Inclusionary Housing Zoning Petition
On April 3, 2017, the City Council unanimously passed a Zoning Petition changing the inclusionary provisions in the Zoning Ordinance. This is the first time the inclusionary zoming provisions have been amended since their adoption in 1998. The details of this petition can be found here, in the Documents tab below, or at http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/zoninganddevelopment/Zoning/Amendments.
The process began when the Community Development Department commissioned an Inclusionary Housing Study to examine the current inclusionary housing provisions in the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance and determine whether any changes to the ordinance were warranted. David Paul Rosen and Associates (DRA) was selected to conduct the study, which analyzed changes in the housing market and demographics in the city, looked at similar provisions in other communities, and conducted an economic analysis of alternative inclusionary housing standards. The study, which was completed in April 2016, made several program and policy recommendations for changes to the inclusionary housing provisions in the city’s Zoning Ordinance (Section 11.200 of the Zoning Ordinance), including increasing the proportion of affordable units in new market-rate development up to 20%.
The study was reviewed and discussed by the Housing Committee of the City Council through a series of public meetings. The Affordable Housing Trust also reviewed the study and its recommendations. CDD discussed the study with interested residents, community groups, business groups and residential developers. Based on the recommendations from the Housing Committee, a zoning petition with recommended changes to the inclusionary housing provisions of the ordinance was submitted to the City Council. The Ordinance Committee held two meetings to review the recommended petition and approved the petition with amendments. The petition was submitted to the City Council and approved with some amendments on March 20, 2017. It was ordained on April 3, 2017.