March 8, 2019

San Jose: Action on Commercial Linkage Fee

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Action Alert: Tell San Jose to Move Forward w/Commercial Linkage Fee study to Fund Affordable Housing!

We are asking you to do two things to stand in support of Commercial Linkage Fees in San Jose:

  • Sign on to our letter to the City Council – HERE
  • Come out to the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, 3/12,  to voice your support directly to the Council (Item 4.3, probably after 3:30pm, Council Chambers, San Jose City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St)

Background on the Commercial Linkage Fees and key issues in San Jose:

On Tuesday, San Jose City Council will be making decisions on the scope and timeline of their Commercial Linkage Fee study.

Commercial Linkage Fees have long been considered a critical tool for local governments to fund affordable housing.  Cities typically charge commercial developers these fees to offset the impact of new commercial development on the need for new housing for workers. Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Milpitas, and Mountain View all have CLF ordinances. That leaves San Jose as the last big city in the County without a CLF ordinance.

The affordable housing community and a number of Council members have been calling for these studies, as the first step in approving the fees, for years.

We are calling on the council to move forward with the study as quickly as possible, while considering 3 of our concerns

  • It is important to consider the full variety of development types in this study, and not leave out important prototypes such as high-tech office, retail, industrial, and office that were identified at the council’s December 11th meeting
  • The study must include analysis of the impact of potential shifts in development costs, or income potential, on the feasibility of fees at different levels.   We can’t know for certain what commercial development will look like in San Jose five years from now, but we must explore the potential impacts of planned changes already underway.

  • Lastly, we request that the council consider how it can reduce the 18-month timeline for preparation of these studies. Waiting until June of 2020 to make this decision—knowing that it will take more time to prepare an ordinance and begin collecting any fees—does not recognize the severity of the housing crisis we face. The current pipeline for commercial development in San Jose is significant. We cannot afford to miss this opportunity to address the additional demands for affordable housing this development will produce.

Please consider coming out and giving testimony about how important the CLF is directly to Council. The City Council session will start at 1:30pm next Tuesday, and while it is difficult to predict the timing of action on any given item, we don’t expect this item to come up before 3:30pm. Your signature is impactful, and your voice at council would be even more so.

 

When:
March 12th - January 1st 1970
3:30PM - 12:00AM
Where:
San Jose City Hall

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