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Publication Date: Friday, May 25, 2001

Tax would have business developers help pay for housing Tax would have business developers help pay for housing (May 25, 2001)

By Justin Scheck

The City Council Monday reviewed recommendation by the Environmental Planning Commission for a housing impact fee, which would be charged to developers of commercial property to help provide housing for workers.

The fee, which the planning commission recommended in March, would amount to between $2 and $6 per square foot of commercial space depending on the use and size of the project.

At the study session it was not clear how council members would vote on the issue, although some raised concerns about whether the fee would be effective, and if it is the most fair way of holding the business community accountable for the city's housing crunch.

"It's definitely something I'm looking at," said Council member Rosemary Stasek. But she said that she needs to study the fee, and its potential effects, before making a decision.

Council member Ralph Faravelli said he, too, is undecided on the issue. But he said that if the council does pass the measure, he would like it to result in a substantive amount of housing for low- and middle-income residents.

"I'm not sure if 10 or 15 (housing) units a year will solve anything," said Faravelli.

Residents at the meeting, including affordable housing advocates Roy Hayter and Phil Cosby, who is a member of Peninsula Interfaith Action, came out to support the measure which, they said, will not solve the city's housing crunch but will work with other city programs to help provide relief.


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