Community Benefits FAQs

Why did you write a compromise?

Many members of the community urged Councilmember Moore and I to write a compromise to help unite the city and Council around significant community benefits beyond which is already required from buildings. We accepted the challenge and were able to incorporate probably 75% of feedback we received,

Can you explain the compromise?

Mayor Bates and Councilmember Capitelli initially proposed a square footage fee for the taller buildings.

Councilmember Arreguín proposed a process which consisted of: a) presentation of community benefits b) financial verification c) ZAB analysis d) enforcement.

Our challenge was to blend the major components of the two proposals. To which buildings do we apply the square footage fee? We determined that it would not be sensible to apply the square footage fee to buildings proposed in 2030 when we have no sense of the economy. Instead, we applied it to current projects in the pipeline.

We also proposed a process (application, financial verification, ZAB analysis, and enforcement) by which to determine significant community benefits.

But wait, what about projects currently in the pipeline? Are they exempted?

To address this concern, Council approved a friendly amendment to the proposal by Councilmember Capitelli on June 29, 2015 which asked staff to provide independent verification of the square footage fees he and the mayor proposed (establishing a per square foot fee of $100 per rentable residential square foot between 75-120 feet and $150 per rentable residential square foot between 121-180 feet for projects that have been in the permitting process for more than two years prior to the date of adoption of this resolution). Staff returned at a later meeting with an economic analysis showing that the fees were appropriate.

As a result, EVERY project will go through this process: a) presentation of community benefits b) financial verification c) ZAB analysis d) enforcement.

Councilmember Moore and I worked diligently on this proposal to provide the best compromise for the community. A compromise consists of contributions from everyone and we believe we achieved that. Thank you so much for your support!