City council, planning commission discuss affordable housing in Atascadero
–Last week, the Atascadero City Council and Atascadero Planning Commission held a joint study session to talk about affordable housing in Atascadero. Community Development Director Phil Dunsmore described the purpose of last night’s virtual meeting. He said it was not to make any firm decisions but to discuss the issues with the help of a consultant from MIG. MIG is a Berkeley-based planning consulting firm that helps municipalities comply with state law on affordable housing.
Genevieve Sharrow of MIG told the study session about case law, and options available to the city to generate revenue to pay for affordable housing.
The City of Atascadero must find a way to generate revenue to fund the construction of affordable housing. The city can levy a fee on new home construction or commercial development, but one way or another they have to generate revenue to pay for affordable housing in the city. Another option is “affordable by design.” That’s encouraging affordable housing to be included in housing projects developed in the city. Councilman Charles Borbeau says he opposes levying more fees on commercial development. He says the city needs commercial development.
San Luis Obispo County has imposed a fee on homes larger than 2200 square feet. That’s another option the city could take in generating revenue for affordable housing.
Last week’s study session was intended to raise issues and discuss them. Staff will return with recommendations to the council and planning commission at a later date.