Court: Cities can force developers to include affordable housing

By Stephen Frank : capoliticalreview – excerpt

Central Valley Business Times

Supreme Court upholds San Jose ordinance
Could impact nearly 200 California cities immediately
Housing developers can be required by cities to include a percentage of their homes for low- or moderate-income buyers, the California Supreme Court says.
The ruling upholds a Court of Appeal decision that backed the city of San Jose, which had been challenged by the California Building Industry Association.
“The conditions that the San Jose ordinance imposes upon future developments do not impose exactions upon the developers‘ property so as to bring into play the unconstitutional conditions doctrine under the takings clause of the federal or state Constitution,” says the unanimous Supreme Court ruling Monday. “Furthermore … an in lieu monetary fee that is imposed to mitigate a particular adverse effect of the development proposal under consideration — the conditions imposed by the San Jose ordinance at issue here do not require a developer to pay a monetary fee but rather place a limit on the way a developer may use its property.”
Noting that the problem of finding affordable housing in California has become worse over the years, the state’s highest court says the city had a constitutionally legitimate reason to use the ordinance to increase “the number of affordable housing units in the city in recognition of the insufficient number of existing affordable housing units in relation to the city‘s current and future needs” and assure “that new affordable housing units that are constructed are distributed throughout the city as part of mixed-income developments in order to obtain the benefits that flow from economically diverse communities and avoid the problems that have historically been associated with isolated low income housing.”
The ruling is expected to have wide-ranging impact as nearly 200 California cities have adopted some form of the San Jose ordinance… (more)

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