Bellevue, WA Affordable Housing

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Bellevue, WA, US

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Type: Municipal Code

Status: Adopted

Source File:


20.20.128 Affordable housing.

A. Purpose.
The purpose of this section is to offer dimensional flexibility and density bonuses to encourage construction of housing affordable to low and moderate income households.

B. General.
The provisions of this section are available, at the sole discretion of the property owner, as incentives to encourage the construction of affordable housing in new multifamily residential development.

1. Multifamily Development. One bonus market rate unit is permitted for each affordable unit provided, up to 15 percent above the maximum density permitted in the underlying zoning district.

2. Duration. An agreement in a form approved by the City must be recorded with King County Department of Records and Elections requiring affordable housing units which are provided under this section to remain as affordable housing for the life of the project. This agreement shall be a covenant running with the land, binding on the assigns, heirs and successors of the applicant.

3. In zoning districts where density limitation is expressed as floor area ratio (FAR), density bonuses will be calculated as an equivalent FAR bonus.

C. Dimensional Standard Modification.
The following requirements of the Land Use Code may be modified through the procedures outlined in paragraph D of this section, to the extent necessary to accommodate affordable housing units and bonus units on-site.

1. Lot Coverage. The maximum percent of lot coverage may be increased by up to five percent of the total square footage over the maximum lot coverage permitted by the underlying zoning district for those properties or lots containing affordable housing units.

2. Parking Requirements. For those buildings containing affordable housing, the percent of compact parking stalls may be increased up to 75 percent of the total required parking in non-Downtown Zoning Districts and up to 85 percent of the total required parking in Downtown Zoning Districts. Tandem parking stalls are permitted to the extent feasible to satisfy required parking ratios.

3. Building Height. Except in Transition Areas, the maximum building height in R-10, R-15, R-20 and R-30 Zoning Districts may be increased by up to six feet for those portions of the building(s) at least 20 feet from any property line.

4. Lot Area. Lots which contain affordable housing units in single-family subdivisions may be reduced by up to 20 percent of the minimum lot area required by the underlying zoning district; provided, that the density in the subdivision does not exceed 15 percent above the maximum permitted by the underlying zoning district.

5. Open Space. The Open and Recreation Space Requirement within a residential planned unit development containing affordable housing may be reduced to 35 percent of gross land area. All other requirements of LUC 20.30D.160 shall continue to apply.

D. Applicable Procedures.

1. Dimension Standard Modification. The City will process an application for a dimensional standard modification through the Building Permit review or if the project is being processed through a discretionary land use process, the dimensional standard modification may be reviewed as part of that process. In addition to the decision criteria in the section applicable to the discretionary land use decision, the Director must determine that the modifications are the minimum necessary to accommodate affordable housing units and bonus market rate units on-site.

2. Attached Housing within Subdivisions. Attached affordable housing duplexes on single-family lots are permitted without planned unit development approval provided the units are approved as part of a subdivision proposal. If a property line divides the attached units into separate parcels, there is no setback requirement from that property line, and for purposes of complying with minimum lot size provisions, the separate parcels containing the attached units are considered one lot. In addition to the decision criteria in LUC 20.45A.130, the following criteria shall apply:

a. No more than 15 percent of the approved lots may include attached duplex units and only one lot may contain three dwelling units.

b. The placement and exterior design of the attached units are comparable to and compatible with the surrounding single-family development.

E. Administration.
The Director shall be responsible for administration of this section. The Director may adopt rules for implementation of this section; provided, the Director shall first hold a public hearing. The Director shall publish notice of the intent to adopt any rule, and the date, time, and place of the public hearing thereon in a newspaper of general circulation in the City at least 14 days prior to the hearing date. Any person may submit written comment to the Director in response to such notice, and/or may speak at the public hearing. Following the public hearing, the Director shall adopt, adopt with modification, or reject the proposed rule.