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The city shall provide a density bonus and additional incentive(s), for qualified housing developments, upon the written request of a developer, and as consistent with this chapter. The development incentives shall contribute significantly to the economic feasibility of providing the affordable units.

A. Density Bonus. The maximum residential density for developments that include affordable housing units shall be determined at the following levels:

1. To calculate the maximum base density, the number of possible dwelling units or lots allowed without the density bonus, refer to the maximum density calculation in MMC 22.16.040(B) for single-family developments and MMC 22.18.040(G) for multifamily developments.

a. Multiply the base density by the density bonus to determine the residential density. This calculation identifies the maximum residential density possible when the affordable housing density bonus is included. In some cases, this density may not be achievable due to unique site considerations, including critical areas, topography, right-of-way dedication, storm water requirements, etc.

b. When calculating the maximum residential density, any resulting fraction 0.50 or over shall be rounded up to the next whole number and any fraction 0.49 or under shall be rounded down to the preceding whole number.

c. The ratio of affordable units to additional market rate units are established according to Table 22.52.040(A): Affordable Housing Density Bonus for Market Rate Developments.

Table 22.52.040(A). Affordable Housing Density Bonus for Market Rate Developments

Target Household

Market Rate Density Bonus

Affordable Housing Density Bonus

Households at or below very low income

2 additional market rate units/lots per each affordable unit/lot

Up to a 50% density bonus

Households at or below low income

1.5 additional market rate units/lots per each affordable unit/lot

Up to a 40% density bonus

Households at or below moderate income

1 additional market rate unit/lot per each affordable unit/lot

Up to a 20% density bonus

2. In the case of developments constructed solely to provide affordable housing, whether owner-occupied or rental, the developer shall receive additional affordable housing units or lots above the maximum density otherwise permitted in an amount equal to the density bonus provided for market rate developments.

B. Tax Exemptions. The value of new housing construction, conversion, and rehabilitation improvements for affordable housing multifamily projects may be exempt from ad valorem property taxation for the maximum time specified in RCW 84.14.020 to the extent the project complies with Chapter 84.14 RCW as now or hereafter amended, subject to the following:

1. The project must comply with all applicable design and site planning standards of this title.

2. Demolition must comply with the building code and all applicable development standards.

3. The community development department shall issue a certificate of affordability following the recording of covenants, as required in MMC 22.52.050 and a finding by the zoning administrator or designee that the project meets the criterion of RCW 84.14.060, as now or hereafter amended.

4. An applicant for a certificate of affordability may appeal a denial to the Monroe city council if the appeal is in writing and filed with the zoning administrator within thirty days of the date of denial. The appeal before the city council shall be based upon the record made before the zoning administrator with the burden of proof on the applicant to show that there was no substantial evidence to support the denial. The decision of the city council shall be final.

5. Applications for certificates of affordability and appeals thereto shall not be subject to this title, but rather shall be governed by the procedures imposed by Chapter 84.14 RCW.

C. Modifications. Additional incentives include modifications to development standards in developments that provide affordable units, as outlined in this subsection. The zoning administrator may approve the following modifications to the development standards:

1. The maximum lot coverage may be increased up to an additional ten percent above the maximum standard applicable to the zoning district in which the development is located.

2. On-site parking may be reduced to:

a. Two parking stalls per affordable unit in multifamily developments.

b. Three-quarters of a parking space per affordable unit in affordable senior developments.

c. A greater administrative modification of the minimum required number of parking spaces may be approved if the applicant provides a parking study, prepared by a qualified professional, substantiating that parking demand can be met with a reduced parking requirement.

3. Modifications to parking design standards may be approved when they can demonstrate that on-site parking needs will be met.

4. In neighborhoods in the downtown commercial zoning district that allow for residential uses when a housing development will exclusively provide affordable units, attached affordable housing units may be constructed up to a fourplex, on a single lot, in conformance with Table 22.52.040(A): Affordable Housing Density Bonus for Market Rate Developments. The development shall provide housing units consistent with market rate units available to other residents.

5. Proposed modifications to development standards shall meet the following criteria to be approved by the zoning administrator:

a. The proposed modifications are necessary to provide sufficient economic incentive to offset the cost of providing the affordable housing units;

b. The proposed modifications are necessary to achieve the permitted density, including the bonus units and affordable units; and

c. The proposed modifications are consistent with public health, safety, and welfare, and specifically does not create any safety hazard. (Ord. 005/2019 § 10 (Exh. B))