NOTICE OF INTENTION TO CIRCULATE PETITION
Housing for People- NOT unaffordable towers! ballot initiative will implement TWO important things:
1. The Santa Cruz City Council shall not adopt amendments to the City’s General Plan or Zoning Ordinance that increase the allowable height limits or Floor Area Ratios (F.A.R.) for development projects, which are greater than the height limits and F.A.R. in effect in the City’s General Plan as of June 1, 2023 (or the earliest date allowed by law), without a prior vote of the people approving the proposed increase.
2. The inclusionary (affordable) housing requirements shall be increased from the existing 20% to at least 25% for developments with 30 or more housing units.
INITIATIVE MEASURE TO BE SUBMITTED DIRECTLY TO THE VOTERS
The City Attorney has prepared the following circulating title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:AN INITIATIVE MEASURE PROPOSING AN ORDINANCE THAT:
(1) PROHIBITS THE SANTA CRUZ CITY COUNCIL FROM AMENDING THE CITY’S GENERAL PLAN OR ZONING ORDINANCE IN A WAY THAT INCREASES ALLOWABLE HEIGHT LIMITS OR FLOOR AREA RATIOS FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS, WITHOUT A PRIOR VOTE OF THE PEOPLE; AND
(2) INCREASES THE CITY’S INCLUSIONARY HOUSING REQUIREMENTS TO AT LEAST 25% FOR DEVELOPMENTS WITH 30 OR MORE HOUSING UNITS.
If approved by the voters, this initiative would prohibit the Santa Cruz City Council from amending the City’s General Plan or Zoning Ordinance in a way that increases the allowable height limits or floor area ratios (the gross floor area of all buildings on a lot, divided by the net lot area) beyond what was in effect on June 1, 2023 for development projects, without a prior vote of the people of the City of Santa Cruz approving the proposed increase.
In order to effectuate this prohibition, the City Council would be required to add the following language to Santa Cruz Municipal Code section 24.06.080:
“Height Limits. No amendments to the General Plan or Zoning Ordinance that would increase allowable height limits or Floor Area Ratios (FAR) for development projects shall be adopted without a prior vote of the people approving the proposed increase.”
The initiative would also increase the City’s inclusionary (i.e., affordable) housing requirements from the existing 20% to 25% for developments with 30 or more housing units.
Subject to some exceptions, Santa Cruz Municipal Code section 24.16.020 currently provides that, for development projects with five or more units, 20% of those units must be made available to low or moderate income households. (See SCMC 24.16.020(4)-(5).)
The proposed initiative would require the City Council to amend the Municipal Code so as to require a higher 25% inclusionary rate for developments with 30 or more housing units.
A simple majority of voters is required to pass the measure.