County considers new fees for housing

AFFORDABLE IN GILROY Alexander Station’S 262 units in Gilroy are designated as “affordable housing” and could open in September. Photo By Barry Holtzclaw

The regional housing crisis may mean new fees for builders in Santa Clara County.

Santa Clara County is considering adding a special fee to all new housing construction, providing funds that would subsidize more affordable housing.

The net effect would be to add to the already soaring costs of new housing construction in Santa Clara County—more than $30,000 in new fees for a typical 2,000-square-foot home.

The county is hosting public meetings this month to seek community feedback on an Affordable Housing Nexus Fee Study that supports consideration of new affordable housing requirements, in unincorporated Santa Clara County—outside city limits.

The countywide study primarily recommends the adoption of an affordable housing fee applied to new construction on either a per-unit or per-square-foot basis.  

If adopted by the Board of Supervisors, the fee would apply to the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County for residential and non-residential development, including Stanford University.  

Prior to consideration of this study by the Board of Supervisors, the county is collecting input from all county residents, developers, real estate professionals, and other interested parties.

Public meeting were held this week in Palo Alto and San Jose.

The public meeting for South County was to be on Tuesday, April 17, 6-8pm at the South County Government Center, AEM Resource Room, 80 W. Highland Ave., San Martin.
The Affordable Housing Nexus Fee Study by Keyser, Marston and Associates recommended affordable housing fees in the range of $15 – $16 per square foot for all new construction.

If the county moves forward with a new requirement, it is expected that developers would have the choice of including affordable housing in their development or paying an in-lieu fee set by the county Board of Supervisors.