A few weeks ago Tim O’Connell posted about AB 710 and the impact it could have on apartment developers, if the parking mandated by local codes is capped at 1 space per home/apartment. The effects could be positive – reducing development costs that aren’t really economic – and negative – less leverage to encourage low-income set asides – for affordable housing developers. AB 710 is visible on a larger stage, as the topic of Stephen Smith’s blog on Friday in Forbes. Not surprisingly, his position is that using zoning codes (“entitlements” in our California vernacular) to extract concessions is rarely the “win-win” it is made out to be.
But an unfortunate side effect is that affordable housing advocates and agencies
then have an incentive to oppose zoning or parking reform, because without the
onerous development restrictions, builders would no longer have to seek relief
through affordable housing programs. Housing activists might not even like
parking minimums – indeed, Housing California claims that they “agree with the
basic concept” of reform – but their allegiances (not to mention salaries) are
to affordable housing programs, not to affordable housing in general. Read more