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 Policy Order Resolution
  O-2
  AMENDED ORDER
  IN CITY COUNCIL
  May 5, 2014
COUNCILLOR CARLONE
COUNCILLOR MAZEN

WHEREAS:

The City of Cambridge is proud of its strong, innovative commercial sector and is also proud of the efforts that are made to provide housing opportunities for residents at all income levels; and
      

WHEREAS:

The Incentive Zoning program was adopted by the City Council in 1988 to mitigate the impact of commercial development on the City's housing market by requiring a Housing Contribution from large, new commercial developments; and
         

WHEREAS:

A nexus study establishes the basis for Housing Contributions as set forth in the Incentive Zoning provisions; these monetary contributions are used to fund affordable housing programs which help offset the pressure on market rents as the City's commercial sector enjoys continued growth; and 
     

WHEREAS:

Section 11.203.1 of the City's Zoning Ordinance ("Requirements for Incentive Zoning Contributions") states that the amount of the Housing Contribution shall be subject to review and recalculation every three (3) years by the Cambridge City Council; and 
      

WHEREAS:

The most recent nexus study was completed in 2002, recommending that the Housing Contribution be set at $7.83 in 2002 dollars (approximately $10.00 in 2013 dollars) for every square foot of applicable gross floor area; however, the City Council never implemented this recommendation, and the Housing Contribution has not been significantly updated in many years; and 
     

WHEREAS:

The current Housing Contribution rate is $4.58 per square foot of applicable gross floor area, which includes minor updates that are made by the Affordable Housing Trust based on changes to the Consumer Price Index; and 
 

WHEREAS:

On August 1, 2011, the City Manager stated that it would be reasonable to commission a new nexus study, and on January 8, 2014, the Community Development Department issued a memorandum indicating that an RFP for a new nexus study would be issued within weeks; that RFP was issued on April 28, 2014, and therefore, the City is still many months away from having an updated Housing Contribution recommendation; now therefore be it 
      

ORDERED:

That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council with an estimate of how much applicable commercial development has been completed in the city since the 2002 nexus study, and how much money for affordable housing would have been obtained had the City Council elected to implement the 2002 recommendations; and be it further 
      
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with all relevant City Staff and Departments to prepare draft language that would enable the City Council to implement the 2002 nexus study recommendations, as an interim measure pending completion of the new nexus study, and report back to the City Council on this matter by Monday, May 19, 2014; and be it further
    
ORDERED: That this be referred to the Housing and Finance Committees for a joint hearing. 

REFERRED TO THE HOUSING AND FINANCE COMMITTEES FOR A JOINT HEARING
View Original Order
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