regulatory improvements designed to improve the overall time and efficiency of its land use review process.
Your Paper’s coverage of the Oceanside City Council June 22nd action on lowering affordable housing fees as a cost component of new home construction failed to mention a key fact. The article reads as if Council Members Kern, Feller and Felien slashed the $10,375 per home fee mainly as a stimulus measure to jump start construction. While welcome news to 45,000 unemployed members of our industry as a measure of hope, the City had no choice.
The City hired Keyser Marston Associates (“KMA”) to prepare the fee study which would set a legally justified cost factor on a square foot basis. KMA is used by many cities Statewide to set these so-called Inclusionary Housing In-Lieu fees which are paid by new home buyers to subsidize the construction of homes for low – to moderate income families. KMA is required by law to use actual economic data.
KMA’s low fee calculation is the result of a very bad real estate market, record low housing values and low interest rates. Because the fee is pegged to the real market, it goes up and down as the market changes. Opponents to this action can jump up and down all they want. Record high housing affordability in Oceanside means that record low subsidies are needed, especially coming from new home buyers. Affordable housing advocates who work primarily with tax payer subsidies need to wake up to the new reality. Government no longer has funding and new construction which used to pay these fees is at a standstill. A proposed Density Bonus Program which follows state enforced global warming mitigation mandates is the only smart solution on the table. It is ironic that Council Member Esther Sanchez, a global warming believer, has not caught on yet.