Inclusionary Zoning Adopted in L.A. County

The county of Los Angeles is looking for policy tools that will add affordable housing units to the housing market. Inclusionary zoning is its policy of choice.

2 minute read

August 10, 2020, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Los Angeles County Sprawl

clayton harrison / Shutterstock

"Housing developers seeking to build in many of Los Angeles County's unincorporated communities will soon be required to set aside units for low- and moderate-income renters," reports Steven Sharp. 

With a few exceptions, the new ordinance requires rental housing projects with five or more baseline dwelling units (not including density bonus units) to include apartments for low- and extremely low-income households. "Developers will be offered three different set-aside options - ranging from 5 percent to 20 percent of the unit count - varying based on the affordability level and project site.  Smaller-scale projects with 15 or fewer baseline units will be permitted to set aside fewer affordable units," according to Sharp.

The new ordinance also requires affordable units in for-sale projects: "Likewise, for-sale projects with five or more baseline dwelling units will be required to set aside homes for moderate- and middle-income households - a new category which roughly corresponds to 'workforce' housing."

Sharp's coverage of the new law includes more details on the where and how the law will be applied, and a process for evaluating the law's effectiveness in delivering the desired new affordable housing stock in unincorporated parts of L.A. County. Sharp also notes that the new inclusionary zoning ordinance furthers the county's work toward a suite of ordinances, requested by the Board of Supervisors in 2018, to spur production of affordable housing units in areas under its planning jurisdiction. 

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