OCEANSIDE — City Council gave the OK to move forward with the Affordable Housing Ad-Hoc Committee plan in a 4-1-workshop vote Wednesday.
Councilwoman Esther Sanchez voted no.
The plan requires builders to ensure that 10 percent of the units are low-income housing.
Builders can build the units, provide land, rehabilitate existing units or subsidize a housing project.
The plan also specifies that builders who build over the minimum base density need to provide additional affordable housing units and would be given incentives like reduced parking requirements and approval for additional building height.
A plan option proposed by BIA (Building Industry Association) also got the go-ahead at the same meeting in a 3-2 vote.
Mayor Jim Wood and Sanchez opposed the BIA option that has not been vetted by the ad-hoc committee, Planning Commission or Housing Commission.
The option presented by the BIA gives builders who exceed the minimum base density limit the choice to buy their way out of the requirement to build low-income housing by paying a fee of $12,250 for each house they build beyond the minimum limit.
The tiered fee is seven times the current $1,750 fee.
There were questions on how the tiered fee amount was reached, and concerns that the option was not reviewed by the committee or commissions involved.
Oceanside resident Kay Parker said prior fees have been justified by a study.
“It ensure fairness and everybody playing by the same rules,” Parker said.
“Some fee is better than no fee, but I feel a little skeptical,” said John Seymour, vice president of National Community Renaissance, a nonprofit of affordable housing developers.
BIA of San Diego CEO Borre Winckel did not have a concrete explanation of how the tiered fee amount was determined.
“It’s an incentive for more building and more affordable housing,” Winckel said. “I’m baffled why we need so much debate.”
Winckel encouraged City Council to include the buyout option in order to give the building industry a boost.
The option includes a trial period of about 30 months.
The affordable housing plan and option will go to a public hearing and City Council vote within three months.