Walnut Creek Surveys Developers
Walnut Creek is surveying residential developers about possible concessions and incentives as it prepares to bring its density bonus ordinance into compliance with recent legislative changes. To participate, developers may comment in an online survey HERE or attend the city’s Development Services Forum on Aug. 8, 2018. The forum will be held from 7:45-9 a.m. at Walnut Creek City Hall in the City Council chambers at 1666 North Main St. The event is free but the city requests attendees RSVP HERE in order to plan for seating and refreshments. BACKGROUND: The city’s current density bonus ordinance has been around since the 1970s but for a variety of reasons, developers rarely use it. Recent changes in state law could make the program more attractive. Specifically, state law now says an applicant’s density bonus proposal must be accepted unless a jurisdiction can demonstrate that the plan fails to result in identifiable and actual cost reductions or the proposal would result in adverse health, safety or other negative impacts as defined by the statute. Walnut Creek is seeking developer input into a menu of community benefits that could be exchanged for incentives that include, for example, added density along with height limit or set-back waivers. Community benefit examples include affordable housing, senior housing, land donation and daycare facilities. Under the law, developers could not be limited to the city’s list but it would provide applicants with more certainty about what Walnut Creek wants out of its density bonus program going into the entitlement process.