‚ÄčIn accordance with F.S. 420.9076, Palm Beach County's Commission on Affordable Housing (CAH) has conducted a triennial review of the County's established policies and procedures, ordinances, land development regulations, and comprehensive plan, and has recommended specific actions or initiatives to encourage or facilitate affordable housing.   The CAH will hold a public meeting to adopt the Triennial  Affordable Housing Incentives Review and Recommendations Report, 2018 Update, on November 14, 2018, at 9:00am, at the PBC Department of Housing and Economic Sustainability (DHES), 100 Australian Avenue (1st Floor, Room 1-270), West Palm Beach FL 333406.  Within 90 days after the CAH adoption of the Report, DHES will present the CAH recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners for its consideration. 

The draft Report is available for public review at DHES offices and online - CLICK HERE FOR REPORT.  The CAH recommendations are in regards to 12 affordable housing incentive areas as follow:

  1. The processing of approvals of development orders or permits for affordable housing projects is expedited to a greater degree than other projects.  The Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) currently provides opportunities for expedited review of certain development approval processes through the Workforce Housing Program (WHP) and the Affordable Housing Program (AHP).  However, the CAH recommends that the County employ a staff position to shepherd applications for affordable housing through the development review process. 
  2. The modification of impact-fee requirements, including reduction or wavier of fees and alternative methods of fee payment for affordable housing.  The County currently allocates earnings from investment of roads, parks, and public building impact fees to the Impact Fee Affordable Housing Assistance Program (IFAHAP) to offset impact fees on new affordable housing developments.  The CAH recommends that the County utilize earnings generated by investment of school impact fee collections to increase funding to the IFAHAP.
  3. The allowance of flexibility in densities for affordable housing.  The County's WHP and AHP offer density increases from 30 up to 100 percent.  The CAH recommends that the WHP and AHP density bonuses be maintained as-is.
  4. The reservation of infrastructure capacity for housing for very-low-income persons, low-income persons, and moderate-income persons.  The County's Comprehensive Plan allows WHP/AHP developments to exceed roadway Level of Service standards by 30%, increasing the available concurrency for traffic and reserving that traffic for those WHP/AHP developments.  The CAH recommends that these incentives be maintained as-is.
  5. The allowance of affordable accessory residential units in residential zoning districts.  The ULDC allows for accessory residential units in certain residential zoning designations, but places certain conditions that limit their prevalence. The CAH recommends that the County  modify its ULDC to be less restrictive on  accessory dwelling units.  Specifically, the County should offer flexibility in setback requirements, eliminate requirements for kitchen removal, and eliminate the prohibition on separate electrical service.
  6. The reduction of parking and setback requirements for affordable housing.  The ULDC provides setback reduction opportunities for WHP and AHP developers.  The CAH recommends that the County reduce setback requirements for all housing types and/or offer increased deviation for WHP/AHP, and recommends that the County consider parking standards for elderly and affordable housing that accurately reflects parking demand.
  7. The allowance of flexible lot configurations, including zero-lot-line configurations for affordable housing.  The ULDC provides for flexible lot configurations, including zero-lot-line configurations.  The CAH recommends the County maintain the incentive as-is.
  8. The modification of street requirements for affordable housing.  The County's Comprehensive Plan Transportation Element permits WHP/AHP developments to generate vehicular traffic on streets beyond the level otherwise allowable.  The CAH recommends that the County maintain the incentive as-is. 
  9. The establishment of a process by which a local government considers, before adoption, policies, procedures, ordinances, regulations, or plan provisions that increase the cost of housing.  The processes for adoption of new or modified Comprehensive Plan policies, County ordinances, and ULDC regulations involve multiple stages of approval by various bodies with opportunities for input by affordable housing advocates and the general public.  The CAH recommends that the County prepare an economic impact estimate when considering new ordinances, regulations, policies, or procedures that may increase the cost of housing.
  10. The preparation of a printed inventory of locally owned public lands suitable for affordable housing.  The County's Property and Real Estate Management Division is responsible for identification of such properties, and the Department of Housing and Economic Sustainability is responsible to review for suitability for affordable housing.  The majority of surplus County-owned lands are undevelopable or face significant development constraints.   A smaller subset are small vacant lots with potential to be developed with a single-family home or a small multi-family structure.  The CAH recommends that the County expand the inventory of County-owned properties to include those properties deemed undevelopable, and that the County be bolder in its disposition of County-owned lands.
  11. The support of development near transportation hubs and major employment centers and mixed-use developments.  When determining the WHP/AHP density bonus, proximity of the site to mass transit and employment opportunities are considered, thereby providing an incentive for affordable development in closer proximity to the same. Also, the County is selling County owned property to create a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) within the City of West Palm Beach.  The CAH recommends that the County support the inclusion of affordable housing units within the TOD.
  12. The maintenance of the existing supply of affordable housing. The CAH recommends that the County direct resources to support the preservation and upgrading of the existing affordable housing stock in order to increase its long-term sustainability.